Facebook courts journalists

Journalists on Facebook page

Facebook wants more journalists to use its social network and has put together a guide explaining how they can get started.

Whether it can lure journalists away Twitter with the offer of sharing ‘best practices’ is unlikely, but Facebook has a rather more direct hook up its sleeve.

“Reach your readers directly on Facebook, an audience of more than 500 million people around the world,” the new Journalists On Facebook page boasts.

A note from the company’s Director of Media Partnerships Justin Osofsky hammers home the message: “Over the past year, we’ve worked with media organisations to help make their content more social and empower readers to experience news through their friends.

“Since we first launched these initiatives at the beginning of 2010, the average media organisation has seen a greater than 300% increase in referral traffic from Facebook.”

You wouldn’t expect Facebook to mention Twitter by name but, widely seen as journalists’ network of choice, the micro-blogging service is clearly on its mind.

There are already large numbers of journalists on Twitter and where writers include a social network contact on an article I’ve yet to see a Facebook profile featured.

Add in Twitter’s strengths in real time updates, search and segmentation of topics, conversations and people you’re following, and it looks like Facebook has an uphill task.

So, will I give Facebook a go as a journalist? Perhaps. Will I start using Facebook as much as Twitter? I doubt it.

HOW TO USE FACEBOOK – TIPS FOR JOURNALISTS

Facebook offers four tips for journalists who want to start using the social network for more than keeping in touch with friends.

1. Set up a page for yourself

This actually makes sense (and yes I am surprised that it would). It allows you to keep your personal profile separate and still have a professional presence on Facebook, which is basically the reason why I only use Facebook in a personal capacity at the moment.

2. Post your articles to you page

Facebook wants journalists to use it as an additional ‘news channel’ and this allows them to do so without feeling like they’re spamming friends who may not share their professional interests.

3. Engage your fans

This is a solid, but hardly a unique, reason for journalists to use Facebook. It only works if it proves more beneficial than tools like Twitter, LinkedIn or even Quora.

4. Link your page with your mobile device

Again not an inspired tip. If journalists already use Twitter then the chances are they know you can post updates, pictures and so on from your mobile directly to your social network.

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  1. Twitter produces a guide for journalists « Dominic Tyer's blog
  2. Time to check your privacy settings, Facebook’s Graph Search has landed « Dominic Tyer's blog

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