News Leadership 3.0

June 11, 2009

Social media essentials: Join the networks, be mobile, be human

Amy Gahran offers advice to traditional news organizations as they adopt social media

What are three critical ingredients of successful social media projects for traditional news organizations? I’ve asked faculty of Knight Digital Media’s “Using Social Media to Build Audience” class to offer their lists.

Here’s Amy Gahran:

- Get onto the networks. “Figure out which parts of your community use social media and where they hang out. And go where they are and listen to them,” Gahran says. “You need to become a presence in their community on their terms first.” Follow their lead.

- Make yourself mobile friendly. “Mobile and social media are very deeply intertwined because a lot of lot of people use social media via their cell phones and far more people have cell phones than are at computers.” And don’t forget to enable text messaging and make it easy for people to respond to you by sms. 

- Be human. The authoritative mindset “definitely doesn’t fly in social media,” Gahran says. Instead, it’s important to be transparent, receptive and grateful. “And especially to laugh at yourself. Humor and humility really work in social media.” She cites recommends checking out @coloneltribune on Twitter for an example of humor at work for the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s a full podcast of Amy Gahran’s remarks with more discussion of mobile opportunities. I posted Paul Gillin’s list of essentials here. I’ll have an additional installment from JD Lasica next week.

What’s on your list of critical ingredients for creating communities online? Please share your ideas in the comments.

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Mobile and social media are very deeply intertwined because a lot of lot of people use social media via their cell phones and far more
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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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