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Why should I “give away” content to social media?

Social media is great for brand building and despite significant algorithm changes on Facebook, it still drives significant traffic to the web. Yet some newsrooms continue to struggle with the question – how much is too much content on social? And what are the ramifications of “giving away” so much content for free on social media? Here’s some food for thought … 

Build Relationships with Your Audience

First, let’s address the idea that you’re “giving away” content to your fans on social media. While you may not be directly monetizing your videos and photos on social media (yet!), the engagement you earn matters. By posting content directly to your social media accounts, you’re gathering interactions that will help your future posts get priority on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And building a large, and monetizeable audience.

The better your average engagement is across all of your posts, the more likely it will be that your audience will continue to see your content in their social media feeds. A compelling storm video today can make tomorrow’s link about a local bond issue more successful. Keep in mind that all content doesn’t belong on social media – consider the types of stories that will get people talking, watching, and clicking. Even a small segment of a story can become a compelling social media post – while still encouraging fans to click through for the rest of the story.

If you invest in sharing media directly to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you’ll give your brand a better starting point to draw traffic back to your website where your content can continue to generate revenue.

Here’s a quick peek in the SND Dashboard Post Manager: behold the power of video

Build Frequency for Your Content

While there’s no universal fit for how often you should post content to your social media accounts, you should be posting unique content daily. Wondering if you need to shake things up? Add a post to your daily rotation. After a few weeks review your social media metrics to see if this practice has had any impact in your overall engagement. If not, add a another, or another after that. If your reach and engagement hold steady or increase, continue increasing frequency until you see things level off. You’ll need to do your own experimenting to find the perfect balance.

Build Revenue for Your Brand

Once you’ve built up an audience for your content and a more frequent post schedule, your organization can also use social media as an advertising asset for your clients. Local news providers across the nation are using their high fan count to sell branded content sponsorships to local advertisers. A series of stories about new road construction can be posted in partnership with a local car dealer, for example. (The team at Social News Desk has tools and advice to help you win at branded content sponsorships, hit us up at support@socialnewsdesk.com.)

Keep in mind that social media success is not just tied to your fan count. The number of fans you have only represents your potential audience. Engaged fans who are making the effort to engage with your content through comments and shares are your real asset.

Your content is valuable – but protecting content behind a paywall or only housing stories on your website should be in balance with using content to build diverse sources of engagement, readership and revenue.

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Ryan Morris

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