World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Loyalty and traffic: a social media primer

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Loyalty and traffic: a social media primer

“Engagement is the key to ensure loyalty of fans and traffic. We need to look after both aspects – the greater the engagement, the more traffic,” he says.

The goal, he says, is simple; “to ensure that people keep clicking, that they want to know more.”

But while the goal is simple, the techniques are varied. Compelling content is of primary importance – but on social media, presentation and interaction are just as important.

“We may have the best content, but if not duly selected and laid out, it won’t attract the attention of the users,” he says.

In a wide-ranging presentation, just a few of his recommendations:

  • More images, less talk. “Communicate messages directly because people don’t have time,” says Mr Frank. “We need to use keywords, be to the point. But first we need to ensure high quality images. The big photo with content is compelling – this multiplies the value of what we’re offering.
  • Place the fans at the centre. “We need to rely on them to generate the flow of information. It’s co-creation,” says Mr Frank. “We should ask for users opinions at all times. Ask for their personal opinion and tastes. And valorise their contributions – contests, for example, provide more value for users and will generate a word-of-mouth effect.”
  • Make better use of Twitter hashtags. This is something that takes time to build, but publishers need to ensure the hashtags become their own destinations. “We should come up with hashtags that people are following.”
  • Publish contributions cross-media. For example, ask fans at the end of matches to suggest headlines for the next day’s paper.
  • Use social games and apps. Enable fans to make predictions during games, vote on various topics, compete with other players and challenge friends. Creating fantasy game blogs is also recommended. “We have to ensure an interaction. Make sure our content offering is broadened,” he says.
  • Develop communities first, and content payment schemes second. Mr Frank says it’s a mistake to force users to subscribe or pay for content before they are loyal to your offering. If they’re engaged first, they’ll be willing to pay.

More on WAN-IFRA social media and other training can be found here.


Larry Kilman's picture

Larry Kilman


2012-03-29 11:41

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Journalists and sport experts from all over the world will gather at the home stadium of Real Madrid in Madrid, Spain, on 29 and 30 March for the International Sports News Conference. WAN-IFRA will provide summaries of each speaker's presentation during the event. Check back on our blog for the latest updates.

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