Engaging Audiences: Favorite Engagement Tools
An interesting picture emerges when respondents were asked to talk about their “favorite” engagement tools. In more than 1,300 comments throughout the survey, these small online news sites revealed that they actually worked with two kinds of engagement toolkits: One reaches for social engagement and tries to draw traffic to their websites. The other employs a wide menu of strategies, including a lot of in-person events, to trigger deeper public engagement around community issues.
What surfaces is a difference between engagement around a product, their website, and public engagement that seeks to involve people in community conversations – although one can clearly drive the other.
Social media connectors were cited as many times as quality content and comments as the favorite tools for encouraging their audiences to engage in their websites.
Respondents again and again favored “stories that spark comments” and engaging readers with their comments, either on their websites Facebook or Twittter.
Facebook was cited as the most valuable online tool by several. “Facebook – nothing else comes close,” said one respondent. “We receive a large portion of our traffic, comments and online interaction from posting our stories on Facebook,” said another. “Facebook has been most effective, as measured by click-through traffic,” said another. “It’s not necessarily my favorite.”
However, when asked to name their favorite tool(s) for engaging their readers in community issues, good journalism, quality content and good commenting activity were king – outpacing mentions of social media tools by nearly three to one.
“Good journalism,” “in-depth reporting,” “producing meaningful stories” were valued as were in-person events, personal interactions and community involvement. Many of these tools were accompanied by the use of social media. E-newsletters and events were also valued.
“We pay a lot of attention to social media,” said one, “but in the end it’s all about the journalism.” “We pay a lot of attention to social media,” said one respondent, “but in the end it is all about the journalism.”
Order the Publication
Order a copy of Engaging Audiences on Eventbrite.
Table of Contents
J-Flash, our e-newsletter, is packed full of information you need to know and learning opportunities.