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Editorial chiefs hail impact of social media on commercial operations

Zoe CRegional news chiefs have hailed the impact social media engagement has had on commercial operations at their titles.

Editors and journalists have shared their experience of using social media, and how it has helped other aspects of the businesses they work for, during a session at an industry conference being held today in Leicester.

During the session, Birmingham Live journalist Zoe Chamberlain, left, explained how a Facebook group aimed at parents which she had set up, called ‘Brummie Mummies’, had opened up new revenue opportunities for her colleagues since it was launched.

After building up a following on the social media site, Birmingham Live and its sister daily the Birmingham Mail began hosting social events for those following the ‘Brummie Mummies’ page.

Initially free, they later began selling tickets for events which have since attracted hundreds of people to venues including the Sea Life Centre and Drayton Manor theme park.

Zoe told the conference, organised by Behind Local News website: “We saw popular venues were interested and inviting us to host events there. It became a commercial venture. Companies and attractions began approaching us to ask us to host our social events – and to pay for the privilege too.”

Archant social media content manager Jono Read explained how the company’s Enjoy More campaign, which has seen separate Facebook brands launched to share positive news about the patches it serves, had helped advertising prospects.

He said: “After we launched in Cromer, the town council in Sheringham wrote to us and said they wanted their own page, and video advertising revenue went up as a result of that.”

And JPIMedia North-East editorial director Joy Yates discussed how building up a community of close to 16,000 followers on Instagram was beginning to yield commercial opportunities.

She said: “We are seeing growing interest from commercial customers asking us to share and like their posts, which we don’t, but people are willing to pay for promoted shares and posts.”

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  • January 31, 2019 at 2:24 pm
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    It’s interesting that companies aren’t trading on their newspapers’ brand names any more. In Norfolk, for example, the EDP name – in terms of recognition if not value – is on a par with the likes of Jarrold, and yet it wasn’t capitalised upon while the paper still had, say, a 50,000+ circulation. It’s now or never. And Jono, if Cromer is such a great place, why does it now have to share a print editor with Dereham, a not terribly direct 28 miles away?

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  • January 31, 2019 at 3:50 pm
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    It’s good to hear of digital and social media initiatives such as Archants Enjoy More being heralded as a success and how it’s increasing video ad revenues,so presumably whoever’s responsible for revenues in the north Norfolk area ( is there such a person these days?) will be delighted to be able to capitalise on these two initiatives and show real and sustainable financial growth and budget achievement as a result.
    However,looking at the latest sales figures for the NNN and seeing how few local adverts are in there,it’s just a shame the people in the two towns who want dedicated web pages, don’t support the local paper itself by buying more copies or by advertising in them which must make online initiatives such as this necessary, but as we all know,you’re hardly going to pay for a paper when the news about your town is online and free and likewise with so few people buying a paper,local businesses are using other,more effective means of reaching the audience so initiatives such as this won’t help, but to be fair if it’s all about social media engagement then the fate of the local weekly paper is irrelevant and of little or no consequence.

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  • February 1, 2019 at 11:24 am
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    Little increases in online revenue are isignificant unless it’s able to sustain the costs of running these middle sized regional publishing groups, particularly at a time when the tipping point between print and digital money has been reached.
    When in-paper ad revenues were strong and when thousands of people bought a local paper habitually and out of necessity to find the news from their areas, digital,video and event sponsorship advertising money would’ve been the icing on the publishers cake, now with the key platforms of advertising and copy sales at their lowest ever and falling further, its become the cake.

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