Note: This page was last updated in February 2019 and is intended only for members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), the Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), the Detroit Journalism Cooperative and NJ News Commons organizations under a Knight Foundation-supported program to enhance the social media skills of small, independent and nonprofit news organizations. The program is being coordinated by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.
In mid-2017, the Center for Cooperative Media launched a project funded by Knight Foundation that aimed to help small, local, independent and nonprofit news organizations better utilize social media to grow audience and revenue.
The project was coordinated in partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Local Independent Online News Publishers organizations, as well as the Detroit Journalism Cooperative and the NJ News Commons. We began working closely with Facebook first through the Facebook Journalism Project.
Below is a list of links to basic tools and channels you should know about as it relates to Facebook and Google, as well as resources you have access to as part of this project.
1. Audience Development, Facebook, Google, Newsletter and Analytics Fundamentals programs
In late 2017, we launched a project we called the Facebook Fundamentals desk. You can read more about it here. The program paired news orgs with consultants for one-on-one sessions focusing on basics for Facebook. In 2018, we’ve expanded the program to include more of a wider audience development fundamentals focus, as well as webinars specifically for Facebook and Google. Below are sessions available to INN, LION, DJC and NJNC members:
- Audience Development Fundamentals: This program offers one-on-one sessions (up to three hours each) in which consultant Ned Berke will walk through some of the basics you should consider when it comes to your overall audience strategy. (Note, we don’t have any more of these sessions scheduled currently; if you are interested in this, let Stefanie Murray know at email@example.com)
- Facebook Fundamentals: This program offers small-group webinars with a focus on Facebook.
- Google Fundamentals: This program offers small-group webinars with a focus on Google and search.
- Newsletter Fundamentals: This program offers small-group webinars with a focus on growing newsletter subscriber lists.
- Analytics Fundamentals: This program offers small-group webinars with a focus on Google Analytics and segmenting your audience to put an emphasis on loyal readers.
2. Social media marketing: How to use Facebook, Instagram and YouTube’s ads and marketing platforms
We worked with Toya Wilson-Smith on an intensive series of training webinars designed to help you better leverage social media marketing platforms to grow your audience, email lists and revenue. We offered a basic webinar for those just getting started, an intermediate webinar, and an advanced session, as well as open office hours and one-on-one coaching opportunities. We held our first round of training sessions in April and May 2018, and followed that up with additional training in November ahead of NewsMatch. The full documentation from that training is linked below under the “resources” section. More sessions will be planned for 2019 as interest arises; contact Stefanie Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Verification is one of the most common questions we get as part of this project. We hosted a series of webinars to help you with this topic. You can also visit this tip sheet for more information.
4. Instant Articles, AMP and Apple News
As part of this project, we’re able to offer help from a developer for organizations who want to test Facebook’s Instant Articles, Google’s AMP or Apple News. Most of our work so far as been focused on Instant Articles and AMP. Visit this page to read more about what they offer, as well as the pros and cons of each. If you are interested in help, please contact Stefanie Murray at email@example.com.
5. One-on-one consulting
As part of this program, the Center for Cooperative Media has secured consultants who are available to work directly with INN, LION, DJC and NJNC organizations on audience development strategy relating to social platforms.
This program will pay for a limited number of hours of individual coaching for you with one of the consultants; hourly maximums vary by consultant. The consultants are listed below.
The consultants include:
- Susy Schultz, president of Public Narrative. Susy specializes in teaching new ways to engage the community in journalism and journalism with the community, especially using social platforms.
- David Beard, an independent consultant. Dave’s areas of expertise are growing audience for newsletters, developing alternate revenue streams, partnerships and overall content strategy.
- Ned Berke is an audience development strategist. He currently works with publications both global and local to innovate audience-driven business models in his roles at the Tow-Knight Center and the Center for Cooperative Media.
- Toya Wilson-Smith is the co-founder of NexGeneration Digital Marketing Agency, Inc. and developed Simply Social Marketing Academy, a social media marketing educational company to assist local business owners to leverage the internet to increase their brand awareness. With a background in corporate sales and a M.B.A. in marketing, Toya is known for her ability to simplify complex and fast changing technology topics to people of all ages and with various backgrounds.
- Martin Halo has taught at Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media since 2013. He specializes in digital media and content creation, including film and web. Martin also heads a creative agency, Percy Cole Media, which develops websites for small business and touring musicians based in New York, Nashville, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
- Ashley Catherine Woods is the founder of Detour, a newsletter startup delivering curated news, events and original content to a beta audience of 2,500 Metro Detroit readers. She helps news organizations and brands create audience-focused revenue and publishing strategies. Ashley is a member of The Information accelerator for media startups, a 2018 visiting Nieman fellow at Harvard University, and a 2019 Marshall Memorial Fellow. She previously led consumer experience and digital strategy at the Detroit Free Press and was the editor of Huffington Post’s Detroit bureau.
- To request a consulting session, please contact Stefanie Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Twitter Training for Journalists
Twitter hosted a round of training for journalists in fall 2018, the first it had offered in a long time. More details are below. These webinars were open to any journalist. Replays are available below, and the password for all of them is midtermwebinars.
- Twitter Best Practices for Journalists
- Video & Live Best Practices For Journalists
- Safety & Security Tips For Journalists
- TweetDeck For Journalists
- Moments: Storytelling with Tweets
- If you are looking for general best practices, there are a number of great articles & examples here.
Resources we’ve compiled for you
The following links have been compiled as part of this project and will continue to be updated as we add more resources. If we’re missing a link you think should be added here, email Stefanie Murray at email@example.com.
Articles we’ve written and documentation we’ve collected as part of this project include:
- Basic Facebook tips for NewsMatch participants
- 11 Facebook page optimizations for small publishers
- What small publishers need to know about Facebook’s policy on ads with political content
- Outcomes of our early Facebook Fundamentals program
- How to get CrowdTangle
- The basics of Facebook Instant Articles, Google AMP and Apple News
- Verification basics for news publishers
- Navigating Facebook’s algorithm changes
- Introducing the Audience Explorer analytics dashboard for small and medium-size news publishers
- Instant Articles getting started playbook
- CrowdTangle optimization playbook
- Screenshots to help with establishing domain ownership of your links
- Setting up Facebook Pixel
Social media marketing documentation
Below you will find resources compiled from Toya Wilson-Smith’s basic, intermediate and advanced social media marketing webinars:
- Slides from the basic social media marketing webinar.
- Slides from the intermediate social media marketing webinar.
- Slides from the advanced social media marketing webinar.
- Videos about how to use Facebook advertising
- Document: Preparing Your FB Ad
- Document: Facebook Campaign Concept worksheet.
- Document: Facebook Advertising Strategies for News Professionals
Important info to know on Facebook
- Don’t forget: profiles and pages are two separate products, managed by two very different parts of the organization. Profiles are for people. Pages are for organizations.
Facebook communication channels — journalists
- The official Media Partner Support Portal. Access to this portal requires approval; if you don’t have access yet, we can get you signed up. Read this first before applying for access, then read this and if you’re a member of INN, LION, the DJC or NJNC, email Stefanie Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org to request access.
- Facebook media partnerships blog (sports, news, non-profits, entertainment case studies, strong content examples, etc.)
- Social Journalism group (not run by Facebook, but a very useful group for social media managers)
Facebook communication channels — general business
- Official company blog with page on latest company stats, leadership, big announcements
- Facebook’s Social Good program
Advertising on Facebook
- Facebook Blueprint, its business tools, training and case study repository (learn how to use the marketing tools and get Facebook Certified, learn about ad products, take audience insights courses, etc.)
- Guidelines for ad content
- Getting started with Facebook Branded Content
- FAQS on audience targeting for ads
- Facebook Business Manager
- How Facebook is handling ads with political content
Tools, training and other materials
- Facebook’s Business tools (there are a lot!) Especially if you scroll to the very bottom, the list in the footer is helpful
- Collection of Facebook links for publishers and media (bookmark this site!)
Nonprofits on Facebook
Links you should review regarding Nonprofits on Facebook:
- First, you should be sure that one of the categories that your Facebook Page is set up as is “nonprofit” so you can be easily found when people search, and so you can register as a nonprofit on Facebook. Note that your page can have up to three different categories.
- Register as a nonprofit on Facebook. After you’ve done this, then you can activate the “Donate” button on your Facebook Page, which will allow you to accept donations via the platform, and then you can also enable the “Fundraiser” tab on your page, which will allow people to fundraise for you.
- Overview of Facebook’s fundraising tools.
- Tips for how to grab people’s attention on Facebook.
If you have any questions, let us know! Email Stefanie Murray at email@example.com.
About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.