Social media and platform resources

Social media and platform resources for small, independent and nonprofit newsrooms

Note: This page was last updated in June 2021 and is intended only for members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), the Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), Racial Equity in Journalism Fund grantees, the NJ News Commons, California Black Media, Ethnic Media Services and Facebook Journalism Project grantees under a Facebook-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.

The Center for Cooperative Media is home to the Facebook Fundamentals desk, a partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project to provide ongoing support via our virtual Facebook help desk and small group webinars with Center consultants. Beginning in September 2020, the Facebook Fundamentals desk will also offer free social media strategy audits for local, independent and/or nonprofit news publishers in North America. These resources and the social audit program are free of charge and are available to members of LION (Local Independent Nonprofit News), INN (the Institute for Nonprofit News), current Racial Equity in Journalism Fund grantees, California Black Media, Ethnic Media Services and members of the NJ News Commons, as well as Facebook Journalism Project grantees.

Below is a list of links to basic tools and channels you should know about as it relates to some of the major social platforms, as well as resources you have access to as part of this project. 

Support opportunities

1. Social media problem solving

Are you having trouble getting verified on Facebook? Do you need help untangling an issue in Business Manager? Do you need access to the media support portal or CrowdTangle? The Center can help. This consulting is free to members of LION, INN, the NJ News Commons or grantees of the Facebook Journalism Project.

2. Social media audits

Learn how to use Facebook and Instagram to connect with new users, engage your audience and grow your revenue in this focused, 90-minute session. During this free social media and engagement audit conducted by consultant Meena Thiruvengadam, we’ll examine what’s working for your publication and talk through new strategies to connect with your readers. You will receive personalized, actionable recommendations to improve your business, including a digital report delivered at the conclusion of your session. This social audit is free to members of LION, INN, REJ grantees, the NJ News Commons or grantees of the Facebook Journalism Project.

3. Social media training webinars

Facebook Fundamentals: How To Step Up Your Facebook Game 
In this session we’ll cover the nuts and bolts of setting your page up properly and the best practices that have stood the test of time. This is your time to ask the questions you’ve always been too afraid to ask — and to finally get some answers.
Social Media 20.21: Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit 
In this session, we’ll give you a lay of the social landscape beyond Facebook and help you better understand how the pieces fit together to help you meet your goals. We’ll cover the basics of Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Reddit, and help you get a better idea of how to best focus your limited resources.
SEO Basics For Publishers
Just because you’re a team of one, doesn’t mean you can’t use SEO to your advantage. In this session we’ll cover the nuts and bolts of search engine optimization, bring you up to speed on the latest, and help you think strategically about using SEO to build your brand.
Paid Audience Acquisition on Facebook: What You Need to Know
In this session we’ll help you figure out when paid audience acquisition efforts are worth it and how to make the most out of every dollar you spend building, engaging with, and converting Facebook audiences.
Training Dates 

4. A beginner’s guide to community-powered social media marketing

This series from Red Root Marketing offers short video lessons and downloadable templates with simple hyperlocal social media marketing strategies and techniques to help news organizations gain brand awareness, grow audiences and build community engagement. Lessons are organized by four simple milestones that every news organization needs to grow their audience. (Watch this video to get a sneak peek.) We have 15 passes to the courses, which are available on the Teachable platform. To request access to one of those 15 credentials, please email Stefanie Murray at murrayst@montclair.edu.

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 the Center at info@centerforcooperativemedia.org.

Documentation you may need:

Bios for consultants

  • Meena Thiruvengadem is a digital strategy consultant who works at the intersection of audience and revenue. She has led global audience teams at Bloomberg and Business Insider, developing strategic partnerships and driving sharp increases in audience, revenue and traffic across platforms. She works closely with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, SmartNews and Flipboard. She has a track record of building audiences for a variety of publishers and journalists and training journalists in social media best practices.
  • 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.
  • Ashley Woods Branch is the founder of Detour, a local newsletter startup based in Detroit. She also coaches publications on audience-focused strategies and entrepreneurial growth. Ashley previously led consumer experience and digital strategy at the Detroit Free Press and has been a Marshall Memorial Fellow and a visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

If you have any questions, let us know! Email the Center at info@centerforcooperativemedia.org.

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism and support an informed society in New Jersey and beyond. The Center is supported with general operational funding from Montclair State University, the Geraldine R. Dodge FoundationDemocracy Fund, the New Jersey Local News Lab (a partnership of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and Community Foundation of New Jersey), and the Abrams Foundation. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.