What is Newsworthy?

What is Newsworthy? 

One of the most important questions to ask before publishing a story, tweet, news article, blog posts, etc, is whether or not the content will be interesting to your audience. Before you even put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) the first thing to figure out is how newsworthy your story really is. What makes something newsworthy? Thank goodness there’s a study for that! If you’re into that kinda thing, you can read it on allacadamia.com. However, we have rounded up the top 7 best news values for your skimming pleasure. If your story has at least one of these values you are more likely to capture the attention of your audience. 

1.Timeliness 

How new is the story? Just think about it- the word “news” denotes that the information given is, in fact, new. Something timely is happening right now and it is something the public has yet to hear about. People lose interest incredibly quickly thanks to the immediacy of the internet. Therefore, the most impactful story will be about things happening right now, not yesterday or last week. Staying up to date on current events and popular trends help to point out the most important stories for you to cover. 

2. Impact

Some words that could replace “impact” are collision, crash, bang, jolt, whack, and smack! When the reader comes in contact with your story it should hit them harder than Monday hits after the weekend. How is this story going to affect your audience? What will happen if the reader doesn’t take action on an issue? If you answer these questions in your story, it will be hard for your audience not to pay attention. 

3. Proximity

Location! Location! Location! Your audience wants to hear about things happening near them. It is not as effective if your story has to do with something/someone in another state or country. Even though the world has gotten smaller (thank you internet) we are still more likely to care about something happening in our town than in another place. 

4. Human Interest 

Two words. Emotional reaction! Nothing is more newsworthy than a story that stirs up an emotional response from the reader. (We’ve discussed the best emotions that trigger responses in an earlier blog post). Human interest stories are the perfect vessel for connecting with your audience. 

Human Interest Story Ideas:

  • Rags to Riches
  • Interviews
  • Profile
  • Behind the Scenes (BTS)  

5. Conflict

It’s human nature to be drawn to conflict. Think politics and religion – they are surely talked about frequently. We are glued to our TVs and Twitters during political elections and most everyone has an opinion about religion. Conflict makes a story interesting and worth following. 

Imagine your reading Harry Potter, and Voldemort decided to call it a day and never bother Harry. There would be no story to read. It would just be a boy going to school. Without conflict, a story is- to be honest- boring. SPOILER ALERT: Voldermort does, indeed, torment Harry time and time again. And boy, am I grateful he does because we got 7 incredible books out of it! 

6. Shock Appeal 

Just as a snowstorm in the Sahara Desert would capture the attention of the entire world, anything that could be labeled rare or bizarre is immediately newsworthy. News Journalists have a saying, “When a dog bites a man, no one cares. When the man bites back- now that’s a story.” Find yourself a dog-biting man and you’ve found yourself a newsworthy story. (FYI: We do not condone the biting of dogs. ‘Twas but a metaphor.) 

7. Prominence 

Who would you rather attend dinner with, Kim Mayfield or Ellen Degeneres?  A well-known person, like Ellen, has a stronger news angle than someone who isn’t well known like Kim (Hi, Mom!). A story becomes immediately newsworthy if a big name is attached to it.  However, prominence doesn’t have to apply only to those who are famous worldwide. The mayor of your town may not be famous but if there is a story about them, it becomes more newsworthy to you. 

Things To Pay Attention To

While a story with just one of these values would be newsworthy, it would be even more influential with more than one. If you seem to have caught the writer’s block, keep the following in mind.

Watch for:

Those four topics are automatically newsworthy. They are a good place to start and easy to build off of. Keep it real. Keep it simple. Keep it newsworthy! You’ll thank us later. 

Let’s Get Engaged

Let’s Get Engaged:

Wanna put a ring on it?

What does the word “engagement” mean?

No, we aren’t talking about the getting-down-on-one-knee/ diamond ring type of engagement. We’re talking about anything your followers do to interact with your brand online. We’re talking about your comments, shares, likes and follows.

Why is engagement important?

Engagement allows you to make and foster relationships with your followers. Just because you have a large following, does not mean that your online efforts are successful. Having an engaged following ensures that your followers are paying attention to you. Engagement allows for conversations to start about your product and increases your reach to your target audience. New followers will look to the engagement of your current followers to see if they can trust you as a brand.

How do you strengthen your engagement?

People invest in brands that they feel connected to. They purchase what they feel. Tapping into your follower’s emotions will be the quickest and most effective way to increase engagement. Try tapping into their humor, their fears, things that excite them.

While creating content, ask yourself:

  • What emotion will this envoke in my followers?
  • How will they respond to this content?
  • What does this content entice them to do?

Always leave your followers with an invitation for them to act on. Leaving a call to action allows them to act on that emotion they have tapped into because of your post. The stronger the emotion and the simpler the call to action, the more engagement you will receive.

When a couple gets engaged they are committed to each other. When we create engagement between our followers, we enter a committed relationship with them. We promise to create a meaningful experience for them while administering to their needs and they promise to become committed followers. Only when both sides of this promise are kept, will your engagement continue positively.

New and Improved Profile Group Creation

 

NEW Simpler Profile Group Creation

We knew that creating profile groups previously wasn’t as simple as it should be. So, we came up with an easier and simpler way to create profile groups.

First off, profile groups make profile selection on a new post very quick. If you have hundreds of profiles, it can be a pain to scroll through them to find the right ones to select. Profile group selection makes this so easy that it only requires one click. The platform will automatically select all the profiles that you have previously grouped together in Profile Groups saving you time and headaches.

Now let’s have a discussion on the new and improved profile group creation feature. To create a new profile group, you simply need to navigate to “Profile Groups” which can be found in Launcher. Once there, all you need to do is:

  1. Click to create a new profile group and name it (i.e. California locations)
  2. Select the social network you would like to create it for
  3. Select your profiles you would like to add
  4. Click the double arrow button to add them over
  5. And SAVE!

Now that your new profile group is created, when you’re creating a new post, you will see it in the group selection when adding profiles the post should publish to.

You can also view our tutorial video HERE on how to create and utilize a new profile group.

If you have an questions, you can also contact your admin or Lava Surf account manager.

Post History in Calendar & More!

You have spoken and we’ve delivered!

We’re excited to announce two new feature enhancements to the Lava Surf platform that are sure to make things much better for you.

The new features include:

  • Post history in the calendar
  • Multi-photo post creation

Post History in Calendar

We understood the need to see past posts on the calendar alongside your scheduled posts. Because of that, you will now be able to view a history of your published posts on the calendar in Launcher. When clicking on a published post in the calendar, you can:

  • View the post’s caption and media
  • When it was published
  • Which profiles it was published to
  • Status of the post
  • Delete the post from selected profiles
  • Clone the post

Published posts will show as grey on the calendar and rejected posts (if approvals are turned on) will now show as red.

Multi-Photo Post Creation

We knew you wanted post history in the calendar so multi-photo creation is just icing on the cake!

Now, when adding your media on a new post for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, simply select multiple images from your device or your Lava Surf content library.      Multi-photo post creation for Instagram and Google My Business will come in the future once their APIs allow it.

Please contact your admin or Lava Surf account manager if you have questions regarding these updates.

-The Lava Surf Team

5 Ways to Engage Your Audience on Social Media

Social media today is vastly different than it was 10 years ago. It’s even pretty different than it was 6 months ago. That’s because algorithms, platforms, and people change.

So, how can you guarantee success when the digital landscape is constantly shifting around you? While success may never be a guarantee, there is one thing you can do to give you a fighting chance: engage your audience.

No matter what platform you’re on, the one unifying purpose that brings everyone there is included in the term “social media.” People flock to social media to be social. They want to engage with others, share their thoughts, and have meaningful conversations. Here are five ways you can start engaging with your social media audience.

1. Ask Questions

A common mistake that social media marketers make is failing to ask questions. We often assume that if someone follows our page, they must want to know what WE think. In fact, they come for the opposite reason. They want to be engaged by us.

Think of someone you know that seems to only like to talk about themself. Do you enjoy spending time with that person or would you prefer to spend time with someone who asks you questions and genuinely cares what you think? Most people prefer the latter.

When writing post copy or responding to comments, think of interesting questions you could ask. Maybe you’re looking for ideas for a new flavor of ice cream. Maybe you want to hear about their favorite stories with Dad for Father’s Day. Anything you can think of that will get people talking with you will also get them talking about you.

2. Use Emojis

Written text is a tough medium to convey emotions with, especially in short doses. Even if you believe your words are clear and simple, they can easily be misinterpreted. A single exclamation point can indicate anything from excitement to anger to surprise! If you’re going to spend the time cultivating relationships with your followers, why not be as clear as possible?

Emojis give you the opportunity to visualize a plethora of different emotions in your message. Sure, they can be overly cutesy sometimes and a little annoying if overdone. Just be judicious in your usage and they can become a powerful tool for audience engagement.

3. GIF, GIF, GIF!

One of my favorite ways to engage with followers is through GIFs. They’re eye-catching, often humorous, and a whole lot of fun. I’ve found that when I use a well-thought-out GIF at just the right moment, my engagement gets a boost.

Because GIFs are often snippets of other media, they provide the opportunity for inside jokes with your followers. If you notice a commenter has made an image of Inigo Montoya their profile picture, it may be a good idea to respond to that comment with a GIF from “The Princess Bride.” This doesn’t just get a laugh, it makes your business relatable and human.

Another great benefit of GIFs is that it offers you that chance to be humorous. Not everyone is good at coming up with snappy wordplay and witty jokes off the top of their head. In fact, brands can get into a lot of PR trouble if they make the wrong joke. With a GIF, you’re borrowing someone else’s (likely tried and true) humor and getting in on the joke.

4. Broadcast Live

Live videos are a great tool for any business wanting to engage. It creates a forum for suggestions, questions, comments, and other congenial interactions between brands and their followers that’s invaluable. Real-time responses and a feeling of genuineness are what draw users to these videos and it’s no wonder that they’re taking over as the most popular post type on many major platforms.

The best part about them is, you don’t have to be an experienced videographer to shoot one. Most platforms have a simple interface that will allow you to broadcast at the tap of a screen. Just pull out your smart phone and start a conversation.

5. Be Prepared

Perhaps the most important advice I can give is to be prepared. When the moment comes, are you ready to engage with a follower who engages with you? Here are some suggestions to get yourself prepared.

First, build up your content bank. Regularly fill it with GIFs and photos that you can share quickly in various situations.

Next, Write the ready-to-go responses to frequently asked questions. Answer the same question multiple times in different ways and keep those answers handy. Then, when you get the inevitable question, you can answer right away without giving the same templated response every time.

Finally, invest in social media management tools. When you have multiple social media accounts across various online platforms, it can be tough to respond to everything. If you don’t currently use a software platform that lets you moderate all of your social accounts in one place, then you should start.

With a platform like Lava Surf, you’ll not only be able to post, schedule, and boost your content, you’ll also be able to bring all of your social accounts into one moderation dashboard. Instead of going to multiple web pages and signing into multiple accounts, you’ll save valuable time by logging into one single online platform.

 

 

What Facebook’s Changing Metrics Mean For You

In a recent blog post and press conference, Facebook announced it would be changing the way several metrics are reported and even eliminating some of them. In the past, Facebook has had to admit to several mistakes that led to misreported metrics. Last year they were even called out for reporting reach numbers higher than deemed possible by census data. Marketers’ understandable lack of confidence surrounding the reported numbers is likely why Facebook has decided to take this action.

Below are some of the changes you’ll need to know and what they’ll mean for your social marketing goals.

1. Consistency

The first major announcement came from a blog post in early February. Facebook stated they would be altering the way organic reach is measured to be more consistent with the way paid reach is measured:

[We] will update how we measure organic reach of Pages to be more consistent with the way we calculate reach for ads. This is a change in the way that we measure reach, not a change in News Feed distribution, and other engagement metrics will remain the same. This will provide Page owners with a more precise measurement of their audience and offer a more consistent measurement methodology across both our paid and organic reach reporting.

What will this mean for you? First, you will likely see a dip in your organic reach numbers. While Facebook previously measured organic reach by the number of times a post was delivered to a News Feed, it will now only measure the times it actually crossed a user’s screen.

Second, you’ll get a more accurate picture of who you’re actually reaching. While the numbers may seem lower, knowing exactly how many people really saw your post is far more valuable. It also creates a consistent standard of measurement between your organic and paid reach numbers.

2. Transparency

It’s no secret that it’s been tough to trust Facebook’s metrics in the past. This has largely to do with the fact that many of them don’t come with an explanation of what they actually measure. Luckily, this announcement comes with the promise of more transparency, including introducing new ways to measure engagement and a robust labelling system that will inform marketers if a metric is “estimated” or “in development. It will also add more detailed descriptions that include how the metric is measured and suggest use-cases for each.

More transparency is always a good thing, and Facebook’s move to embrace it is a good indicator that they understand past frustration among marketers. This will likely be very helpful for you when determining which metrics will be of value to your organization.

3. Clean-Up

In addition to adding new metrics, Facebook is scrapping some of its less useful offerings. The blog continues:

In July, we will remove approximately 20 ad metrics that marketers have told us are redundant, outdated, not actionable or infrequently used. For example, the social reach metric shows the number of people who saw an ad with social information above it, such as noting a friend who also likes a certain brand. We’ve heard from you that this metric isn’t meaningfully different from the reach metric, and we know that the insight drawn from it doesn’t indicate a business outcome.

This focus on what’s useful to marketers is encouraging. It shows that they are listening to what their business customers want. Instead of having to sort through a bunch of metrics that don’t seem to be useful, Facebook will instead make it easy by providing only information you want to know. So, you can spend more of your time reading through actionable insights rather than weeding through all the fluff you don’t need.

4. Education

In addition to fine-tuning the types of metrics it measures, Facebook also announced an effort to educate business users on using them. It introduced a program, launching this month, called Measure What Matters. This program will seek to educate advertisers through in-person events, Facebook live event, and online content.

[It] will offer two tracks—one for advertisers focused on brand objectives and one for advertisers with direct response objectives. Each track will draw from research and analysis across creative planning, ad delivery, cross-channel measurement and video measurement…