Even among newsrooms that see value in social networking sites, how they use Facebook differs. What doesn’t seem to differ is the lessons they tell others they have learned about what works on Facebook. Today’s example is a newsroom that has taken an extreme step: a Maryland newspaper, Rockville Central, that eliminated its standalone website and moved to all-Facebook publishing online. The downsides to doing such a thing probably should discourage publications of any size from doing the same thing (notably, the inability to build useful, searchable archives within Facebook, a huge handicap for both staff and audience), but the pluses are things to pay attention to, just as you would pay attention to tips on language and customs from someone who took an immersion approaching to learning a new language and culture (which is more or less what Facebook is in comparison with traditional news outlets). A couple (by going where the audience is your stories reach more people, and different people, than your website alone does; be a real person, not an officious, impersonal voice in your interactions) will seem familiar by now.
Slightly different than things I had read before was a detail on the tip “Timing matters.” Facebook activity peaks several times a day — before work, midday and around dinner. Publisher Brad Rourke tells Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman it’s best to target those windows for your updates, implying that people don’t scroll far down in their update stream: “What you really want is to share when they’re on, not before they’re on,” he said.