newsroom puzzleIt is impossible right now to discuss brands and social media without hearing about the Social Newsroom and real-time content marketing. Oreo brought it to the world’s attention and made it big with their Super Bowl ads, but the concept continues to gain attention from companies and is attracting even more questions about how brands can integrate it into their current social media strategy.

As a concept, the purpose of the Social Newsroom is to deliver real-time, viral content that is relevant and highly engaging with a brand’s online audience – putting news, trends, online buzz and culture at the center of the content. Given many names, the social newsroom, the creative newsroom, real-time marketing, content marketing, native advertising, and others – it is about uniting the ideas of real-time, relevant, and viral content and sharing it with a brand’s online audience.

There are greater uncertainties though when trying to identify and define the pieces that contribute to making up the Social Newsroom – as a social media strategy, tool, and content development process. The purpose here is to identify the pieces we see as integral parts in developing the Social Newsroom and incorporating it into a brand’s social media strategy.

Profiling

Knowing and understanding your fans and followers increases a brand’s ability and opportunities for delivering the right content at the right time. Not only do people want to know what is happening five minutes from now, they also want to zero in on the information that is important and relevant to them – as music lovers, sports enthusiasts, parents, consumers and political activists.

Knowing fan demographics, interests, and characteristics is crucial to the creation of relevant content, giving fans the topics they are interested in, care about, and want to share within their own social networks. Looking at the brand, not only from the brand’s perspective, but also through the eyes of fans can uncover how the brand fits within their every day lives, enhancing content creation that connects and engages.

News and Social Monitoring

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More and more, news travels to people through social platforms and their online networks. In the desire to be constantly aware, social media has gained yet another purpose in people’s lives. People are looking to friends, fans and followers in their social networks to keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest news and online buzz.

Monitoring social platforms and online conversations reveals what is being talked about right now, enabling a brand to spot hot topics and issues as they happen. Focusing on real-time conversations across social platforms also give a brand the opportunity to spot trends before they become viral.  Social monitoring helps a brand get closer to its fans and understand topics and issues that are important to them.

The Organization

The evolution from traditional marketing campaigns to a newsroom mentality is not only about finding and creating great content, but also about the processes and methods through which the content is created. The Social Newsroom relies less on planning and the creation of original campaign content, and more on content discovery, curation and sharing. This shift requires additional capabilities from Community Managers, Editors and Content Creators to adapt current processes and systems. A major challenge can be the speed at which newsroom processes should function and changing the current ways of thinking and developing content.

Tools

Profiling, monitoring, content discovery and performance analysis are only a few of the ways that tools and technology can help support the Social Newsroom. There are many tools out there right now with the goal of helping brands in their efforts to build a better Social Newsroom. Some tools are helpful for profiling and getting to know your fans better, others focus on finding the most relevant stories and publishing the content in one seamless system. It is a big task to research and find the right tools, so first understand what the specific needs are for building your Social Newsroom.

Getting it Right

While there are many challenges in bringing all the pieces together, ultimately the Social Newsroom is about real-time and relevancy. It has to be happening now to break through all the other content and it has to be relevant to attract meaningful attention and recognition in the fast-paced online environment. News that has no connection to the brand or its fans will only succeed in damaging what the brand stands for, confusing fans and their relationship to the brand. Brands that get it right create relevant content because they know their online audience and because the best content not only connects with fans, but also connects fans to the brand – building better engagement and better brand relationships.

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