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Want a social media team that’s ready for 2018? Here’s what you can do now.

What can you do now to create a social media team that’s ready for the accountability reporting you’ll do in 2018 — and in upcoming elections? Here are ideas from experts in our social media strategy study.

  • To build community interest and engagement, try starting the conversation on social media and continuing it in your publication, rather than the other way around.
  • Resist the temptation to post every link to every piece of your content. Focus on fewer items and the best platforms for that content.
  • If no one on your hiring team has a deep understanding of social media in newsrooms, hire an outside consultant or bring in an expert from another part of your company to help interview social media job candidates.
  • Work with your local university to help update social journalism curriculum to match current and future newsroom needs.
  • A solid first step in getting to know your audience: Check the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder for deep data about your town or region.
  • Create a closed, subscribers-only Facebook group for newsrooms that use a subscription model.
  • Can’t afford offsite conferences? Tap the experts in your own news organization for peer-to-peer training. API’s Changemaker Network can help.
  • Start building a cohesive voice and strategy — even if your social media duties are spread throughout the staff — by creating a comprehensive guidebook that can be updated easily.
  • To learn more about reaching audiences and producing engaging content, hire a smart “social influencer” from a social platform as a consultant or full-time staffer.
  • To develop better strategies to fight misinformation, study the strategies used by the purveyors of misinformation: hyperpartisan sites, fake news creators, and trolls.
  • If you want a deeper understanding of the social media influencers in your community, try partnering with a local university on a “network mapping” project.

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