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.

Read our full report: “After a decade, it’s time to reinvent social media in newsrooms”

  • 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.