The Great Bend Tribune has reached a social media milestone, Publisher Mary Hoisington said. It recently hit 10,000 likes and followers on its Facebook page.
“This is a big deal for us,” Hoisington said. “We have firmly embraced digital and social media and this landmark shows our loyal readers have responded.”
But, this hasn’t happened overnight.
“It takes a lot of hard work by several dedicated individuals to achieve consistent growth of Facebook Page Likes and followers,” said Tribune Circulation Director Shonita Swank. It involved Hoisington, the newsroom staff and the circulation staff.
“Facebook is constantly changing things and we have to keep up with the latest changes in order to provide consistency for our followers,” she said.
In September of 2015, the paper had barely reached 4,500-page likes. Now it is over 10,000-page likes as well as followers.
“Historically, and typical of most Facebook pages, your page likes are more than your FB followers,” Swank said. This occurs because people will Like your page, but do not want to see it in their news feed every time something is posted, so they unfollow your page.
“In this past year, our FB follows have surpassed our likes, meaning that even though someone may not have clicked ‘Like’ on our page, we are important enough to them to follow us and want us in their news feeds consistently,” she said.
“We interact with our followers consistently,” Swank said. The Tribune responds to post comments, reacts to comments and responds to messages.
“Facebook has given us a ‘Very Responsive’ rating, a 100% response rate for responding to follower’s concerns quickly and consistently,” Swank said.
The Tribune interacts with viewers in several ways. Among these are news stories that are posted, announcements and emergency postings that go out in times of a disaster. All drive traffic to the site, said Managing Editor Dale Hogg.
“It has become a useful tool to get the word out quickly,” he said. “We have been able to respond on a dime to get timely news to readers in times of crisis, such as during storms.”
In addition, Swank holds Facebook Friday Contests. “These contests that we hold every Friday are very popular. They give our followers something to look forward to each week on our page,” she said.
She has even worked with local businesses (who provide prizes) to help promote their pages and websites, she said.
Follow the Tribune on Facebook at wwwlfacebook.com/gbtribune.