On Tuesday, August 16, we hosted a #ConnectChat featuring Kim Bui (@kimbui), social media and community editor at KPCC, a part of Southern California Public Radio, a member-supported public radio network.
Our topic was Using Facebook for Journalism. Kim shared her experiences both as a journalist and community editor to provide advice regarding how Facebook can be used to help members of the media.
ProfNet: Welcome to today's #ConnectChat! This is @sazzollini taking over @ProfNet for Maria while she is on vacation.
KimBui: I'm on #connectchat today, talking about Facebook and journalism. Join me.
ProfNet: Today's #ConnectChat is called Using Facebook for Journalism with @kimbui. Kim manages KPCC's social media and engagement.
GnosisArts: @ProfNet Hi Sandy, how are you? Eric, Gnosis Arts Media Group, joining in #connectchat.
KimBui: Hi everyone! Glad to be here.
ProfNet: Thanks for joining #connectchat Kim. Are you ready to get started?
ProfNet: @GnosisArts Hi Eric! Thanks for joining #connectchat! I hope you have some questions for @kimbui!
shelhorowitz: @kimbui @sazzollini Looking forward to your #connectchat.
ProfNet: Kim, can you please tell us about what you do and about your experience as a digital journalist.
ProfNet: @shelhorowitz Thanks Shel! We are looking forward to your questions/comments.
KimBui: I run social media and engagement for KPCC, a NPR station. I've been in web for 4 years, as a web producer and social media editor.
ProfNet: 4 years is a lifetime on the web! So how did you first get a start in journalism and specifically web journalism?
KimBui: So, I actually started as a reporter, but began a fashion blog and loved it. I later convinced my boss to let me try the web. The bar is so low for the web, anyone can try, and should.
GnosisArts: @kimbui What is your favorite aspect of social media management?
KimBui: @GnosisArts I do a lot of strategy, and less production. The best part of social media is that it changes every day – I’m always learning.
ProfNet: How would you say that experimenting w/a fashion blog helped you get your current role at KPCC? How did you convince?
GnosisArts: @kimbui Are you at liberty to share a little about the strategy sessions for social media you engage in?
KimBui: My blog is where I learned HTML, CSS and the concept of failing. There was no one at my paper doing social media so it was an easy sell.
KimBui: @GnosisArts Well, we have focused a lot on the past year on Facebook. We've tried Facebook-only content as well as contests. I also spend a fair amount of time working with reporters to incorporate social media into their workflow.
ProfNet: On the topic of strategy, KPCC has almost 12,000 likes on its Facebook fan page. What strategy did you use when it was created?
KimBui: The page existed before me, but I got us to cite Facebook more on air, start contests, and get as Facebook integration on the site. I also make sure to respond to questions and be as human as possible on the page. That's helped a lot.
freshflack: Dropping in #connectchat for KPCC's @kimbiu on digital journalism. (Desiree, KPCC fan, old Pasadenian, now NYC at jCommMedia.)
GnosisArts: @kimbui Care to post a link to the KPCC Facebook page? We may wish to follow.
ProfNet: Would you say that is key thing for a company fan page? Human ownership/interaction?
KimBui: @GnosisArts facebook.com/kpccfm :)
KimBui: I intensely dislike automation. Humanize as much as your resources will allow you. Facebook is all about loyalty, so give back, too. Facebook is a two-way street. You "like" a brand because you love them, you have to show fans you love them back.
KimBui: @freshflack Hi! Glad to have you here.
ProfNet: For the few people out there that may still be automating, do you have any examples of where it backfired to share?
KimBui: Well, automation won't kill you, but Facebook users are smart. They know when you're not being real. That said, humanizing with the wrong person can backfire. Don't argue, take the high road.
GnosisArts: I think there are times when automation is called for, and works well. Not all orgs have a FT community manager or social media manager to rely on.
ProfNet: So is that how KPCC gets people to engage with its fan page? Showing the love? What does that entail?
KimBui: @GnosisArts Well, automation is OK. But think about why you come to Facebook - to talk to your friends. No one wants to be talked at.
ttr_the_engager: Apparently there's a #ConnectChat going on now: Facebook for #Journalism w/ @kimbui.
SweetSoaps: Join @ProfNet on #connectchat.
KimBui:We do as much as we can to. We give away tickets. We've done some Facebook-only content and intend to do more.
SweetSoaps: @kimbui is speaker today on #connectchat.
GnosisArts: @kimbui Agree, but what if your objective in using Facebook is not to talk to "friends" but to sell a product or service?
KimBui: @GnosisArts BTW, there's a number of services you can use to schedule FB posts. That should help with the load.
ProfNet: @GnosisArts @KimBui As a news org using Facebook for journalism, what can you automate or not? Is it different for news vs. corporation?
KimBui: @GnosisArts That's the mistake most people make. This is *their* community, not ours. I'm not on FB to be marketed to.
GnosisArts: @kimbui Understood, but contests, giveaways, promos - all a form of marketing. You are marketing to them already.
KimBui: We still have some accounts using automation, but I encourage them to interact as well. Our main page is not automated at all.
SweetSoaps: @kimbui If you use social media correct you are never selling. Educating is key to brand awareness & loyalty. Don't beat dead horses.
KimBui: @GnosisArts Of course, but if you're too market-y they'll turn you off. If you're personable and fun, they'll keep following. Look at the best brands on FB, Nordstroms, Sprouts and Victoria's secret treat FB as community, not a sales pitch.
ProfNet: Thanks all! Let's get back on topic, using Facebook for journalism. So how do you feel about journalists having pages on Facebook?
SweetSoaps: @SweetSoaps Exactly. You want to make them love your brand all the more, so your fans become your evangelists.
KimBui: It's a lot to ask a journalist to have a page, a twitter account, a Quora, etc. AND reporting. But it's a good way to engage. Nick Kristof is an amazing example of how a reporter can use Facebook for journalists. He's cited often. Here's his page: t.co/NKgOOLO
SweetSoaps: @kimbui I would imagine journalists have more potential leads & different story angles having social media presence.
webjournalist: @kimbui is doing an awesome job at #connectchat. It's not too late to join, I think.
ProfNet: Should all journalists have a fan page and what are the advantages?
KimBui: They do. Social media allows them to reach an audience that they never would have otherwise.
SweetSoaps: @kimbui insider info & contacts that would make a journalists career stellar! #secrets
KimBui: I'm not one to force journalists to do anything, but I think engaging on Facebook is important. Seven hundred million people at your fingertips!
Skinnytwinkie: @ProfNet It's a great way to connect with those telling stories. They can get immediate feedback from readers!
ProfNet: Or like @skinnytwinkie says is it's a great way to connect with those telling stories & they can get immediate feedback.
KimBui: seven hundred million people can work to your advantage either way: broadcasting or sourcing. It's immediate, total engagement.
ProfNet: We want to hear more on this immediate engagement and feedback - do you have any quick war stories to share?
KimBui: We had a question go totally wrong once. We used facebook’s poll feature to ask something about gay marriage and it exploded. Our fans totally reacted to how we phrased the questions: as an either/or.
ProfNet: Interesting, how did you manage the reaction? Were you able to keep the explosion on Facebook?
KimBui: It stayed on the page, but as far as small errors like that on Facebook, I apologize a lot. We're humble, and our users appreciate it. We've had some situations from real life flow onto Facebook, but we post notes. I work with our program director on responses.
EditorEv: Kim, why do you think there has been a rise in the number of #journalists signing up with Facebook?
KimBui: Well, @editorev, I'd point to @lavrusik. There's been a push to get more journalists on Facebook, plus popularity overall is growing.
ProfNet: So how do you feel about handling pitches on Facebook?
GnosisArts: @kimbui Do you use particular apps for running your Facebook contests, or are they custom made?
KimBui: We have taken story tips on Facebook, but rarely pitches. We tend to get more on Twitter, though. More on pitches, I would rather get a message as a pitch, than a post on our wall.
KimBui: @GnosisArts We hack together something with Google Forms and an app for custom tabs. When we do enough we'll pay for an app.
ProfNet: I think we can agree that with social networks like Facebook or Twitter, pitches as direct messages are better for all involved. This question is for the PR people on the chat - have you pitched a journalist over Facebook? What were your results?
SweetSoaps: @kimbui do journalists find it annoying to be pitched via direct message? What is preference?
HeidiRaff: @ProfNet You probably don't want a journalist's perspective on that, do you?
KimBui: @SweetSoaps Direct message is preferred. Anything private is better than public. If I get a pitch I like, I'll move from direct message to e-mail. However, don't pitch me from nowhere. Take some time to follow and engage first. I'm more likely to trust you then.
KristenFischer: I never pitch on Facebook because it's more personal. Twitter or LinkedIn is a better business forum, I think.
KimBui: @kristenfischer That's totally true. But I do have a page. I'd find it intrusive if you pitched through my profile.
KimBui: @heidiraff Hah, that's a good analogy.
ProfNet: Is it mainly younger journalists or do you also see older journalists on Facebook?
KimBui: It's a mix of both. Facebook is getting much older, the fastest growing group is 50-somethings, I think.
HeidiRaff: @kimbui I keep my Facebook page on private status for professional reasons. PR pitching is one of them.
GnosisArts: @ProfNet not good. re: pitching journos on twitter (@heidiraff & I have bantered about this a bit lately, haven't we, Heidi?)
KimBui: @heidiraff Do you have a page, though? I have a VERY private profile, and a public page, for that reason.
HeidiRaff: @ProfNet I know this sounds goofy, but on Facebook, I play stupid games for fun. Who wants a PR pitch when you're playing Petville? :-)
ProfNet: Overall how do you see journalists using social media in the future? Will it grow or level off?
GnosisArts: I hadn't considered LinkedIn as an avenue for pitching ...hmmm? Why would anyone want to receive a pitch on LinkedIn?
ShelHorowitz: @ProfNet Sorry, I got distracted by the arrival of my son. Reading it all now.
ProfNet: You have a point there! :) MT @heidiraff: On Facebook, I play stupid games for fun. Who wants a PR pitch when you're playing Petville?
KimBui: @ProfNet It'll grow. I don't expect it to be always just FB and Twitter. The space has a lot of growth coming to it.
MariyamAli: @kimbui Does a fan page any meaningful/useful for a desk person (producer, etc.)?
TheHealthMaven: @GnosisArts Foul ball re: receiving a pitch.
HeidiRaff: @GnosisArts Oh, I get LinkedIn pitches all the time and I'm great with that. I get to know PR people better on LinkedIn.
ProfNet: So in time as a result of its efforts, we may see more professional journalist pages on Facebook, but it's still growing. Do you think news orgs will someday move all their content to Facebook or another social media platform to save on costs?
KimBui: I highly doubt it. I know one organization has done it (t.co/ouc868V) but you don't own that content. For me, that'd be a huge issue. If Facebook were to ever go down, how would you get archives?
KristenFischer: @kimbui Oh, I guess if you have a business page then that works, too!
ProfNet: So @kimbui, you also work with the Online News Association. What's your role there?
KimBui: I love @ONA. I'm mostly a volunteer. I organize local events with some help and I'm helping with this year's conference.
ProfNet: Tell us more about this year's upcoming @ONA conference. How can it help a digital journalist?
KimBui: @heidiraff That's true. But I know some journalists with pages who take pitches. That's acceptable to me, but rarely done.
KimBui: #ONA11 should have plenty for everyone, from social media to gamification to legal issues. It's also a great party.
ProfNet: You also cofounded #wjchat, a weekly Twitter chat for web journalists. What made you start this chat & when does it take place?
HeidiRaff: @kimbui Interesting. I guess it depends on 1) the news outlet for which you work & 2) your personal tolerance on personal space.
KimBui: @ProfNet A group of us were unhappy with the lack of Twitter chats for journalists specifically. So, on a whim, we created #wjchat.
Tomi-Ola: @ProfNet What days do you hold #wjchat please? I would love to follow that as well.
KimBui: It's every Wed at 5pm. PST and has amazed me with its success.
KimBui: @heidiraff Pages are meant to be very public. Profiles are not. If you have a page, then you should expect that.
KimBui: Thanks for having me, @ProfNet! This was fun.
Tomi-Ola: Found some interesting industry people to follow this evening - thanks to #connectchat.
ONA: We love you too! MT @kimbui: I love @ONA. I organize local events with some help and I'm helping with this year's conference.
GnosisArts: @MariyamAli @profnet @kimbui Thanks everyone. It was a very engaging #connectchat! Appreciate the conversation!