Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sarasota, Fla.

Size of Facebook audience: 24,653 followers as of November 13, 2016

Strategies tested (See all): link to all here and to specific strategies in the following list

  1. Engage Authentically: Share yourselves and your process.
  2. Engage Authentically: Host meaningful conversation.

Project lead: Brian Ries, digital editor. He manages the Herald-Tribune’s online presence, fro special projects to daily news. He works to driving traffic, innovate and engage readers. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Ries wrote this about what he took away from the project: “There are simple ways to gain a few more comments/likes and drive more traffic on Facebook, but truly engaging with readers takes some serious thought and a little more work before you throw up a post. It’s a relationship, and like any relationship it is more fulfilling for everyone involved when you put in some effort.”

The Herald-Tribune staff said conversation was a primary goal, and they had big successes with the host meaningful conversation strategy. A post about new fire stations and another about dangerous driving conditions both prompted followers to weigh in on matters of local interest. A post about “killer robots,” after the Dallas police shootings, drew outrage on a national issue.

Less successful conversation posts addressed Amazon Prime Day and the Olympics.

Although the Herald-Tribune didn’t officially select a Tell Your Story strategy, they had a couple of posts that very effectively drew attention to the impact of their work: one about the firing of a prosecutor after a series of stories and another about how a health reporter’s work affected lives.