The Fresno Bee

Fresno, California

Size of Facebook audience: 104,413 followers as of Nov. 13, 2016

Strategies tested (See all): 

  1. Tell Your Story: Communicate core value in stand alone posts
  2. Tell Your Story: Communicate core value with content
  3. Engage Authentically: Interact like a human
  4. Engage Authentically: Host meaningful conversation
  5. Deploy Your Fans: Invite your users to help them inform the world

When the Fresno Bee set out to be a part of the experiment, they wanted to work on being more consistent with their engagement. In addition, the newsroom wanted to find a way to let their community know the paper is still there and has a lot to offer.

Project Lead: Kathy Mahan, Features and Lifestyle Editor. Mahan is the editor of arts, entertainment and lifestyle coverage. She also aids in social media posting and content creation. Mahan has been at the Fresno Bee for 16 years. You can connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter.

Hear from Mahan about her newsroom’s experience:

Overall, the Bee had great success with both of the engage authentically strategies. When it came to interacting like a human, the newsroom engaged in this strategy by asking their users questions and appealing to the audience’s emotions. All posts mentioned here well exceeded their average metrics. This post asked about local NICU, and another post talked about the passing of a local community member. A post asking about local restaurants and one asking about Pokemon Go also did very well.

The newsroom continued to engage with its audience during hosting a meaningful conversation by asking users about their opinions. Overall, the audience reacted very well to these posts and easily jumped into the conversation. The paper also got involved in the comments and discussion. One post asked about alcohol being served at a local movie theater, and another asked parents if they were ready for a new club at school.

In addition, the Bee also experienced great success when deploying their fans. They focused their social efforts on inviting users to share information that could help better the community. This post invited users to share information about a dangerous new street drug. Another shared important information about a food recall.This strategy also really took off for the newsroom by sharing entertainment-related posts like this one.

The Fresno Bee struggled more with both of the tell your story strategies. For communicating a core value, the audience did not seem to respond as much to posts that were solely about the paper and not the people within it. For example, This post solely illustrated the paper’s mission. The audience responded even less to communicating a core value with content. The newsroom focused its efforts on this strategy by talking about the paper and the product it delivers to the community. For example, this post focused the value of being a watchdog.