Nina Hübner, Communications + Marketing
Looking after our various social media channels is just one of the daily challenges facing the journalists at SWI swissinfo.ch (SWI). Posts must be brief, compact, true to the facts, and compelling. These individual short news items fight for attention on walls and feeds, making it all the more important for SWI to win readers over with an attractive and professional turn of phrase.
That's something that seemed to work well in 2017, with August seeing the SWI Facebook pages pass the one million follower mark. Community work became an increasingly integral part of our editorial teams' activities, and a focus on defined target groups produced posts more specific to their individual needs. SWI will continue to pursue this path in 2018.
Social media as a direct line to the audience
Social media makes direct contact and exchange with our readership much faster and easier. Our editorial teams spark debate, post appeals and questions, and get feedback in no time at all. This generates ideas for further stories, and in one case we identified a new profile for the SWI-produced #WeAreSwissAbroad series. Social media has an important role to play in aggregating issues and giving our readers a voice.
Our Facebook Live videos also proved to be a successful element of our swissinfo.ch channels. Our journalists used their smartphones to report on events, providing an opportunity to get directly involved, whether at the WEF, the Prix de Lausanne dance competition, Bern's traditional November Zibelemärit onion market, or live from the swissinfo.ch offices. Being able to give immediate answers to questions from the community is one of the great advantages of this format.
Nothing is produced by magic
A great deal of planning, organisation and professionalism goes into swissinfo.ch coverage. With the support of all editors and contributors, the Social Media Group worked very well during 2017, and is justly proud of the results:
All editorial teams now grasp the great importance of social media work. In 2018 we will continue to devote a great deal of energy and creativity to ensuring that fans and followers are able to follow a high quality of SWI coverage on social media.
Social media and high quality are not mutually exclusive!
In contrast to other media outlets, SWI does not employ any community managers. Each and every journalist is responsible for social media posts, and manages publication of their articles on Facebook or Twitter independently. The success of SWI on social media shows that it can be done – without resorting to games, cat pictures, or sport.