What is Social-First?
Social-first journalism prioritizes producing shareable, captivating journalism with social media platforms in mind. In this approach, social media platforms serve as the primary medium to reach and engage audiences. Producing social-first stories encourages journalists to tailor the story and presentation to suit the unique characteristics and constraints of each social media platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.
For solutions journalism, social-first storytelling presents an opportunity to frame stories according to working responses rather than the problem in a format and platforms that are commonly used by audiences, especially younger ones.
Here are some tips on how to produce social-first solutions journalism that resonates with audiences:
Know Your Audience: To produce social-first solutions stories, it’s important to understand your audience's needs and preferences on social media. Conducting social media listening and surveys can provide valuable insights into their interests, concerns, and pain points. That knowledge can inform your choice of platform, format, tone, and messaging.
Choose the Right Platform: Each social media platform has its unique characteristics and constraints that require different approaches. For example, Twitter is ideal for breaking news, while Instagram is better suited for visual storytelling. TikTok, with its short-form video format, is a great platform for producing engaging and shareable solutions journalism content.
Tailor Your Story: To make your solutions journalism story resonate with young audiences, it’s critical to make it relatable, accessible, and actionable. Think about compelling visuals, simple language, and a conversational tone to capture their attention and hold their interest.
Encourage Interaction: Social-first solutions journalism is not just about sharing information but also engaging readers and encouraging participation. Use interactive formats such as polls, quizzes, and Q&As to encourage dialogue and feedback. Incorporating social media influencers or user-generated content can also enhance engagement and reach.
Producing a social-first solutions stories can have several benefits
Social-first stories are bite-sized and can be easily consumed by your audience.
Reaching a broader and younger audience that may not consume traditional news media.
Encouraging engagement and participation through interactive formats such as polls, quizzes, and Q&As.
Social-first stories are often more cost-effective than traditional news production in TV, radio or newspaper.
Generating revenue through the platform’s monetization packages.
Enhancing your newsroom’s sustainability in today’s ever-changing media landscape.