In the wake of recent changes to the Facebook News Feed, which will show less content from publishers and more from friends and family, public radio is adjusting how it uses the platform to drive web traffic and prioritizing more engagement with its Facebook fans.
According to Current, National Public Radio (NPR) is encouraging reporters and producers to use Facebook for gathering information and sources by using forms to share information. It’s an approach used by NPR during Hurricane Irma, which resulted in first-person accounts from listeners in affected areas. The network also uses separate Facebook Groups, such as the community page on saving and investing, “Your Money And Your Life,” to interact with fans who are interested in a specific subject. And NPR is exploring the idea of sending news alerts through Facebook Messenger that would highlight Facebook posts or content on NPR.org.
On the local station level, Pasadena Area Community College news/talk KPCC Los Angeles (89.3) is working to increase engagement with its listeners via Facebook. “We’re trying to get better at listening to what the conversation is in our community and in our audience and then trying to tap into that conversation,” senior digital editor Melissa Leu told Current.
NPR.org managing editor Sara Goo believes the new Facebook algorithm could actually benefit public media outlets who offer news and relevant content as opposed to other publishers who engage in clickbait on the social network.
Facebook made an adjustment to its recent News Feed changes at the end of January to include, and feature more prominently, posts from local news sources.
“At the end of the day, we don’t really know how the algorithm works, so it’s hard to say,” Goo said. “We are really going from one black box to another. We just have a few more clues.”