So, week one of Islington Now from the perspective of social media.
Just to give it some context we started with 858 Twitter followers, 15 Likes on FB and a Klout of 12. We finished it with 959, 33 and 37 respectively.
Islington is a social media-savvy borough. The population is young and it is home to a multitude of cutting-edge companies, not least around Old Street (AKA the Silicon Roundabout). Lots of things, of London-wide and national importance, happen here. All this means it’s possible to both source and promote stories by digital means.
I decided it was best not to launch headfirst, “hi, we’re here now!” way – so a few days before we officially started the news service, I put out some teaser tweets and concentrated on all the logistical stuff; for example setting up lists on Twitter, identifying prolific local tweeters, registering us for Hootsuite and Klout.
The first Twitter success was locating a local boxer, which led to an exclusive interview.
A key pillar in our strategy was not to use social media as an adjunct to the newspaper, but to make it a living and breathing part of Islington Now. We definitely achieved this. Over the course of the week, using social media, we found and/or amplified stories on Cycle to School week, protests against the NHS bill (involving local luminaries such as MP Jeremy Corbyn), a new signing for Arsenal and land sell-off by Islington Council. From the opening of a new gastro pub to the trial of a local solicitor, social media was a lynchpin in many stories.
We wanted to be personable and encourage connectivity; and that’s definitely been a feature of Islington Now 2012’s first week. We located a witness to commuter fisticuffs at Highbury & Islington station, new street graffiti by the enigmatic Grafter, and even got mistaken for the council (which means we must be doing something right);
According to Google Analytics our social media referral rates were pretty good too;
It’s probably no coincidence that statistically the most popular article, on the Blacksmith & Toffeemaker pub, garnered tweets and was shared on FB.
Oh and top marks for getting a FB share from Jeremy Corbyn for Andrew’s NHS protest pics.
Onwards and upwards for next week!