Promoting your news web site online requires more due diligence than promoting a business that sells a physical product. Like the name of your site, your domain name should be unique, recognizable and something that people can easily remember. After you set up the brand and generate content, the next step is to promote the news articles and make sure they get read. One way is to promote through social media.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer opportunities for readers to directly connect with web content. Create accounts on the most popular social media platforms. To syndicate your news feed on those services, there are a few prerequisites. Make sure that your news site has an RSS/Atom feed. With the RSS/Atom feed handy, create an account using the service “TwitterFeed.” Follow the instructions and link the RSS/Atom feed to your Facebook and Twitter. Every time you publish an article, it appears on Facebook and Twitter automatically.
When it’s convenient, be sure to login to your accounts and interact with readers and potential readers.
On Facebook fan pages, there’s limited personal interactivity between the page administrators and fans. Facebook appeals to more organic growth. You promote the articles on your site’s fan page and wait for people to “like” you: that’s not a formula for success. You can do more with a Facebook fan page — a lot more.
Consider running sponsored ads for your news site. This allows your site to receive exposure on user profiles of those within your targeted demographic. Facebook Ads offer businesses the opportunity to broadcast ads based on a specified age range, location and interests. You’ll also see very detailed estimates on how many people your ad will “reach.” Those estimates will come in handy when crafting a presentation for potential advertisers. Before you invest any money in Facebook Ads, consider the nature of your news site. If your news site appeals to a limited or niche demographic, you should focus instead on promoting your site for free by using Twitter and submitting your site to search engines.
Critics of the Facebook advertising program have said that Facebook ads are too discreet and not very engaging. To overcome these issues, you need to have ad copy that will emotionally invest people into reading the news on your website. Think like someone at a news desk. You need a captivating headline and concise teaser copy that brings people to you. Consider mentioning milestones for your publication (“Over two million subscribers!”) and announcing/reminding potential readers of resourceful sections (i.e. Classifieds). Your teaser copy must be clear and focused on one subject. Don’t hesitate to place advertisements that announce giveaways and contests held by your publication. Advertising a news site on Facebook will always be trial and error, but the likelihood of gaining new visitors will increase when you invest in longer ad campaigns. Continuously tweak your ad content until you find the right wording and demographic.