You've heard it before: newspapers should be using Facebook. But what should they be doing?
Here's what some of the best newspaper pages on Facebook are doing right. (Instead of looking through all newspaper pages I could find on Facebook, I started out with this list. I also included a few from here.)
Read on to see what Facebook features you should be taking advantage of (even if you're not in the news business).
Custom Like Tab
Many newspapers do very well with a custom tab welcoming new users by asking them to like the page.
I very much like the like tab of the San Jose Mercury News page: it's clear and simple and yet stylish. I also love their profile picture and the way it includes details about other social media profiles users can find them on.
Ditto for the Detroit Free Press. They not only invite people to like them, but also give them reasons to post on the Wall.
SF Chronicle has a cool welcome page that asks you to download the iPad app.
I do think the New York Times could do better with their "fan us" tab. I mean, Facebook doesn't even call them fans anymore, NYT. Do get with the times. Take some inspiration from the LA Times.
Custom Welcome Tab
Some don't ask you to like the page, but welcome you in different ways. The Arizona Republic (actually, I'm using the AZCentral Facebook page because this seems to be the main one even though there's another, much less popular, page for the Arizona Republic) welcomes users by asking them to like on other related pages.
The Chicago Tribune's welcome tab has links users might be interested in. It asks users to sign up for alerts and points them to different Chicago Tribune fan pages.
It also asks users to invite their friends.
Regular and Engaging Content on the Wall
I love the Denver Post's Wall, with its combination of news, commentary and questions.
USA Today's is good too, and each post gets dozens (and sometimes, hundreds) of comments.
I like the tone of the LA Times' wall posts: the pithy comments work well for the medium.
Cleveland could take a clue from them and include a line of commentary on the news items they post.
Other Social Media Profiles and Pages
The Chicago Tribune takes it further than AZCentral by having a separate "More Pages" tab where users can view and like other related pages.
However, AZCentral also has a page that showcases its Twitter feed.
Tie In With Core Business
What else can you do that is relevant to your business and keeps your fans informed and connected?
AZ Central has an "odd news of the day" and a "fact check" page. They also have a tab where you can fill in a form to give them a news tip. Way to harness the power of the community, AZ Central!
The New York Daily News embeds live chat into its page.
The Mercury News and a few others have a Daily Deals tab.
USA Today asks you to subscribe . . .
And also puts up job openings.
Now I'm gonna go see which of these we can implement on our Facebook page. What about you?