“Though my current work and interests are centered around social media, I do see myself expanding beyond traditional platforms to reach and serve readers.”
2022 MJ Bear Fellowship project
In an effort to expand content reach and serve our readers where they are, I’ve been working alongside the audience team at The 19th to build a new cross-departmental workflow. In the past six months, I’ve audited our social media visuals to learn what garners engagement then worked with the visuals team to improve our current templates and create new templates. This project is meant to build brand awareness across distributed platforms, create an immersive experience for our followers, innovate how we inform and engage with our audience, and establish a cross-functional strategy to elevate our distribution methods and strengthen internal working relationships. Since the pandemic started, I’ve noticed that more Instagram users are using the platform to access and share news. Often, this content comes in the form of carousel posts from accounts that are not necessarily credible. It’s important for newsrooms to establish their presence on Instagram to provide trustworthy news and combat misinformation. And it’s essential to remove barriers for readers to access the information they need, so a key part of this project is adding context to our Instagram posts. This may impact link clicks, but will better serve our audiences. With this mission in mind, I pitched and developed an Instagram template for our 19th Explains series with our brand designer. Another key part of this project has been to leverage the share feature on Instagram since that’s how information — credible or not — spreads. I reviewed post-performance to make a data-informed case for the brand designer to help improve existing templates. The outcome was less text-heavy and more visually captivating templates that lead to increased shares. As a young newsroom, many of our audience goals are centered around growing our audience and establishing our brand. By working closely with the visuals team, I’ve been able to ensure our brand remains strong in social templates. From logos to colors and copy, we keep our posts consistent so our followers will instantly recognize our posts as trustworthy content and stop scrolling, knowing they will learn something new. The most important part of this project is that we are building a more nimble and audience-informed cross-team strategy. By better understanding each team’s work, we’ve been able to create social templates that better serve our readers. In three months since debuting the new templates, our Instagram has gained 5.3% more followers, 68.6% more impressions and 18.5% more engagements than the previous period, plus I’ve helped lead a 133% increase in post volume. Internally, we have been able to build a strategy that allows us to integrate the audience from beginning to end.