Use social media to build your Maneater, er, brand

I follow you guys. And I love it.

One of the great things about studying and teaching in the Missouri college journalism community is the strength of all our campus papers. You Missouri College Media Association students may not know it (your advisers do) but if you are one of the best here, you are one of the best anywhere.

One of the greatest things about the new era of journalism is also one of the things that is often fingered as the murderer of the printed newspaper: the Internet. I am one of those who think that at the other end of this transitional period is a brighter, better future for print newspapers.

Pollyannaish? Perhaps. But there are  a few Missouri college papers that make me want to read them. Not visit their Websites. Not read their tweets. Not go a Facebooking. Read them. See them. Hold them. Why? Because I visit their Websites, read their tweets and love their appearance on my Facebook newsfeed.

That’s right. There are some Missouri college papers out there that are using the Internet to the advantage of their print offering. Here are a few of you and why I am a fan of how you are using the Internet and social media to build your brand.

The Maneater

You know that scene at the end of Animal House? Dean Wormer looks at the Deathmobile bearing down on him and says with a strange mixture of disgust and admiration, “I hate those guys.” That is The Maneater. I spent five years in that “Wormer moment” as a student.

Why? Because they are good. Very good.

This morning, I got several interesting story links from The Maneater in my Facebook feed. And I got several interesting story tweets through Twitter. And the best thing? They weren’t the same things.

What a concept. Targeting student life-type stories to Facebook and targeting hard news stories to Twitter. I use Twitter for information gathering. I use Facebook to relax and interact. You wouldn’t wear a thong to church (well, The Maneater staff actually might…) and you wouldn’t wear a tie to the swimming pool. Appropriate material in the appropriate place.

Example: I got a link to a story saying Mizzou “can’t afford to turn down the SEC” via Facebook. I got tweets about an international student scholarship story and an enrollment story.

Guess what? I read all of them. Bam! Page clicks. I went to the PDFs of the print product. Bam! Advertisers served. And if Columbia, Mo., were closer to Kansas City I would drive there and get a copy. Like I do with….

The Griffon News

My biggest disappointment today was that the PDFs link wasn’t working on their Website. No kidding. And I am looking for a job.

These guys are getting sneaky good surprisingly fast.

Their Website is WordPress-driven and is one of the cleanest ones I visit. And I visit all of you and a lot of others.

The biggest plus here is they seem to post things as they happen, so they drive me back frequently. However, I haven’t found them on  Twitter. And I don’t get regular Facebook feeds. If that changes, that presence could really make their brand take off.

Others that get my attention — even when my attention is elsewhere — by using social media: Drury Mirror, Student Life at Washington University, SLU University News, SLCC-Meramec Montage, The Webster Journal and The Standard at Missouri State University.

But for my money, no one gets it and does it better than The Maneater.


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