By Christopher Miles, CrowdTangle Partnerships
What happens when you roll CrowdTangle out to your entire newsroom? Journalists find new stories. Editors build dynamic digital strategies. Product managers come up with new product ideas. Sales teams find new ways to do what they do best. That would be the hope anyways.
At CrowdTangle we’re always asked how people can roll out our tool within their (usually very large) organization. We get it, you’re finding all kinds of cool uses for CrowdTangle and want the rest of your company to do the same.
Dan Edström, development editor of social media at Swedish newspaper Expressen, led a rollout of CrowdTangle to over 150 people, and has tips on how you can do the same.
“Social media is a part of almost every operation in a newsroom today and everyone should at least have access to a tool that will help them with that,” Dan explains.
Newsrooms are tied to social media more than ever, and editors, journalists, product managers and CEOs are all looking at the latest trends happening across all of the platforms. CrowdTangle has a lot to offer each of these. Here’s how Dan gave CrowdTangle to his entire company.
So, how many people on your team use CrowdTangle? How do they use it every day?
Over 150 people. Most of them only use the Facebook dashboard and it’s not all on a daily basis, but everyone who wants to try CrowdTangle will get help to get started.
The main feature being used are Lists. Most departments have built their own Lists in order to find stories from sources spanning local community groups to media giants in the U.S., and to track their competition.
The Lists are either scanned by users in the dashboards themselves, or used as a foundation for Live Displays or Notifications. We also have Live Displays up on big screens to show Leaderboards and top posts.
What was the moment that you realized CrowdTangle was benefiting you?
As we had been using other similar tools before CrowdTangle, the defining CT moment was when we started working with the historical data and really started digging into those CSV files. That added a new dimension to the way we work with social media.
We used the historical data to check back on different news stories and events to see what resonated with our audience and with our competitors audiences. Quite a few lessons could be learned from looking back on something that happened just a few weeks ago.
How did you actually roll CrowdTangle out to your whole newsroom? What was the process?
The first thing we did was to create notifications that sent out e-mail reports telling the recipients how we were performing on Facebook and Twitter. That created an interest in CrowdTangle and curiosity about this new tool we had.
Second we presented CrowdTangle at a seminar that also focused generally on finding news via social media. After that everyone was invited to CrowdTangle.
First we asked people to apply for CT access, but when I thought that too few did that I just started adding people.
That didn’t automatically turn everyone into a power user, so after that we started producing Live Displays, Lists, Slack alerts and just about anything that would help different departments and single reporters in their daily work.
We also encouraged people to join your webinars, which was a great help in educating that many people.
Why did you decide to roll out CT to the extent you did?
Social media is a part of almost every operation in a newsroom today and everyone should at least have access to a tool that will help them with that.
Ever since we started our social media team, almost five years ago now, we have tried to make sure that knowledge isn’t isolated within the team. So the decision to roll out CrowdTangle to everyone just came naturally to us.
What have been the results after the rollout? Any cool anecdotes or data you could share around this?
The best part is that it has made social media management really integrated in everyday work, all over our newsroom. And not just the newsroom. Our analytics team is using CrowdTangle, developers are starting to look into what they could do with it and we have had separate CrowdTangle dashboards set up for Bonnier News Brand Studio now. They are our innovation and native ad agency, and we’re now looking into how we could use CrowdTangle on the commercial side of our operations.
What do you recommend other companies do if they were looking to scale out CT the way that you did?
Don’t hesitate, just do it.
And invest time in following up what each department really needs from CrowdTangle. You will learn lots just by talking to people who aren’t part of a social media team on how they would like to work with CrowdTangle and social media in general.
Do you have a specific example where CrowdTangle has helped your newsroom to find a particular story? What happened with that story? How many views did that story end up getting?
One of our first CT nuggets was one that showed up in a search for the word “Swedish” in a list. It was a story in the Belfast Telegraph about the trial of a woman who had bombed a police station in Northern Ireland. In the story, photos of a Swedish woman were mentioned. The woman in the photos turned out to be a well known model and blogger, Sanne Andersson, who is also the girlfriend of a famous Swedish NHL hockey player, Jacob Josefson of the New Jersey Devils. The terrorist had used photos of Sanne to create fake social media profiles in order to attract followers to her cause.
One of our sports reporters did the story, which included Sanna telling us about Swedish Security Services interrogating her about whether she knew any terrorists in Belfast.
What are Expressen’s social media challenges?
As we are blessed with having lots of direct traffic to our site, we’re not that vulnerable to things like the recent changes to News Feed. So I’d say the challenge is the same as always — deciding what to do completely off platform and what to do in order to generate traffic, and what resources we should put into the two.
What was it like managing social before using CrowdTangle?
It was done by fewer people on several tools that cost us quite a lot of money.
CrowdTangle gives us more opportunities to experiment and to involve more people in the process.