Social Media

We are “the original social media. 

We like to think that “word-of-mouth” starts in The Observer. The everyday conversations between neighbours in the communities we cover start with “did you see that article in the Observer?” 

In the past two decades plenty has changed in all our lives with the advent of digital and social media platforms. The disruption of this new technology has had some pretty chilling effects for print journalism, radio, and television. Those disruptions experienced at large publicly-traded media corporations have not translated to those of us delivering 100 per cent local news. We continue to experience growth and plan for additional growth as the initial wave of digital-only marketing is transitioning back to traditional media.

Word-of-mouth, social media, posters tacked onto a board at the grocery store is certainly one way to promote your services to the general public. Other than your time, it’s relatively inexpensive in the hope that someone will stumble upon what you post or that people will pass along positive recommendations. If you’re offering professional services, retailing, or just want to see growth for your business then these methods should only supplement how you engage the public.

We use social media to drive traffic to our website. We post regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr. The results we get from social media do not inspire us to invest more in a mode that does not do a very good job at capturing our local market. We invest more resources into our social media endeavour than many small businesses and we can’t keep up. There are just so many more social networks that continue to pop up that it further fragments how you can reach your audience online. As the digital landscape has already peaked, public fascination is waning.

We have seen a lot of businesses come and go in the past two decades. Very few of the businesses that implemented a Facebook only marketing program are here to tell you about their success. Facebook algorithms change constantly and what most business owners don’t realize is that they may be only reaching less than 3 per cent of their followers on any given post. 

In the last year Facebook has changed it's pages policy to a pay-to-play model — you will only become visible through advertising. To come close to the reach of the Observer’s circulation in a week, it will cost more than a $1000.00 to get a similar number of eyeballs on Facebook. 

Woolwich and Wellesley townships have a significant population that neither have computers let alone a Facebook account. Their community newspaper is their source of local news.

The biggest challenge with using social media is trust. 

Three quarters of Canadians trust ads in newspapers compared to 24 per cent on social media. Seven out of ten adults completely trust news from newspapers but only 15 per cent trust news posted on social media. There are plenty of stats available about how Canadians feel about what they see on social media — and it wouldn’t inspire you to place your total trust and your livelihood, in the hands of social media.