The Sheridan Press reached a milestone this month. It wasn’t a birthday or the hiring of the first female sports editor, no, it’s a Facebook milestone.
We’ve officially reached more than 1,000 likes on the world famous social media site.
I know, I know, we’re no Rihanna (she has more than 82 million likes) or Taylor Swift (she has more than 52 million), but we came to the social media party a little late.
When I first started at The Press just six years ago, our website was as simple as possible. Readers only had a couple of options — look at obituaries or download a PDF of the paper.
Now, you can read specific articles, browse photo galleries, check the classifieds, submit letters to the editor and so much more.
We’ve come a long way.
But even with the website redesigns we didn’t put as much effort as we should have into developing our social media following.
We didn’t engage readers as much. We spoke at them, rather than to them. We’re better about that now.
Nearly every longterm planning meeting we have as a newsroom includes a discussion about social media — how to use it to find sources, how to inform readers through it and how to get readers to interact with us.
In addition, our social media sites like Facebook have allowed us to keep more readers up to date on breaking news in Sheridan County.
One of our benchmark days recently was in February when we reported that a fire had destroyed the Chuckwagon convenience store in Story. We got 58 new likes that day. The posts included photos and updates as the story unfolded. It was a tragic event, but the store was well-known and gained a following throughout the news day.
We’ve continued to grow steadily since then, racking up a total of 1,017 likes as of about 4:30 last night.
The Press has a Twitter handle as well, @Sheridan_Press.
We’re not at 1,000 followers on there yet, but I think Twitter has been a little slower to take off in Sheridan than the larger metropolitan areas.
When I visit Chicago, it seems like everyone is on Twitter.
Here, not as much.
@Sheridan_Press has 389 followers, mostly locals and former residents looking for updated sports scores or breaking news.
If you like being “in the know” or want to interact with press reporters, check us out on Facebook or Twitter. We’re constantly updating the pages and when we know, so will you.