WAN: Dutch paper reveals benefits of social media

A Dutch newspaper has revealed some innovative ways to build audiences and brand awareness through social media.

Lara Ankersmit, publisher of Telegraaf.nl in the Netherlands, told the World Association of Newspapers readership conference in Amsterdam that the Telegraaf had attracted new audiences to its website by teaming up with Dutch social networking site Hyves to creative games and editorial content around popular sporting events.

During Euro 2008, Telegraaf created a game on Hyves that allowed users to predict who would win matches. It then went on to do a similar feature during the Beijing Olympics, incorporating editorial content including blogs from the newspaper’s journalists reporting from the games.

The games and content were promoted on both websites and in the newspaper, with the intention of driving more traffic to Telegraph.nl.

In return for this partnership, Ankersmit said the newspaper got new users, brand awareness, and additional value for its advertisers.

Ankersmit said: “They [Hyves] really liked to work with us because we have the editorial content they don’t have.

“It added strong value for advertising – a strong branding base on a popular sporting event, combined with editorial authority.”

When asked what was the point of the new users if they were only interested in the games, Ankersmit replied that it had had a lasting affect on the amount of traffic on their website that comes from Hyves.

She said: “We started with no traffic from Hyves, but during the [sporting] events and working together with them we saw a huge rise, during Euro 2008 and Tour de France we got thousands more per cent of visitors from Hyves.

“After the events this slowed down but it didn’t go down to the level we started with, so we still see visits to our website from Hyves.”

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