By Sabrina Bates
Revenue. It’s the most-driving factor in any business model. Owners are in business to make money. There isn’t blame to be had in that sentiment either. We work to make money and the businesses we work for are there to make money. What happens when increasing inflation hits these businesses? I’m sure you feel the impact on your budgets. Gasoline prices drive the price of goods. You can expect that as interest rates rise and the price of a gallon of gas increases, those impacts will show themselves in the prices of pretty much anything and everything.
I remember the days of 24-page newspapers, two days a week. That was nearly two decades ago. A lot in this industry has changed in the past 20 years. We used to have teams of reporters go out into the field on a weekly basis, covering everything in the world of local news to sports.
With shrinking page counts came a shrinking news staff. It doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of news to “cover;” it just means there’s less revenue to pay reporters. What happened? The answers to that question continue to grow in number with each passing week. As technology continues to dominate households, it also dictates trends. Nearly everyone is walking around with a mini-computer in the palm of their hand.
Remember the days when newspapers would print photos of the largest tomato grown by a local farmer, or, even worse, a photo of a vehicle accident or house fire? Decades ago, local news reporters were on the scene of tragic events. Not everyone carried around a camera, but a journalist would have one. Those were the days of film cameras. Reporters had to frame just the right shot as there wasn’t an endless opportunity for retakes. They’d head back to their darkroom to process the film, praying they captured that print-worthy image. Local newspapers were the only resource for capturing a historical moment in their communities. Even today, newspapers print information that won’t be found on the internet, until a team member places it on a website or social media page.
With social media, it seems most people these days are “journalists” and “followers” eat it up, buying into whatever hype, rumor, scandal, etc. that is fed to them. Some don’t bother to check facts. I do realize how “annoying” fact-checkers are to people on Facebook. As someone who places accuracy above everything else in this field, I see your frustration, but I am grateful for fact-checking. There are so many variations of news stories on the World Wide Web that it is truly hard to discern fact from fiction. I see how it can be frustrating. I’m frustrated too. One rumor on Facebook can spread across the globe in record time. Where is the accountability?
As those who look to social media for their news continues to increase in numbers so does business advertising. I can’t blame businesses for that either. That’s where they will find potential customers and there are plenty of them online. Who can beat the price of free?
We can’t beat that price. What we can do, however, is help you to expand your reach. We can offer you our reach. We can help connect you with more potential customers. We can tell your story on three platforms – our print product, our website and our social media page.
We can share our audience with you. For our long-time, local business supporters, we can even offer our audience at no extra charge to you. For those who are thinking about supporting us, we will work within your budget to give you, as a wise person once said, “more bang for your buck.”
In 2020, the Pew Research polled Americans from different age groups to gauge their news consumption preferences. Thirty-four percent of those ages 65 and older said they get their news from a digital platform or news app. Thirty-three percent of those ages 50-64 also get their news from a digital platform or news app. Thirty-eight percent of 30-49-year-olds also used the same platforms mentioned above.
Here is where it gets interesting. Of those polled who are ages 18-29 said they get their news from social media. Only 28 percent of this age group said they get their news from a digital platform or news app. I wonder if we “age” into using trusted news sources or if we will see social media become a dominant news source. Only time will tell.
We, at the Dresden Enterprise, are making slight shifts into our methods of news delivery. With all of the data surrounding digital technology, we have a unique opportunity to provide you with local news in a variety of ways. We are making small changes to our website, dresdenenterprise.com. We are reaching out to businesses to determine if a digital presence is best-suited for their needs. We are also offering special pricing for social media content. And, of course, we still offer plenty of ad spaces in our print publication, which is popular among readers who enjoy holding a newspaper in hand.
This is just a snapshot of inside analytics for our website and Facebook. On Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, the website had 4,376 visits. Of those, 3,780 were “unique” visits. We do link several of our articles from our website to our Facebook page. Clicks to the website that Friday can be attributed to 1,843 visits from Facebook.
Let’s take a quick look at the data from our social media page. On Saturday, Oct. 28, we posted pictures from a ribbon cutting for a new business in Dresden. That post had a reach of 7,873 people. The engagement (likes, shares, comments) on that post was 2,358.
A feature on a Halloween-themed house in Dresden saw a post reach of 88,093 people on Friday, Oct. 20. With a little more than 9,000 followers on our FB page, that one post had a reach nearly 10 times higher than our social media followers.
Of our followers, 73 percent are women and 27 percent are men, according to their FB profiles. Those who are ages 35-54 make up the bulk of our FB followers.
As we shift into utilizing more of our digital toolbox, we welcome feedback, and, of course, support. If you are a business owner and looking to expand your message throughout audiences, please reach out. We want to maintain relevance in our local communities, while we seek creative ways to increase our revenue.
To those who support us day in and day out, thank you! We wouldn’t be where we are today without your partnership.