The Seattle Times appears to have a strong social media presence. The publication is active on both Facebook and Twitter, where it has similar feeds.
The Times mainly uses social media to share stories and connect with followers. The Facebook page, with its 89,037 likes, does exactly that: the about section simply states “Stories picked by Seattle Times staff. Share and discuss.” Every article has multiple shares, likes, and comments, with commenters often engaging in lengthy debates. This reader-to-reader engagement is great, but it doesn’t look like Times staff has any part in the discussions they create. Responding to every comment would obviously be time consuming, but it would be nice if they at least commented every so often to show that they listen to their readers and value their feedback.
I follow both the Seattle Times and the Seattle Times Photo on Twitter. The Times feed shares many of the same articles as the Facebook page, but posts on a more regular basis (which is true to Twitter’s constantly-fresh nature). The account also posts traffic updates (mostly retweeted from WSDOT), which I find hilarious. But props to the Times for capitalizing on that market; I’m sure readers find the information very useful. The Times also retweets its writers, but again fails to interact with its followers. I really enjoy the Photo feed: it’s fun to look at just because its tweets are so cool. And if you’re a Seahawk fan you definitely want to follow the Photo department: almost half of the tweets are pictures of Russell Wilson and the gang.
Speaking of photos, the Times is also on Instagram. The posts seem to be separate from regular Times articles and differ from the photo Twitter feed. Instead of sharing photos from articles, the Instagram features the works of individual Times photographers. I’m not a big fan of Instagram, but I am a fan of the photo department. They’re such talented photojournalists and it’s nice to see individuals getting recognized for their work. If I had an Instagram, the Times would be the first (and maybe only) account I’d follow!
The social media site I was surprised to find was the Seattle Times Pinterest account. But I’m not complaining; as a self-described Pinterest addict, I’m definitely going to spend the next hour combing through their boards.