When Facebook released their Best Practices guide for media last week, I admit I thought it was cute. In my world, I consider Facebook sort of my ‘private life,’ a space I reserve to share thoughts and internet things with people I actually know, whereas I consider Twitter my more public persona, where I follow strangers’ opinions. Facebook’s advice seemed like they were pointing out the obvious (‘have your content creators use the ‘Follow’ button’) in a last ditch attempt to make the social network as relevant as Twitter, especially in the wake of the all the ‘social media as wire service’ talk since the Boston marathon bombings and manhunt.

But that’s sort of a fallacy. In fact, one billion people still use Facebook, all the time. When I’m honest with myself, my newsfeed is just as full of wedding photos and lunch break musings from my real-life acquaintances as it is new posts and headlines from my favorite media outlets, just like Twitter. And Facebook is starting to get savvy about helping those publishers garner traffic and reader engagement. It’s not a bad product. 

Slate is the best example of a using Facebook to successfully engage their readers; it’s even the case study in the handbook. They’ve doubled their Facebook referrals between the second quarter of 2012 and the first of 2013. Read more