How Newspapers Can Use Social Media: 4 Social Engagement Tools

Social media is changing the way news is consumed. Readers are coming to expect engaging, more democratized and open interaction with their media sources.

A more engaged readership creates a stronger bond with an enhanced loyal following.

Wishpond social contest apps provide online newspapers and media sources a simple way to gain interaction and more engagement with their readership. They spread your news to friends and followers too.

Benefits of social contests for newspapers:

  • engage with your readership
  • increase community interactions
  • make your paper the place online to share community opinions
  • interact with personalized news stories
  • increase readership

In this article, we will show how interactive contests can enhance your social media initiatives.

4 examples of social promotions for newspapers:

  • vote contest
  • photo caption contest
  • photo contest
  • essay contest

Vote Contest

A Vote Contest is one of the easiest promotions. They can be set up in minutes and, like all of our apps, are automatically optimized for mobile.

With a low barrier to entry, they are easy for users, which maximizes engagement. Users simply submit their email, vote, and they’re in.

Like all our contests, you can run a vote contest on your website, Facebook or Twitter sites.

Because it’s easy to vote, it has the potential to attract more entrants. Running a contest through Facebook or Twitter creates exponential growth opportunities. Once a participant votes, it shows up in their Twitter or Facebook feed, inviting their followers to vote too. This generates buzz and creates a potential viral campaign for your newspaper.

Vote Contests are also a great way to gain interaction by letting your readers voices be heard. After all, voting is empowering your subscribers with their opinions.

Here are two examples of vote contests for newspapers:

In this example, the online newspaper used a vote contest on their website. There has been debate in the community with regards to zoning choices with the local municipality. To gain interaction and provide their readers to voice their views, they set up a vote contest with the three options currently before City Council.


In the example, below, the community newspaper is featuring newsworthy kids sports teams. They have brought democracy to their readership by asking their subscribers which team they would like to see featured next in the printed paper.



Photo Caption Contest

A photo caption contest is easy to set up. For users, it takes a bit more effort, as you are asking them to create a written caption for your photo.

If your photos resonate with your readers, you will likely get many entrants. By asking for captions, you are creating more user engagement, which can develop a closer connection with your photos, story, and paper.

Here is an example of a photo caption contest:

To bring awareness to the new community garden, and to engage readership in community spirit, the local newspaper is running a photo caption contest. The photo is of a family participating in the community garden. The contest is being run through Twitter.


Photo Contest

Photo Contests are another great way to increase interaction with your community of readers. They are also very easy to set up.

They invoke more effort from entrants, as a photo contest requires entrants to submit their own photos. For a newspaper, this can enrich the readership experience by providing a myriad of visuals about a particular event. It also lets your readers be more a part of the story, by letting them share their own photos.

Additionally, when an entrant participates through Facebook or Twitter, a post about this goes to their friends and followers too.

By adding the element of a contest to the photos, you will encourage readers to share your newspaper and contest to all of their social networks.

A prize for the photo contest could be as simple as the newspaper printing the top 10 photos in an upcoming issue.

Here is an example of a photo contest:

To gain more interaction, engagement, and photo sharing, the local paper is running a photo contest through Facebook. Entrants can also enter through email, Twitter or the newspaper’s website. Here, the paper is asking for great photos from the recent community parade.

The paper will use the top 10 photos to be printed in an upcoming printed edition.


Essay Contest

Essay contests are well suited for newspapers. Again, they are simple to set up through our Social Marketing Suite.

The possibilities for using essay contests are broad. Your online newspaper could use them to evoke letters (similar to letters to the editor), to garner feedback on a community event, or even to encourage young readers to show off their budding journalistic skills.

Here is an example of an Essay Contest:

To keep the youth readership engaged, and get them interested in journalism, the newspaper is running an essay contest. In this example, the contest is being run through Twitter.

The contestants must be in grade 8, 9, or 10. Winning entries will be published in an upcoming printed edition of the newspaper.


At Wishpond, we want you to be a success in your social media initiatives. Creating democratic interactions for your readership online equates to increased social media successes for your paper.

Contact us to start your social interactions today.


Written By: Krista Bunskoek, PR @ Wishpond


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