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The RIA Novosti Group had established over 120 social network channels by the end of 2012, many of which are now being updated around the clock. Almost two million subscribers joined RIA Novosti’s social networks in 2012, boosting the total number of subscribers to over three million as of December 2012.
RIA Novosti’s social networks also provide text and video content in seven foreign languages: Arabic, English, Chinese, German, French, Spanish and Persian.
RIA Novosti Group projects include social networks such as Facebook, VKontakte, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Odnoklassniki and others. In March 2012, RIA Novosti received the Runet Blog Grand Prix Award for social media development.
“In 2012, we started converting from mostly qualitative parameters to quantitative parameters,” Darya Penchilova, head of the Promotion and Social Media Directorate, said in comments on the impressive results in 2012 and objectives for 2013.
“We are always trying hard to expand our audience and making sure that all our social network content is in high demand. Marketing surveys and regular assessments of our audiences enable us to ensure this. In 2013, we plan to make major changes to the way we communicate with our audience, and we hope that this will influence the quantity and quality of our audience’s reaction,” she noted.
An individual approach to every channel
“A huge number of channels and products for entirely different target audiences are a major challenge facing us,” Penchilova said. “An individual approach toward media content for every audience enables us to attract the most diverse groups of users,” she added.
“For instance, RIA Novosti’s flagship channels provide general-interest content for a fairly broad audience, in terms of its preferences, location and age groups. At the same time, the PRIME brand of social networks is intended for managers, traders and executives. Moscow News platforms, on the other hand, make it possible to communicate with an active and westernized urban audience, which expresses a clear stance, an audience not only of words, but of action. Of course, special style and content are needed to communicate with the “new intellectuals.”
“We work separately with fairly narrow professional audiences. For instance, there are separate platforms for photographers and infographic artists.
“Various standards and style guides being used by all managers become particularly important during large-scale campaigns. In 2012, we managed to draft these regulations for virtually all RIA Novosti Group social network platforms. In addition, we implemented a large-scale project to create and support a modern layout for RIA Novosti’s social networks and services channels. It should be noted that we had to prioritize the need to allocate the channels of all RIA Novosti Group participants and the relevant layouts for every specific target audience.”
New projects for new audiences
The Have Fun with Russian educational project on RIA Novosti’s Facebook network was quite successful in 2012. The project, which was launched in February 2012, gathered over 50,000 subscribers by the end of the year.
The project caters to an English-speaking audience that wants to study Russian but does not want to spend time on textbooks. The project prioritizes learning through games. Project author Zlata Karlova provides the required content and communicates with users, and this is a major factor of its success. Subscribers learn Russian words and grammar, and they also gain an insight into Russia’s culture, traditions and tourist attractions.
In May 2012, RIA Novosti became one of the first Russian media outlets to start using the Instagram social network. It took the RIA Novosti team just six months to attract the most subscribers among all other social networks and to score the most clicks among subscribers of all Russian media outlets.
Other RIA Novosti brands, including R-Sport and Moscow News, are mastering the new network.
RIA Novosti actively uses social networks and services for launching new projects. For instance, most audiences focus on such projects as RAPINFO, which has a regular audience. Such new products as Multi-News and Popular Chastushka News receive the most clicks on social networks. Some products are first posted on social networks, and are subsequently posted on RIA Novosti Group websites.
The development of RIA Novosti Group’s YouTube channels was a key task in 2012. The RIA Novosti–YouTube cooperation policy was revised. The agency moved to improve media content, to standardize work and to ensure direct broadcasts. Consequently, RIA Novosti’s YouTube videos received over 30 million clicks by late 2012. In 2012, over 10,000 users subscribed to RIA Novosti’s YouTube channel, a 250 percent increase on 2011.
Reaching into the regions
RIA Novosti’s Facebook network has tested the geographic targeting function, which has to do with the placement of media content based on the audience’s location. For instance, St. Petersburg news is intended only for the residents of that city. This makes it possible to promote local media content, which, as a rule, does not interest the main Facebook audience, but which is highly popular in any specific city. Movement in this direction will continue in 2013.
Social network channels as a separate media outlet
Most RIA Novosti Group channels are virtually independent media outlets with their own agenda and catering to the interests of any specific social network. An initiative typical of the printed media, including newspapers and magazines, was voiced in 2012. This initiative has caught on in the Facebook format.
RIA Novosti began updating its Facebook cover several times a day in October 2012. Just like the photo on a magazine cover, it is a detail that has great significance for the audience.
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