swissinfo.ch – the first Swiss medium on facebook
swissinfo.ch is one of just a handful of European media organisations to boast more than 100,000 fans on its official facebook page. The total number of users registered with swissinfo.ch social platforms is now more than 200,000 including pages in Arabic, Japanese, and the Chinese presence on Kaixin.
The success of the official facebook.com/swissinfo page is due to the fact it is available in numerous languages and is targeted at specific groups. Alerts are sent by subject in every language, country or region. This selection avoids overloading the users’ page, limits the number of unsubscribers and helps create mini communities. For swissinfo.ch the social platform is not just another channel but a means of exchange and discussion with readers. Requests for eyewitness accounts and reader contributions complement the editorial output.
Two other official pages have been launched, specifically aimed at Arab and Japanese audiences. Political developments surrounding the question of Islam in Switzerland, and the crises in Egypt and Tunisia have helped generate a community of 75,000 fans registered on the Arabic page. The Japanese page has only recently been set up but already has 3,000 registered users.
In China, where facebook is censored, swissinfo.ch has more than 27,000 fans on a similar social platform known as Kaixin. swissinfo’s presence on Kaixin was launched during the Shanghai Expo 2010.
swissinfo.ch has a «social potential » that goes beyond official pages and editorial content. The Swiss Borders project drew attention at the Prix Europa in Berlin in 2010 not least because of the success of the facebook page launched for the occasion. More than 20,000 fans followed the progress of the American mountaineer John Harlin as he walked, paddled and cycled along the Swiss border. From the marketing point of view, facebook allowed us to launch the viral video of the iPad application, which went global in December 2010 and generated articles on the most influential blogs, including Huffington Post and CNet.
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