The entire field of journalism, mass media, and reporting has been completely destroyed and rebuilt in the past five years. It used to be just a few major nationwide networks on TV and one local powerhouse newspaper. Now, thousands of websites, brands, and individuals are all scrambling to break news quickly across every possible platform.

One of the exciting new Lakeland companies to set foot in this new arena of digital news is LKLDnow. If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve most likely come across one of their top stories with hundreds of likes, comments, and shares. There’s no doubt social media is the #1 way to grow an audience, so we sat down with Barry Friedman of LKLDnow to find out the secret to their stellar social success.


Pick your top networks, your top metrics, and commit to measurement.

LKLDnow has only been up and running for a little over a year. Now, they have 2,800 Facebook likes, 1,700 Instagram followers, and 1,000 Twitter followers. Numbers like that are phenomenal for a local startup, so they must be doing something right!

It takes a huge social media team to perform well on every single network. The language, content, and features are all completely different on Pinterest than they are on Twitter. Barry recommends finding the one or two Networks that will work best for your brand, and focus in on only those.

Once you have your networks selected, you need to measure your progress. Numbers like followers, average post likes, or even reach can help you understand how well you are doing as a marketer. It’s almost not as important which metrics you choose; it’s more important to make sure you are consistently measuring anything to show growth. Put these numbers in a spreadsheet and update them daily or weekly.


Create social-specific content laser-targeted toward your audience.

Let’s face it: LKLDnow’s business model is the perfect fit for social media. Local breaking news is always a hot topic in smaller communities. That doesn’t mean you can’t take some of the same content strategies and apply them to your own business.

Focus on creating social content that is inherently sharable. Remember, a person’s Facebook is their individual brand. They usually only share things that line up with personal views or make them look good.

Create high quality content quickly, and take advantage of the latest trends. It’s amazing to watch how fast a video on current events can be uploaded to Facebook, get millions of views, and go completely dark a week later.


Be patient and wait for your breakthrough.

Early in their launch, LKLDnow had a great opportunity to release some huge local news before any other network. This piece brought the brand into the local spotlight, and LKLDnow was able to capitalize on that initial growth to keep scaling.

If you take a look at a blog’s website traffic, chances are they have just three or four big posts that went viral and have been bringing in consistent traffic for a long time. A blog writer has to keep cranking out good posts with no idea which one might take off.

The same principle can be translated to social media. You may not feel like you are making progress, and that could be for a variety of reasons. But as you continue to learn and improve your strategy, your chances of a single post blowing up get higher and higher.


Strategically curate and boost your content.

Depending on your business, sharing others’ content or spending money on advertising may or may not be the right strategy for you. When LKLDnow knows they have a great story that deserves to be shown quickly, they will boost the post. They also consistently share content from other local networks, high-profile individuals, or companies. This spirit of collaboration helps everyone.


Try not to build your house on someone else’s land.

The big problem with using social media as your primary source of growth is that you don’t own the system of distribution. At any time, due to environmental changes or a business decision, you could completely lose the audience you spend so much time building.

That’s why it is essential to build your audience in many different ways. Always direct social media users to your website, and encourage them to bookmark your page. Use an email marketing program to collect emails, because an email list is a highly valuable source of leads who have expressed a direct interest in your business.


Never be afraid to learn and change.

Barry was transparent with his struggles and successes as a startup owner. He happily dug into the challenge of learning new tools and technology he would need to be successful. He also knew that he spends too much time on content creation, and not enough time on operating the other branches of his company. Always balance your time and keep moving forward.

Check out LKLDnow’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The company is actually a non-profit, dedicated to changing the news and media environment for the betterment of the community.

You can connect with LKLDnow to donate or discuss high-level sponsorship opportunities. A big thank you to Barry for the interview, and we hope for continued growth and success! Any business that makes Lakeland a better place is a business Baron Realty can get behind.

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