Telegram Channel For News: Why And How

Samvel Martirosyan

Media researcher

Telegram channels in Armenia started entering the arena in 2018. The Artsakh war made them one of the main sources. The audience of the larger Armenian channels increased by 3-10 times during the war. Of course, after the end of the war, the numbers “settled down” a bit, but in any case, today Telegram channels continue to be a source of useful information, they are also actively quoted on other social networks.

What should a media outlet consider when running a Telegram channel?

a. Let’s start with the fact that the media outlet should have and run that channel without interruption.

b․ The Russian-speaking community of Telegram, which is interested in news from Armenia, is larger than the Armenian-speaking audience. So, it is important not to forget Russian content. The effective version presupposes running two channels: Armenian and Russian.

c․ The Telegram community is not used to constantly spreading links. Channels that only mechanically send links to sites have almost no audience. You need to work with a wide range of content – texts, pictures, videos. A few links to the site per day will be enough to provide traffic and will keep the audience active.

d․ Telegram channels like it when they are quoted, they do it reciprocally. Undoubtedly, this is one of the weakest points of the Armenian press. We do not like to quote each other. But in Telegram, this is necessary, because mutual quotes are one of the ways to increase your main audience. Moreover, channels make friends in Telegram. This is an approach beyond the logic of Facebook, but we have to come to terms with it.

e․ There is no advertising platform in Telegram yet, in the way that we are used to in other social networks. However, here it is customary to pay immediately for advertising on other channels. This is an unusual method for Armenia, but if you have an advertising budget to add likes on Facebook, why not spend the money on Telegram in the customary format there?

f․ Telegram already allows you to add comments under posts. But think twice before opening it. Because you will have to moderate the chat if you open it, and that requires human resources.

Unlike other social networks, the comments here do not affect the algorithm, so they will hardly affect the growth of the audience.

And in the case of bad moderation, on the contrary, they can drive away a part of the audience that will not tolerate swearing and chaos in the comments. So, if you do not add comments, no one will be offended by you. Moreover, you will be different from Facebook, where the comments are what irritate many people.

g․ Telegram already has its own good statistical system, which is installed in the channel settings. It is possible not only to see the growth of the general audience and other important statistics but also to follow the spread of each post on other channels.

h․ There are many bots in Telegram that allow you to edit the text, add likes under the posts, vote, add links in the text, create the post and dozens of other options. Bots are the subject of a separate article. They are worth studying. But it is not worth abusing them either. In any case, the content here is much more important than the format.

i․ And in the end, let us note that at this very moment, the more general Armenian environment of the Telegram in Armenia is being formed in Armenia. This also means that the media should not be late to the party.

And those who already exist should work more actively because in Telegram the media have competitors – individuals and groups, who are very energetic and have a tendency to increase the audience of their channels faster.

There may be no room for the latecomer.

Samvel Martirosyan 

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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