If you haven’t heard by now, Glacier Media has launched an online-only news site in Kamloops, B.C.

Armed with three fierce journalists and a ready-to-kick-butt sales team, KamloopsMatters strives to punch above its weight.

Our goal is to be as hyper-local as possible when it comes to content. We don’t want to be like everyone else. We aim to cover stories that our competitors don’t touch, and share them on social media in an engaging way (don’t be surprised if you leave a comment on our Facebook page and you get a response in the form of a GIF).

For the last few weeks, our focus has been on B.C.’s flooding season. It’s hit nearby communities hard and we’ve made it our mission to be on the frontlines. Whether it’s a road closure or a callout for volunteers, we aim to be first in disseminating information.

We’ve grown exponentially since we went live on March 26. We’ve had nearly 200,000 page views, with an average of 50,000 users a month, 15,000 users a week and more than 3,000 users per day.

Facebook, without a doubt, has been our key driver. In less than seven weeks, we’ve gained 4,600 followers and 4,800 fans, already surpassing other media outlets in Kamloops. Our team averages about 80 posts per week (we have people on our site from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Saturday).

Over the last month, our engagement rate has been 50 percent. It’s even been as high as 150 percent a week.
You might be thinking, ‘Wow, how did it catch on so fast?’

We believe it’s because we’re doing everything right when it comes to social media storytelling. It’s not just slapping words into the backend of the website and hitting publish. It’s making sure we’re choosing the right photo, the right headline, and incorporating other pieces, like video embeds, tweets and Facebook posts.

When it comes to who’s reading us, it’s no surprise it’s millennials. Most of our readers are between 25 and 34, and 35 and 44, and the majority of them (69 percent, to be exact) read us on their cellphone. It just shows you that the way people consume their news has changed.
In each community, there are always stories that do better than others. In Kamloops, our top story – and it’s no surprise – was about a city councillor who suggested B.C. split from Canada if the Trans Mountain pipeline was built. Coming in second was an article about a horse auction, where a lady outbid companies trying to buy the animals for slaughter. Getting the bronze was a story about the B.C. Wildlife Park in need of donations for its resident moose (Kamloops sure loves its animals).

To say we’re just getting started is an understatement. We have big dreams and lofty goals and can’t wait to see where the next few months take us.

Follow our journey. We promise it’ll be an unforgettable one.