The outlook is not great for traditional media companies these days, but don’t call the industry dead just yet. Many brands in media are working hard to adapt to changes in how people find and read information. By ramping up their presences on social media channels, they are pushing to stay relevant and engaged with their audiences.

Here at Sprout Insights, we recently reviewed some companies that are acing Twitter. But how do media companies measure up on Facebook? With Timeline still creating some barriers to brands looking to interact with their followers, here’s a look at three media companies that have overcome these challenges to create brilliant Facebook marketing campaigns.

1. Random House

Random House
The publishing magnate Random House has created a Facebook presence that attracts readers of all types. Rather than continually posting status updates about the titles in its catalog, Random House shares information about books and reading from many different sources. From summer reading lists from NPR, to a discussion of the best young adult reading on Flavorwire, the Page is a source of intriguing content and discussion for the literary-minded.

Most of the product-focused updates are in the form of contests, which can be a great way to keep your fans involved. The majority of these contests are hosted as apps on author Pages, rather than directly on the Random House Page. That means that not only does the company Page feel less cluttered with blatant advertising, but it gives the imprint’s writers more of an opportunity to interact with their fans instead of using the publisher as a middleman.

Another smart element to Random House’s strategy is that it has used the apps at the top of its Page to link to its other social media profiles. The company is also active on Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. For any brand that has a strong presence on many platforms, this is a smart way to keep your followers aware of all your channels.

2. Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated has made many good choices about how to present its content on Facebook Timeline. One of the features it uses best is the Questions platform. We’ve talked about how to not be obnoxious when using this tool, and the sports magazine is a great example of how to do it right.

Most of the questions ask fans to weigh in with their predictions for who will win major sporting events — from the Euro 2012 soccer cup, to Wimbledon. But other questions get Sports Illustrated readers thinking about individual players. It has also sparked discussions about the most overrated baseball players and the top NBA draft picks.

The other place where Sports Illustrated excels is in visual content. The magazine has a great crew of photographers to capture moments of great athleticism — and Facebook is a great place to show off their work. The company is also on Instagram; many of the photos appearing on Facebook are also posted on the photo-sharing website. Many of these shots are behind-the-scenes captures of interviews and photo shoots that give fans exclusive information about the sports, teams, and athletes they love.

3. The New York Times

We’ve already highlighted The New York Times here for its excellent use of Facebook Timeline. Its successful Facebook strategy goes beyond just its Timeline, however. The company has a well-curated Page highlighting articles from all sections of the newspaper. It understands the importance of good visual content, and has made good choices in terms of cover photos and the images attached to status posts.

The ongoing project to add important moments in American history to its list of milestones is one of the more notable successes for the Times. It helps reaffirm the role that photojournalism plays in the history of mankind. For example, the moon landing of the Apollo 11 in 1969 is the latest addition to the Page’s milestones.

Do you know a media company that’s a rock star on Facebook? Let us know in the comments!

[Image credit: Marcie Casas]