This week’s Social Scorecard covers the social media scene in New York City where broadcasters are vying for their share of engagement among 140 million actions. WNYW, the Fox O&O, is far ahead of all broadcasters there. Its secret? Fewer posts that appeal to their followers’ emotions. “Sometimes, less is more,” says Dan Carlin, the station’s programming and research VP.
Social Scorecard this week comes from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about 100 miles east of Des Moines, where Gray’s KCRG is on top of social media. The key to its success on Facebook is reliable information, just like on television. “We are your trusted source regardless of the platform,” says Adam Carros, KCRG’s news director. “I think that’s really the value at the end of the day.”
This week, Social Scorecard is in West Michigan’s largest city, Grand Rapids, just 30 miles east of Lake Michigan, to find out what WXMI is serving on Facebook to make it the most engaged. The secret ingredients are an appetite for food and short, easily digested videos.
KGBT down in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is not only leading on Facebook in market 84, but is outperforming stations in markets that are much larger. “We have 332,881 likes on our Facebook page, more likes than some of the stations that are in the top 20, top 30 markets. I’m excited about that,” says Ronald Marley, KGBT’s digital executive producer.
Nexstar’s NBC affiliate has more than a million Facebook actions over its next nearest competitor. David Ciliberti, WCMH’s news director, says finding the right stories that everybody connects to at the same time is the key to generating interaction. Michael King, WCMH’s digital director, says news tips, videos and pictures from Facebook users help the station stay ahead in the market. “By leveraging it on digital first, we associated our brand with the story before our broadcast competitors.”
The ABC O&O in Philadelphia has almost 13 million actions on social, accounting for almost 36% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 4), with more than 35 million social actions. John Morris, WPVI’s VP of multiplatform programming, attributes the station’s dominance on social as a natural extension of its Action News brand on TV.
Over the last six months, the Rochester, N.Y., ABC affiliate owned by Deerfield Media but operated by Sinclair under a shared services agreement, has almost 1.4 million actions on social, accounting for more than 28% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 76).
Fox’s Detroit O&O led in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee. Why? Jay Dillon, WJBK’s senior web producer, says “We look for the local news that our audience is interested in. We are very in tune with what our audience is engaged with; what stories will drive traffic. We just push our local content first and foremost.” And besides being local, the focus is on content that’s unique to the station.
Andy Fishman, WJW’s news director, and Jessica Bates, the station’s managing editor, attribute most of their success on Facebook to experimentation, selective content and constantly responding to what their followers post. “What worked for us this morning may not be successful for us in the afternoon,” says Bates. “We’re going to take risks. Maybe it’s a graphic. Maybe it’s a video.”
Tegna’s NBC affiliate in Minneapolis has evolved its use of social media over the years, from a platform to drive users to KARE’s newscasts or website to it being the primary outlet for breaking news. “Facebook is literally the first place that we will put breaking news. The audience now demands more content on social media. So our strategy has completely been turned upside down,” says Social Media Manager Bea Chang.