By now you should be seeing the increasing importance of social media and Facebook in particular as a key component of your daily and rating book strategy. In the words of Share Rocket President Chris Kraft “Twitter alerts, Facebook converts” a clear message about its ability to get far more engagement, stickiness and overall loyalty from your fans. SmithGeiger research indicates that for many it has become as primary as your newscasts as their first source for news. The reach you can get from not only your brand but the aggregation of your talent along with your brand can often easily outdistance the reach from on-air topicals. So, as you gear up for November, here are a few tactics for your tool box:
Facebook recruit to view- A daily plan for every newscast by both your brand and each talent associated with the show. Stay away from overt “coming up at 5…” type language. Instead, both talent and the brand are best if the content is more native to platform language that accentuates the NOW or the effort going into a story that makes it unique “At 10 we have an entirely different story than the one you may have seen at 6…” At many stations this function is increasingly under the marketing department to work closely with both the brand and talent on the timing and tone of these that should generally post in the hour before air to give it time to surface in feeds. It makes good sense to integrate this with the topical efforts so there is brand congruity.
Video- Find the daily compelling videos or sound or the behind the scenes videos showing the incoming content. People love to share GIFS from weather or news a fast-growing shareable area for you. Above all make it snackable- generally no more than :15 is best so your fans can get content at a glance. The success of this effort is easily seen in Facebook Insights or the Video tab in Insights.
A Power Night strategy- Have a plan for ALL station employees to push those targeted efforts you are most proud of and want shared. Consider showing the TSR to your chief on-air recruiters and have them provide a testimonial on the work in the hours leading up to the report.
Identify the SHARE- Target every newscast to have shareable content- a changing forecast, a missing child, a clever meme, compelling video. Micromanage how that gets posted and how that post is effectively integrated in short fashion on air.
Remember, friends and family may be what gets them to Facebook- your role is to give them brand assets they value and that keeps them engaging with you with UGC, comments, links and shares.
If your digital staff hasn’t already signed up for Facebook SIGNAL there’s an area to prioritize and start to experiment with the new tool. It requires an invite acceptance by Facebook. Signal is aimed at helping journalists monitor activity from both Facebook and Instagram. It’s a trending tool and it’s free. Here’s a frame from it and you can see that it is pulling in data from CrowdTangle and other sources like Storyful. Apparently, it can provide a broader view or a more local view. Look at it as a new tool that can help as you acknowledge and advance content your fans are telling you they want you to follow-up.
Using social media management tools like Share Rocket can elevate your strategy by helping you with real-time reports on how your brand and talent are performing. With a little training from your SmithGeiger consultant we can help your brand and talent elevate their game. Do you know how much lift in reach you are getting from talent? Do you have a plan to evaluate and coach our talent weekly on how they are doing? Stations like Raycom’s WAFF in Huntsville prioritize this effort through talent one-on-ones with their digital content manager Marshall Stephens.
When it comes to owning social media the meteorology team is often the most popular in any market. The KFVS management team including news director Mark Little and digital content director Christy Russell are actively involved in leveraging social to improve both content on all platforms and in achieving measured goals for the brand and each talent. Using Share Rocket minute to minute, day to day and for broader goal setting Raycom’s KFVS has worked especially close with talent and the meteorologists in particular to help achieve their market dominance in social media. Chief meteorologist Grant Dade and fellow meteorologist Laura Wibbenmeyer have seen unprecedented engagement by focusing on a social strategy that provides experiences beyond what fans experience on air. They realized that the day to day maps and graphics weren’t resonating on Facebook. They have seen the same evidence your digital people are likely seeing as fans get that on mobile or on-air and Facebook is not primary for that content. Instead, they offer short videos, GIFS, UGC provided weather images, memes, impact graphics and other shareable content to build fan loyalty- especially with women who consistently share far more than men.
Remember when it comes to “glance media” the more visual and the more shareable the easier it will be to convert your fans into more frequent viewers and multi-platform loyalists and marketers for your brand.
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