The question of “What should I share on Facebook & Twitter” is a conversation reporters, anchors, producers and photographers in newsrooms across the country are having…right now.
Yes, in 2016 we’re all still struggling with what to post on social media.
It’s understandable. Some anchors and reporters don’t want to reveal too much personal information online. While some, who are confined to newsrooms all day and aren’t in the field, feel they don’t have the opportunity to deliver a ton of topical, breaking news-type content.
Plainly put: they get stuck. Consider it the social media version of writer’s block.
Your anchors and reporters can absolutely create compelling and engaging (emphasis on engaging) posts on social media. Here are effective ways to accomplish that.
Share Breaking News…Add Context & Expertise To The Story
Reporters and photographers in the field should be sharing updates to Twitter and Facebook with compelling images. Anchors and producers can add to the conversation by re-sharing reporters’ posts while providing their own context and expertise to a story, as well as posting original insight and information of their own. Viewers are turning to these platforms during moments of breaking news. Your talent needs to own the experience.
RELATED: See How KWCH Owned Breaking News Across All Of Its Platforms
The beats your reporters and anchors cover should occupy serious real estate on talent social media platforms. Here are some examples:
- Political reporters need to be sharing stories and adding their expertise to, you guessed it, political stories.
- Your sports team is constantly begging for more airtime. Social media is the place they can have it.
- Your consumer reporter should be posting compelling content and curating dialog on Facebook.
- From sharing viewer photographs to posting weather stories, meteorologists have a huge opportunity on social media.
The idea is simple: Your news team covers their beats on-air. They need to cover them on social media, as well.
Topics That Interest Your Staff
This is where your team has a real chance to show some personality and share their interests. In other words: show they’re human.
They don’t have to post pictures of their kids or family, if they’re not comfortable doing so. Instead, they can curate/share links and foster a conversation on topics that interest them:
- Mid-Century architecture in your market
- Car Repair
- The options are endless
Focusing on just two topics (in addition to their beats) is manageable.
WVUE anchor John Snell is a gifted photographer. His more than 53-thousand fans on Facebook love seeing his gorgeous images. He regularly gets thousands of likes, hundreds of shares and a nice amount of comments on his photos. He also enjoys drone technology.
In turn, when he shares stories to drive traffic back to his station’s digital properties, those posts also get a nice amount of engagement.
RELATED: 3 Types Of Blog Posts Every Station Can Produce
Let's Talk About Selfies
Let’s be honest: TV-types love a selfie. Whether it’s in a group setting or solo shot, many talent Facebook pages, Instagram feeds and Twitter timelines are full of selfies. As it turns out, many viewers like those posts. They tend to produce some of the highest engagement levels on multiple platforms.
These photos can be fun, lighthearted glimpses into newsroom life. They also help talent establish and develop a relationship with viewers. At the end of a day, affinity for talent can be a recruit-to-view strategy.
Here’s the thing: don’t overdo it. You don’t want a platform built on selfie-pics. Additionally, be smart about taking one. If you're a reporter covering a car crash or house fire, you don't want to be seen smiling in front of an ambulance. Create a smart, substantial offering with original and more compelling content.
- An easy rule of thumb when wondering what to share on social media is: Focus on three key areas: your beat and two topics that interest you. Easy as that.
- Make sure the content is native to the platform. Twitter is great for breaking news, weighing in on big events like the Oscars or sporting events and sharing bite-sized nuggets of information.
- Facebook is your home for longer form pieces of content, sparking dialog and building a sense of community.
- When someone comments on your post – acknowledge them. It’s about engaging, not just broadcasting.
- Images are important. Make sure your images fit the platform and the image widths work within in each post. Click HERE for a social media image cheat sheet.
Keep in mind, we’re only focusing on Facebook and Twitter. We could spend an entire day sharing best practices for each network. We could spend another day focusing on post language, images and optimal times of day to post. Snapchat and Instagram? We could spend an entire week on those networks.
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