WNEM, Meredith’s Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich., CBS affiliate, leads the market in social actions in the past six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee, but it’s a close two-station race. WNEM racked up almost 1.4 million social actions in that period, accounting for almost half (42%) of the total engagement generated in the market’s […]
WNEM, Meredith’s Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich., CBS affiliate, leads the market in social actions in the past six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee, but it’s a close two-station race.
WNEM racked up almost 1.4 million social actions in that period, accounting for almost half (42%) of the total engagement generated in the market’s total 3.2 million actions.
WJRT, the market’s ABC affiliate owned by Gray, came in second in that same time period with almost 1 million social media actions, and WJRT led in actions on Twitter with just over 12,000.
WILZ-FM, broadcasting a rock format, and owned by Cumulus Media, topped the market in actions per post with 100.
And WFUM-FM, a noncommercial station licensed to the University of Michigan-Flint far outpaced the market on Instagram with almost 5,000 actions.
Ian Rubin, WNEM’s news director, attributes most of the station’s success on Facebook to its anchors.
“If the example is not set from the anchors,” says Rubin, “then it’s not going to permeate the culture, and that’s why we’ve been so successful, because those guys really buy into it.”
Rubin likens the anchors participation on Facebook Live to a public appearance, “a public appearance digitally.”
And Rubin is aware of how hard it is to add a Facebook Live appearance to their already busy day.
“A typical day is you show up at 10, you’re in the noon, 5 and 6 and you’re running and gunning all day. You’re feeding pictures back, you’re doing videos for the app, mobile and website, and then when you get to the scene of the story, you do a Facebook Live video. So they work very hard at it.”
Rubin says engaging with the station’s Facebook audience is an all-day, everyday routine, but it’s especially critical when it’s a busy news or weather day.
“We’re dealing with high winds warnings,” says Rubin, “so it’s important to engage with our viewers. Our meteorologists and reporters are in the field, showing conditions throughout the day and asking the audience to tell about wind conditions in their neighborhood, share videos, share pictures. It’s a two-way conversation.”
Rubin believes that his station’s use of Facebook Live drives viewership to WNEM’s newscasts, especially its late news.
“There are people on our Facebook page at 10 o’clock at night that are not watching our TV station. They are loyal WNEM viewers, but they might be watching another network.”
Rubin says on nights when WNEM’s late newscast outperforms the CBS entertainment show that lead-in the news, the station will look at how effective it was that night on Facebook Live and says they often see a spike in the late news ratings.
“We’re getting better at the metrics, but a big part of it is simply the CBS show is giving you a 4 ratings and you see that you’re getting a 6 rating, a big chunk of that is likely to come from the second screen people.”