In this week’s edition of Social Scorecard, find out what WCSC is doing on Facebook that gives the station such a huge lead in the market. WCSC, Raycom’s CBS affiliate in Charleston, S.C., leads by more than a million social media actions over its next nearest competitor during the last six months according to data […]
WCSC, Raycom’s CBS affiliate in Charleston, S.C., leads by more than a million social media actions over its next nearest competitor during the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
WCSC has almost 1.8 million actions on social, 27% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 92), with more than 6.5 million social actions.
WCSC also led the market in actions per post with 192.
The Post and Courier, a daily newspaper in Charleston owned by Evening Post Industries, led the market on both Twitter and Instagram with more than 34,000 and almost 108,000 respectively.
How is WCSC able to gain such a commanding lead on Facebook, more than a million actions, over all others in Charleston?
Longevity in the market, listening to user feedback, knowledge of what’s trending in the market, and consistent use of Facebook Live, are just some of the reasons, according to Patrick Phillips, WCSC’s digital content manager.
“We’ve got two anchors who’ve been with us for more than 40 years. And when you have that kind of longevity in the market, you really get to know your audience. We know what they like, we know what they want and we are always trying to listen to them and use that feedback to help us focus on what we’re doing.”
Phillips points to several major news stories that happened in Charleston — the murder of nine black people in a downtown church and the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white policeman — as examples of how the station listened to its users.
“People said, ‘you have the opportunity to divide us, or you have the opportunity to help us keep this calm’. And this was viewers telling us this. And that was something we’ve not forgotten.”
And that feedback guided the station’s coverage as those stories developed in the news cycle.
“We tried our best to cover everything as completely as we could, but not to do so in a way that would inflame anything.”
Phillips says there’s a sizable military presence in Charleston, “so feel-good stories about soldier homecomings generally will always do well.”
Facebook Live coverage of breaking news also contributes to high engagement.
Phillips says the station encourages its reporters to go on Facebook Live from the scene of breaking news, like the one a reporter did from the scene of a shooting.
“Our nightside reporter got there and was able to go on Facebook Live, live from the scene, not knowing a great deal at that moment. It was in between newscasts. Those kinds of stories will certainly do well.”
And any Facebook posts related to weather get high engagement, like this short video of flooding in downtown Charleston that has almost 2 million views.
“We had an icing event in Charleston this morning. One of our meteorologists did a Facebook Live, and that post did quite well. It gave people a chance to ask questions live about what’s happening.”
Phillips says the station keeps tabs on the Facebook pages of neighborhoods and communities within the market and that often leads to news stories no other station gets.
“It was a feel-good story, a fellow bought a used VCR, and there was a tape in it of a family. And he posted on a local community group, hey! I found this tape, and I’d really like to get it back to the family. We were able to do that story. And within 24 hours, he was able to locate the family that owned the tape.”
Using comments from Facebook users in the station’s newscasts is another way to keep the conversations going, says Phillips.
“We have a segment called Soundoff, and ask a question about a story that is getting a lot of attention. We’ll incorporate some of those responses in our nighttime shows primarily, and we’ve gotten some interesting comments with that.”
Although WCSC has been the top choice for local TV news in the market for some time, says Phillips, no one takes that for granted.
“We fight every day to get the story, to get it right the first time, to get information to digital, to broadcast, to social media. I think that is part of why we’re successful.”