Social Scorecard this week discovers how a handful of news franchises is used to generate engagement that has put WTVR on top on Facebook in Richmond, Virginia. WTVR, Tribune’s CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va., is ahead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm […]
WTVR, Tribune’s CBS affiliate in Richmond, Va., is ahead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
WTVR has more than 2.6 million actions on social, 37% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 55), with more than 7.1 million social actions.
WPER-FM, broadcasting a Christian format and owned by Baker Family Stations, led the market on actions per post with 201.
WRIC, the market’s ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar, led on Twitter during the same period with almost 65,000 actions.
WWBT, the market’s NBC station owned by Raycom led on Instagram with more than 61,000 actions.
Scott Wise, WTVR’s director of interactive media, says the station’s success on Facebook, and on the television side, is due to a newsroom full of storytellers.
“Sometimes they are investigative stories, sometimes they are hard news, crime stories and sometimes the more heartwarming stories.”
Wise says the station has developed these into news franchises that have been successful on all the station’s platforms — on-air, social and the website.
“Sometimes we put a little teaser on Facebook, then encourage people to watch the full story on the news,” says Wise.
WTVR’s main station brand is Working for You, so Wise says reporters and producers get a little more time to solve people’s problems with local government, with businesses, or with other people.
Heros Among Us, features people making a difference in the community, “positive heartwarming really emotional kind of stories,” says Wise.
Wise says the station has a crime reporter who has deep sources with local law enforcement able to “break stories hours, sometimes days before other folks in the market.”
“We created a franchise around him called Crime Insider. So with that kind of content, we are able to distinguish ourselves on TV, on air, online and on social media and it’s really resonated with folks here in town.”
In addition to the franchises mentioned — Problem Solvers, Heros Among Us and Crime Insider —Wise says WTVR has a couple more that help the station generate engagement on Facebook.
I Have a Story finds everyday people who you think you know, “but when you really learn that person’s story, there’s a lot more to the story,” Wise says.
Building Better Minds is another feature that focuses on someone in the schools — a teacher, student or staff member — that “we are dedicated to doing regularly which has helped us build an audience,” says Wise.
Facebook Live is also a staple to the station’s success on Facebook. Recent stories about a woman found murdered, police shootings, and severe weather were streamed live on Facebook.
And a Facebook Live segment called Lunch Break is gaining traction.
“As restaurants announce their openings, we try to get in a couple of days before the opening, interview the chef, interview the owner, take the tour to give people an idea of what’s happening in the community,” says Wise.
And the station also will use Facebook as a tool to drive users to view the station’s newscasts, although “Facebook themselves have told us that really isn’t what they recommend just because people see Facebook differently and the timing of when they see the posts might not jive with your newscast.”
Wise says the station takes the long view when it comes to its Facebook strategy.
“If we are consistently engaging people on social media, the hope and the odds are that those people will, when it’s time to make a decision as to who to turn on that morning or that evening, that they will choose the people with whom they are engaging with on social media. And our ratings have been doing well, we have been on the increase for the last four or five years.”