This week’s Social Scorecard goes to Chattanooga, Tenn., to find out how WTVC holds the lead on Facebook actions over all media outlets. WTVC, Sinclair’s ABC affiliate, leads in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee. WTVC has almost 1.4 million actions on […]
WTVC, Sinclair’s ABC affiliate, leads in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
WTVC has almost 1.4 million actions on social, 32% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 89), with more than 4.3 million social actions.
WKXJ-FM, owned by Entercom and broadcasting a top-40 contemporary hits format, led on Twitter with an astounding 1.2 million actions and also led actions per post with 267.
The Wally Show, owned by The WAY-FM Network, a national, nonprofit playing Christian music, led on Instagram with almost 24,000 actions.
Dan Lehr, WTVC’s executive digital producer, explains that part of WTVC’s success in fostering engagement on Facebook comes down to the realization that for many viewers, Facebook is their primary news source. They’re on their Facebook page wherever they are during the day.
“So we try to do a range of topics. We cover national news, regional news and local news. We try to hit the big stories of the day regardless of where they are coming from. So we recognize that that is kind of a newscast in and of itself.”
So Lehr says his strategy for engagement is to connect with the station’s Facebook fans inside the station’s posts as much as possible.
“Our digital staff here always tries to make a point of looking for those questions and responding to them. I view our digital output as a newscast much as you would, say a five o’clock newscast or a six o’clock newscast, and we pay close attention to what viewers respond to.”
And what WTVC’s Facebook fans respond to mostly is breaking news accompanied with images and video.
“A lot of our success is because of the amount of videos that we share whether it’s from our newscasts, or videos from the Sinclair national team.”
Lehr is referring to Circa, the subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group that produces videos for social media.
“We get maybe a dozen, 15, 20 of those produced from our national desk and we also have access to videos that are shared by other Sinclair sister stations around the country.”
Lehr says Facebook posts announcing product recalls do really well for WTVC, in part because of how the station captions them.
“We will make a point of saying in a caption, ‘do you know someone who has got this in their pantry’? We have noticed that posts like that where we try to encourage people to think of somebody they know do a lot better for us engagement-wise.”
When reporters are on the scene of breaking news, they’re encouraged to go on Facebook Live.
An example Lehr cites “that just did bonkers for us” was the story of a cat stuck in a drainpipe.
“That kind of drama doesn’t come around every day.”
Another interesting way WTVC uses Facebook Live is called The Producer’s Briefing.
“That’s our best attempt at trying to drive viewers to our newscasts,” says Lehr.
The Producer’s Briefing goes on Facebook Live weekdays at around 4:15 in the afternoon featuring anchors, meteorologists and maybe some news producers in an informal conversation off the set talking about the headlines of the day.
Lehr says the station had a successful May book, and that since this May was the first ratings period where WTVC had done The Producer’s Meeting, he thinks it contributed to the station’s rating success.