This week’s Social Scorecard covers the social media scene in New York City where broadcasters are vying for their share of engagement among 140 million actions. WNYW, the Fox O&O, is far ahead of all broadcasters there. Its secret? Fewer posts that appeal to their followers’ emotions. “Sometimes, less is more,” says Dan Carlin, the station’s programming and research VP.
WNYW leads all broadcasters in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
WNYW has about 16.5 million total social media actions, about 5 million more than its nearest competitor in the market. New York City has more than 140 million total social actions.
Among broadcasters, WNYW led in actions per post with 1,401 with the least amount of content among broadcasters, 11,713 posts.
WQHT-FM, (Hot 97), owned by Emmis Communications, and playing an urban contemporary hits format, led on Twitter among broadcasters with more than 9 million actions.
The Post Corp.’s New York Post led on Instagram with 1.5 million actions.
Dan Carlin, WNYW’s programming and research VP, says generally, WNYW’s success on Facebook is attributable to planning and inclusion.
“We have daily meetings with news, programming, research and creative services. We go over the previous day’s performance, how we did, how the competition did, what works and what didn’t, what seems to be resonating with our audience. Then we go through the day’s events whether it’s political, international, national, local, or pop culture. We try to pre-plan, what type of events are coming up in the days, weeks ahead.”
Luke Funk, WNYW’s web manager, says the station considers all news fair game for its Facebook page, whether it’s local, national or international, as long as its content appeals to people’s emotions.
“We always look for content that will draw any sort of emotional response whether it be joy, sadness or anger. I think we consider that all news is local if it’s something that somebody can relate to.”
Funk cites a local story, the murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, who was dragged from a bodega in the Bronx and stabbed to death, as one that really resonated with the city.
The station’s subsequent interview with Junior’s mother, posted in its entirety, generated more than 2.7 million views and more than 150,000 engagements.
Viewer-submitted videos, like this one about a road rage incident on the streets of Manhattan, also contribute to WNYW’s Facebook engagement.
A national story that continues to generate high interest in New York City is Hurricane Maria.
WNYW also finds engagement when it turns to Facebook Live, says Funk.
The station does a Facebook Live weekdays right after Good Day New York, its morning newscast, and that is often sponsored.
Other Facebook Lives also generate engagement including talkbacks with the helicopter reporter, and live radars of storms approaching the city.
As to how WNYW is able to lead all broadcasters in the market in actions per post with the least amount of content, both Funk and Carlin stress that it’s not the quantity of posts that matter.
“We put a lot of thought into what we are posting and how we are writing it,” says Funk. “We are watching to see what is going on around the country and what is trending for the other stations in our group.”
“Sometimes, less is more,” says Carlin. “We really take each post and make it very meaningful and engaging to the audience.”