How Local Stations Use Social Media

How Local Stations are Leveraging the Power of Social Media to Drive Engagement

From postcards to phone lines, local TV stations have long used viewers as a source for tips, stories, and shoutouts for segments in newscasts. Most, if not all now include Twitter and Facebook for viewer outreach. Developing relationships through tools like community events, campaigns and sweepstakes are key.

During Hurricane Sandy, Twitter was a source for finding necessities like food, water, open gas stations and businesses. Hashtags made it easier for people to sort through the plethora of newsfeeds. (ex., #njopen, #njgas)

“The ABC owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, KABC has the largest like/follower count across both Facebook (344K) and Twitter (78K) than any TV station in the country. In our experience running our social media leaderboard here on Lost Remote (freshly updated), it’s the first time we’ve seen any TV station top both the Facebook and Twitter list.” April, 2012

At the Socializing Local TV session during the March 2012 4A's Transformation Conference in L.A. local TV stations talked about using social media to extend their coverage and conversations with viewers. Working to create more integration with advertisers and device companies was also part of the discussion.

KABC in Los Angeles teamed up with the user-generated traffic app Waze as part of its coverage of "Carmageddon," when a stretch of California's 405 Freeway was shut down in July 2012. Now all ABC owned TV stations partner with Waze according to Rebecca Campbell, president of ABC Owned TV Stations.

During Hurricane Irene, social media helped a local NBC affiliate push past the dominant station in the market. "We were watching the Facebook page, and it just lit up. ... The conversation got bigger and bigger, and more people became involved," Valari Staab, president of NBC Owned Television Stations said. "The station went on-air live at 3 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. and stayed on. We slaughtered our competition on the coverage."

As pressure grows to keep up with websites and social media, many observers say TV stations need to put less emphasis on being first and more on being right. Since the number of people circulating bad information will only grow, journalists need to be more diligent in the two Vs — verifying and vetting.
TVNewsCheck, January 8, 2013 10:56 AM EST

The broadcast company is rebranding RMM, the company it acquired in 2009 to help fuel its digital efforts, as LIN Digital and including it under the LIN Digital Media brand with LIN Mobile and Nami Media. —NetNewsCheck, January 7, 2013 12:04 PM EST

10 Local Digital Media Trends For 2013 —NetNewsCheck, Dec 26, 2012
NetNewsCheck takes a look forward into the coming year at some of the most important trends in tech, revenue and journalism in store for local media.

Daily newspaper U-T San Diego is making an ambitious move into the video space with an all-news TV station — streaming online and running on cable — that will soon run original programming 24-hours per day. The newspaper is hoping its $3 million investment in equipment and personnel will pay off in a big way. —NetNewsCheck, December 19, 2012 5:45 AM EST

Vincent Sadusky, LIN’s president-CEO, says his company has adopted a digital mindset and has gone from about 40 employees dedicated to digital full time in 2007 to close to 300 today. “We want to be able to exploit our content in ways that follow the way people are going about their days.” —TVNewsCheck, December 4, 2012 9:54 PM EST

After Soliciting Viewer Feedback on Twitter, WUSA News Director Bans Lindsay Lohan Story —By Merrill Knox on November 29, 2012 5:36 PM

Nine Network in St. Louis has premiered a unique interactive weekly television series, Stay Tuned, in which experts and community members discuss matters of community importance live via videochat service Google+ Hangout, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. —, November 19, 2012

Social media campaigns by stations must not only comply with standard state or federal laws that apply to all promotions regardless of the delivery method, but they also must follow rules that are unique to social media. Here’s an overview of rules that stations will need to follow when implementing a social media promotion. TVNewsCheck, November 16, 2012 8:19 AM EST

A tight race for digital leadership has SourceMedia's ABC affiliate and its newspaper, The Gazette, in the lead but closely followed by Quincy-owned KWWL. Local digital competitors have been experimenting with online video, user-generated content and social media to engage their audiences. —NetNewsCheck, October 4, 2012 6:58 AM EDT

Fox Tracks Social Media-TV InteractionMediaPost, Sep 19, 2012, 4:19 PM

The Facebook Page and Contest Management Platform provides a single access point to update multiple Facebook pages simultaneously and create, publish and manage Facebook contests. —TVNewsCheck, September 14, 2012 5:52 AM EDT

We've seen examples where stations have completely disconnected their marketing from their networks because research revealed the connection to be poison to their local news credibility. Stations should be careful not to have their credibility dragged down by the national media. —TVNewsCheck, September 3, 2012 10:29 PM EDT

Twitter, Facebook and smartphones replace TV for some Tropical Storm Debby watchers in Tampa Bay area. —Tampa Bay Times, June 24, 2012

ABC News and O&O Stations Debut New iPad Apps with, June 14, 2012

Local TV Gets Its Second Screen with ConnecTV Launch in 40, June 12, 2012

KIRO To Air Experimental Social TV ShowLost Remote, Jun 7, 2012, 3:17 PM EDT

“Social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide. It’s big and only getting bigger each day as a place where consumers engage, share, interact, shop and consume news and information. Despite all the efforts put behind building and creating social channels, few have been able to generate significant revenue, but the payoff is coming as businesses engage fans and convert customers.” —TVNewsCheck, May 25, 2012

“One of the biggest trends is focused on making it easy for producers to integrate social content on-air. Until now, displaying a tweet or a poll has been extremely labor-intensive (put poll on website, tease website from on-air, refresh poll results, create graphic of results, write them into script, drop it into the rundown.) But new partnerships are automating the entire process, tying it to social curation and the second screen.” — NAB Wrap-up: Social Features Creep Into TV Production Gear —, April 18, 2012

“The new tools allow local media sites to add relavant social media content from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube below their own content and integrate weather content from Weather Central.” — Inergize Adds Social, Weather Tools To CMS —NetNewsCheck, Apr 10, 2012

What Local TV Newsrooms are Pinning on, April 10, 2012

Florida Stations Get On Social TV, Mar 21, 2012

TV station officials and their Web producers encourage the social media back-and-forth between their viewers and on-air talent because it can cultivate news tips and foster loyal viewership.

KABC Partners With Trendrr For Oscars Social BuzzLost Remote, Feb 24, 2012, 7:39 AM EST


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