Social Media on TV – Part 2: What Works?

Social Media on TV – Part 2: What Works?
By Kim Wilson

Growing ratings and increasing the numbers in the younger demos are two of the primary goals of just about every television and radio station. Putting more social media on TV can be a big influencer because it encourages live viewing/listening and instant engagement. The impact of social conversation on television has become so clear over the last few years, Nielsen created the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating,” an industry-standard metric that is based entirely on Twitter data.

Have A Plan

Just like you create a plan for election night or any other big story, you should have a plan for effectively creating social TV.

  • -Consider dedicating someone (or multiple people) to tweeting, posting, taking photos, re-tweeting, favoriting, and answering questions from viewers on all your social channels.
  • -Empower producers to look to social media as a news source.
  • -Follow Twitter’s rules for display.
  • -Follow Facebook’s rules for display.
  • -Find the right tools in advance so when you need them, your team is ready to go.
  • -Look for opportunities for recurring segments where it makes sense to include social content.

Create Your Own Hashtag

If you know a major story is about to begin (severe weather, a controversial vote, a big trial, etc.), create your own hashtag to use during the coverage. Make sure everyone on your staff uses the hashtag for consistency. Many stations also use the same station hashtag on every post they make.

Use The Power of Live Broadcast

A lot of people watching your newscasts or listening to your broadcast want to be able to give their opinion, share photos, or talk to your talent about stories. Tell people which hashtags to use to join the conversation online. TV stations can put a hashtag on the screen, and you should also have your anchors say it out loud for the best results. Of course, if someone shares a particularly interesting comment or photo online, you can also mention it on-air.

It’s Not Just For Hard News

Social TV isn’t just for breaking news. You can also live tweet a fun community event, radio remote or prime time show. Lead-ins can really help boost an evening newscast’s numbers, so you can encourage your staff to join in on conversations about shows on your station. You can also encourage your audience to do the same.

Throw a Viewing Party

A great way to kick start your live tweeting campaign, or a unique hashtag, is to have a physical party. Invite top tweeters from your area to watch the Super Bowl, an awards show, or a special put on by your station.

Kim Wilson is the President and Founder of SocialNewsDesk. She regularly writes and speaks on social media best practices for journalists and news organizations. You can connect with Kim @kimsnd on Twitter.