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4 Reasons to be Thankful for Social Media

Some stations have been using social media as part of their news strategy since its inception while others have not fully committed to the idea for one reason or another. It is time for all local stations to embrace the social media news. This season, take a moment to be thankful for all the benefits social media can deliver to local broadcasters.

Social adds value for sponsors

Facebook posts and Twitter feed can be used to add value to your sponsors and advertisers. Pointing viewers to the sponsors can be done directly by retweeting or “liking” the company’s posts. Social media can also indirectly help increase the number of visitors to a sponsor’s page by featuring their logo in camera shots and video clip posts. Including sponsor mentions on your pages will generate more traffic for your sponsors and ultimately generate more revenue for the station.

Social media gets message out faster

On-air broadcast has traditionally been ground zero for every important story from breaking news to severe weather to sports scores. Social media should be an extension of that established format. People trust you to deliver the most accurate on-air story and want turn to you for the most accurate social media news as well. Facebook, Twitter, etc allows you to go beyond the nightly newscast and into a multifaceted medium of instant information and with a broader reach. A short video of breaking news or an image of lightning during severe weather can deliver the exact information viewers are looking for.

KSFY in Sioux Falls, South Dakota recently broke news of a hotel fire on their Facebook page. To date the post has received over 67,225 views and the post has been shared over 822 times! KSFY’s Facebook Page

Social increases viewership & web hits

While a lot of viewers still turn to television broadcasts, a recent study reported 21% of viewers ages 18-33 list social media as their primary source for news after news websites (30%). Posts to social media are brief but the limited space allows you to point readers to your broadcast and to your website for more information. Social media may break the story but it can and should drive viewers to your broadcast and traffic to your website for the rest of the details.

Social media promotes viewer engagement

The ability to react to, participate in and share the news is one of the biggest advantages social media has brought to local stations. Something to remember, people connect with images more than just text. Take advantage of the ability in Facebook and Twitter to include pictures from your tower cameras, highlight video from great sports moments or the 5 day forecast. This active role allows the stations to truly engage with the viewers. Social media also allows viewers to continue to discuss and follow interesting stories long after the traditional coverage ends