KGTV, the Scripps ABC affiliate, is first in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
KGTV has almost 4 million actions on social, 27% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 29), with more than 14.7 million social actions. KGTV also lead in actions per post with 266.
NBC O&O KNSD led on both Twitter and Instagram with more than 142,000 and 358,000 actions, respectively.
Mario Sevilla, KGTV’s digital director, says KGTV’s success on Facebook is largely driven by the involvement of every employee who works there.
“We get unsolicited ideas from newsroom staff, creative services, the sales team, engineers, finance, research, human resources, department heads, everybody,” says Sevilla.
“Some folks are just really skilled at social listening. There are others that are more astute at identifying viral stories. There are some that are very perceptive at spotting trends and others just have this great creativity and know how to craft a great post.”
Sevilla says one story that became a big hit for the station on Facebook came from an employee on “the other side of the station” who was keeping their eyes and ears open on Facebook.
“They were pointing us to this really cool story that we ended up flushing out, a video of a boy who was caught on surveillance video replenishing an empty candy bowl. So our social strategy and purpose is purveyed across the station and so it’s always a conversation.”
“We utilize Facebook Live to get information out for people to take action,” says Sevilla.
“We will dispatch a reporter, we will dispatch a producer, anyone who is available to get out. We can go live, and not have to wait until the next newscast to get that information out quickly.”
In December of 2017, the Lilac fire swept through the area, forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 residents.
“We were delivering live streams from the scene,” says Sevilla.
“We took our newscast live on Facebook. We had our anchors and our meteorologists and our traffic reporter on Facebook Live. We got information out real-time. What we found was our social coverage was helpful for numerous people that were directly impacted by the fire, but we also saw a reaction to our coverage on Facebook Live from people not immediately effected, but when they heard it, they wanted to help.”
Sevilla says success on Facebook is not always driven by news headlines, and so the station is always looking for opportunities to connect with its audience.
When the San Diego Chargers moved to Los Angeles, it devastated the community. “We did a pretty good job giving heartbroken fans a platform to commiserate and mend.”
KGTV does, on occasion, use its Facebook page to push users to watch the station’s newscasts.
However, Sevilla says the overall focus of its Facebook strategy is to provide great, memorable content on social media, and he thinks that will translate into TV news viewers.
“With great content, viewers here will think of us first when they finally have a TV remote in their hand.”