Raycom’s CBS affiliate in the Louisiana capital, is first in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
WAFB ranked No. 1 among members of the DMA (94) while also generating the highest engagement on the top platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
WAFB led on Facebook with over 2.4 million actions, was first on Instagram with almost 34,000 actions, and topped Twitter with almost 150,000 actions.
Sonlife Broadcasting Network, a television and radio network which is an extension of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, led in actions per post with 486.
Above all else, says Brent Ledet, WAFB’s digital content director, the main reason for the station’s success on Facebook is that it’s a team effort.
“Our news, marketing and digital departments have really just paid close attention to what our users are reacting to and trying to deliver social content that they want and just listening to our users. We all talk about it regularly.”
What WAFB’s users respond to on Facebook is breaking news and severe weather.
“That’s what we want to make sure we are delivering to keep them coming to us,” says Ledet.
“Our engagement spikes during breaking news, and when there is severe weather. It’s noticeable.”
In addition to Facebook Lives of breaking news and severe weather, Ledet says, “we’ve had great contributions from our team which has helped tremendously.”
When pressed, one reporter Ledet points to who has been strong and stands out for her posts on her individual page is Kiran Chawla, WAFB’s investigative reporter.
“If you were to look at our roster on Facebook,” says Ledet, “she would stand out in the number of people following her page with likes and the engagement that she gets.”
Although not many TV stations say they use Facebook to drive its users to its core product — on-air newscasts — Ledet says, “we do it often.” Mostly by the news department through Facebook Live.
“If there is a live from the scene, if it’s a live from a talent’s page or talent’s camera, we go live. We are using social to bring people to our core products.”
But the station’s marketing department is also using Facebook to create specially edited messages to recruit news viewers to its television broadcasts.
Although Ledet says WAFB is the market leader in terms of on-air news ratings, the station doesn’t take digital for granted.
“We have seen a lot of stations that have been the market leader on broadcast, but they get surpassed on digital from another station. We really made that a priority not to give that up, to concentrate on what we are doing on digital and didn’t take for granted our audience there.”