In this week’s Social Scorecard, learn how WCNC’s meteorologist helped Tegna’s NBC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., lead on Facebook by almost a million actions.
WCNC is ahead in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
It has more than 3.5 million actions on social, 26.5% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 23), with more than 13.3 million social actions.
WCNC also leads in actions per post with 226.
WBTV, the CBS affiliate owned by Raycom, led on Instagram with almost 280,000 actions.
iHeartMedia’s WHQC-FM, broadcasting a top-40 contemporary hits format, led on Twitter with more than 184,000 actions.
Matt King, WCNC’s news director, says success on Facebook is helped significantly by Brad Panovich,the station’s chief meteorologist.
“I believe he has the most followers on social media of any one of our meteorologists in the company. This past weekend we had a tornado warning and the station was No. 1 in CrowdTangle, another station was No. 2 and then Brad was No. 3 individually, beating the rest of the other media outlets.”
King says Panovich often does Facebook Lives from his living room or his office, “that are kind of becoming must-see TV so to speak. He is so popular on social media.”
Hard news does well for high engagement on WCNC’s Facebook, especially when the station has a plan to cover it, like the death of the Rev. Billy Graham.
“We had a playbook or a plan in place for what would happen when we did get conformation,” says King.
“We were the first on Facebook and we went live with our news team on the set and we did special coverage. The engagement numbers on that specific day were through the roof.”
Digital-only coverage of news events is also part of WCNC’s strategy, says King.
“We had an officer funeral here that really touched a lot of people. We were online, digital only, with live shots of people out in the field for hours and people just wanted to be a part of that.”
Amy Lehtonen, WCNC’s digital director, says the station’s Facebook strategy is focused on the audience.
“We pay attention to the data and we recognize 67% of our Facebook audience is female. So we focus a lot of our Facebook posts around the female audience.”
Here’s an example of a WCNC news story that was tailored for the Facebook audience.
Lehtonen says the kinds of stories that do well on WCNC’s Facebook page are “stories that make people feel good and stories that people are going to care about.”
Like a story about a cat that walked 12 miles to get home.
King says the cat story was the most watched on Facebook among all of the Tegna stations.
Lehtonen says one viewer-generated video had more than 3.3 million views when the station asked for photos/videos of snow in Charlotte.
King says the station pays close attention to the comments users’ post.
“The comments and the discussion that we have will then lead us down a totally completely different path that we weren’t expecting and then two or three other great stories come out of that thread.”
Here are two examples of news stories that aired on WCNC as a result of social listening.
Both King and Lehtonen say their success on Facebook is posting what they think people will share on their feed.
“What are the things that you are gravitating towards when you are scrolling,” says King.
“Whatever it is that all our customers would share on a regular basis, we want to be part of that.”