WSVN, Sunbeam Television’s Fox affiliate, is first in social media actions in the market over the last six months according to data from audience insight firm Shareablee.
WSVN has more than 7.2 million actions on social, 28% of the total engagement generated by the DMA (No. 16), with more than 25.6 million social actions.
WSVN also led on Twitter with more than 440,000 actions and led on in actions per post with 663
Top 40 WHYI-FM (Y100), owned by iHeartRadio, led the market on Instagram with more than 465,000 actions.
Steven Cejas, WSVN.com’s executive producer, says the station saw a significant decline in Facebook referrals late last year and that change in algorithms have altered how the station posts to Facebook.
“It’s all about interaction now. It’s not just throwing whatever up there. We tailor every post that we do to Facebook so that we feel like we are going to get interactions. On a regular day we try to keep it between somewhere around 20 to 25. So it’s kind of a ‘less-is-more’ mentality and we have seen that that really has helped out our numbers.”
Cejas says WSVN’s Facebook users are interested in the safety of children, and that was true even before the school shootings in his area last week.
“People care about crime in the community so if something is going on in a very specific area of our community, we like to focus on that.”
WSVN’s first response to the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., about 50 miles north of Miami, last week, was to get its chopper over the scene.
“That way people can see what’s going on as we are seeing it. We switched away to our live coverage from the chopper after a few minutes and we let that carry out for the rest of the evening.”
Amazingly, during the shooting, dozens of students and three teachers locked inside a classroom turned on a laptop to watch WSVN’s livestream.
“The only way for us to know what was going on outside is we were watching your live feed on the helicopters,” culinary instructor Ashley Kurth told WSVN. “And then, when we see the SWAT team come on, you kind of breathe a little sigh of relief knowing that help is there.”
Cejas says the station’s philosophy about using Facebook Live is “anything with suspense does well. Anything that people don’t know what the outcome is going to be, they tend to get drawn in.”
But stories about good news also find a place on the station’s Facebook page.
“We try to find a balance. We try not to be negative all the time. There is also a lot of good news and we try to find those stories and sometimes they are stories that we don’t carry on air.”
Cejas concedes that the station doesn’t make any money from its Facebook page, but points out that whenever there is breaking news, news viewers turn to WSVN both on television and its website.
“We want to be in front of as many eyeballs as possible and I think it’s proven whenever there is breaking news, you can clearly see in our ratings that people turn to us. Whenever we get a storm, whenever there is breaking news, people turn to us.”
NOTE: In an article in Buzz Feed, read how WSVN’s streaming coverage of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School became part of a new initiative by Twitter to show live local news broadcasts during major news events. Or as the article says, as Facebook deemphasizes news in its core experience, Twitter does the opposite.