What next for TV and social media?

The latest RTDNA/Hofstra survey finds that more than two thirds of TV newsrooms have a Facebook page and more than a third describe themselves as “constantly” using Twitter.

As we did last year, we asked what stations were doing with social media, and there’s been a change in the last year.  Although this open-ended response is really more anecdotal information than empirical data, there appears to have been a shift in the last year from using social media primarily as a promotional tool to using it heavily — if not primarily — to have conversations with the audience.  Most news directors noted seeking comments, feedback or interaction.  Some talked about livechat and crowdsourcing, but most of the comments dealt with conversations.
That finding tracks with an article we wrote for RTDNA about best practices in social media for TV newsrooms:
  • In general, the more interaction, the more followers or folks who “like” your organization.
  • Contesting — essentially creating competitions to boost the social audience — has been hugely successful for some news operations.
  • TV stations are now trying to figure out how to link social media engagement with increased viewing and profits.
Chip Mahaney, director of digital content at E.W. Scripps, says TV operations need to be more strategic.

“I think there are very few that have had the next conversation, which is, ‘What is our goal? ‘Why are we doing this? What do we want to build and how does our time and effort that we spend building these social media networks help build our entire business?’”