Multiply your reach on social media

July 16, 2018 11:30

Social media drives a significant portion of traffic to TV and radio websites (around 50% on average), and news sites are growing in reach, RTDNA reported recently in our Newsroom Digital Media & Technology Report. At the same time, stations are getting more strategic about social media, posting more strategically on proven platforms.

What about you? News anchors and reporters are being asked to post on social media more and more, too.

If you think strategically, too, you can multiply your reach, meet your station’s asks and make an impact with your social engagement.

Chip Mahaney, RTDNA Board member and WCPO News Director and Tracy Davidson, NBC Philadelphia Anchor, showed how at the RTDNA-Loyola Anchor Leadership Summit recently in a session they’ll reprise at Excellence in Journalism 2018 this September.

Be social
It might sound obvious, but too often, we forget that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are designed to be tools to connect with people rather than to simply broadcast information. This is especially true for individual accounts or pages.

One great way to boost your social media presence quickly is to be a connector, showcasing others on your platforms. “Paint your posts blue,” Chip says, tagging others in your newsroom to highlight their work or community members when you’re sharing their stories.

Learn more on using social media to be social from Chip and Tracy at EIJ18, including the 2 to 1 rule and when not to engage with comments.

Be yourself
Be yourself and find what works for you. This strategy has worked for Tracy, who is actively involved in women’s health and leadership initiatives and uses social media as an extension of her daily community involvement. When finding your personality on social media, know that what works for you won’t necessarily be the same as what works for someone else in your newsroom. Instead of focusing on rules like posting a certain number of times per day, set personal goals for engagement on your social media profiles and see what works by tracking your numbers carefully.

Being yourself on professional social media profiles often means sharing a little about your life outside of work, but remember, there is a line between personal and private, which only you can set. Even if you’re asked to share more about your personal life on your social media profiles, you can decide if that means photos of your children or showcasing your cooking.

In Chip and Tracy’s session at EIJ18, see some examples of unusual social media approaches that work when they’re on brand.

Place small bets
Social media sites are constantly updating the algorithms they use to surface posts to your followers – or not, so increasing your reach always involves a little bit of trial and error. But if you’re constantly posting content that isn’t generating reactions from your audience, you’ll find your reach shrinking, so one good approach is to focus on quality over quantity.

If a post is working, work it, Chip and Tracy say. This could mean using the comments section to tell a story and add context to the original post, or updating a breaking news post by editing the original post to add new information as a story develops.

Learn more about exactly how organic reach really works at Chip and Tracy’s EIJ18 session.

It’s still about news
What you know about storytelling doesn’t go out the window when your platform is social media rather than a TV screen. Social media is still a place to break news, getting your audience information quickly before it even makes it to air. It is still a place for storytelling, connecting emotionally with your audience.

Remember, platforms like Facebook at Twitter are facing increasing pushback for their role in enabling the spread of disinformation. They need journalists more than ever, particularly trusted local reporters, to show their platforms are not full of only “fake news,” but also fact checkers like you.

Learn more about using social media to find stories, two ways to keep dated information off your followers’ timelines and why you need to be looking for thumbstoppers at EIJ18.

Excellence in Journalism 2018, RTDNA’s annual conference presented in partnership with the Society of Professional Journalists, is an affordable, accessible, actionable training opportunity like no other for broadcast & digital journalists, $230 for members who register by July 25 August 7.