Why Your Newsroom Needs Facebook

Is your newsroom using Facebook or Facebook Live yet? Many in the TV news industry are slow to market, especially when it comes to new technologies that they aren’t familiar with. But that kind of thinking is going to leave you even further in the past. Today we’ll discuss why Facebook should be one of your top resources.

First up; why do you need it? Well, according to Mediashift, the cliff is approaching; indeed, they say “a person with his or her eyes open can see it coming from a mile away.”

  • The latest numbers from Nielsen show TV viewership amongst 25-34 year olds (you know, the demo) is down 24 percent from 2010. That percentage continues to grow every quarter.
  • The University of Florida released data in February 2015 that show 4 percent of young people consider their primary news source as either an online-only news site, the website of a traditional news organization, Facebook, Twitter, or some other social network. Broadcast TV came in at only 4.5 percent.
  • What’s even more troubling for TV newsrooms? Ask young people how many of them still pay for cable or satellite. Then ask how many consume a majority of their media on mobile platforms (see the MediaShift special on cord cutting here). The answers aren’t good for the status quo in TV news.1

One fear expressed by the TV news industry is spending money and resources on something they don’t think will benefit them financially. But you really don’t have to do that much more. Again, according to Mediashift, when all TV stations do is post video teases to Facebook, they’re thinking short-sighted and missing gigantic opportunities to provide relevant content where their consumers already exist. Instead of teasing the story, post a Facebook-specific video version of the story. Post video of some sound that didn’t make the cut. Post a recap from the reporter about what surprised him or her about the story. Do anything other than a standard 15-second video tease pushing to the legacy medium.1

Case in point is KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas – a small station with a huge social media footprint.  In fact, the station, which is in the 180th television market (out of 210) in a metro area with a population somewhere around 150,000, has found ways to gain about the same number of fans and followers as some of the country’s top newspapers.2

Monday through Friday, a “Hot Topic” related to the news of the day is posted by one of the anchors at 4:30 a.m. for people to comment on. KAIT News Director Hatton Weeks says it’s rare to have less than 50 comments by 7. During the show, the anchors talk on the air about the question and user responses.

Weeks goes on to suggest four starting points for your newsroom to take advantage of.

1 – Get Everyone Involved.

2 – Post items a minimum of 4-5 hours before the news begins to push to the newscast.

3 – Find an internal social media guru and let that person lead the charge.

4 – Make sure your website is updated often and stories are shared on the appropriate social media.2

“It has almost revolutionized the way we cover news,” Weeks says. “Our audience, en masse, can communicate with us as we cover stories. Our audience is engaged more with our product, their voice is heard, and they feel like they’re part of the news.”2

With that in mind, don’t you think it’s time you embraced the technology before you’re left in the dust? Bitcentral CORE:news offers industry-leading discovery, asset management and editing capabilities as a perfect complement to a newsroom Facebook strategy. When it comes to maximizing Facebook, we can help get you up to speed in no time!