The following blog post is for my graduate course, it’s called IMC 619 Emerging Media. This course “examines how modern industry uses emerging media, such as blogs and virtual worlds, to enhance the IMC process.”(IMC 619 Course Pack)
This blog post will discuss how my news station interacted with emerging media called Facebook.
I work in the news industry which communicates with the public every day. At my station, Eyewitness News, we try to engage our viewers. We utilize Facebook, twitter, text alerts and combine them with the stories we air during our newscast. But it wasn’t easy combining the emerging media.
The station did experience a bumpy ride when we created a Facebook Page. This was a confusing time since we didn’t have enough information on the subject, so at the beginning was cumbersome at best.
When we created our Facebook page, Facebook was growing exponentially. The following 2010 iconographic shows what our station was seeing in the new emerging media: 400 million active viewers, 35 million users update statuses every day and 3 billion photos uploaded. It was an emerging media that could no longer be ignored by our station.
The station saw the potential in Facebook as a way to engage our viewers in a different way, but how we started to do it has changed from how we do it today. In the beginning there were about a dozen administrators for our page. Each of those administrators had different agendas. We had sales, promotions, and news each adding content to our page. Needless to say it was a mish-mash of blubber in the end. Each department would ask the following questions.
- Why are we putting promos of TV shows on our news feed?
- Why are sales ads on the feed?
- Where are the news stories?
- Who is going to put content on the weekend?
We found out the hard way that we were not engaging our viewers properly.
Here is what we found out:
- We didn’t have a plan.
- Content should relate to news.
- People have opinions and are willing to share them: naughty and nice.
- Someone needed to be in control at all times.
According to the article, Facebook Business Tips: How to Engage Your Fans, there are ways to increase fan engagement that we just didn’t understand.
- Find and understand you fan base.
- Don’t just want your fans to engage with you, engage with your fans.
- Use photos, quotes, and videos!
- Schedule your status updates.
- Keep it short and sweet.
The station did not know our fan base. The news department saw our Facebook page as a shortened version of a news story. Promotions saw the page as a place to promotions for other shows, rather than news, which competed with our newscast. The sales department saw the Facebook page as an advertisement.
The administrators did not know how to engage with fans. The content was just placed on the page, like a shot in the dark. Trying to figure out what post received the most likes and trying to decipher what our fans wanted.
The administrators would use photos and videos, but the technology at the station was minimal, too many firewalls and a lot of them would be lost in the ether sphere.
There was no schedule. All posts either came at the same time from a dozen administrators or when they remembered to update the page.
Learning how to post short and sweet was also difficult. The posts either had too much or not enough information.
All of the above situations caused too much confusion for our fans which lead to frustration for the administrators.
We found that we were doing it all wrong, so we went back to the drawing board. We knew we had to pull up our bootstraps and understand that we were probably not the most equip people to run the social platforms. So we created a social media team. These individuals live and breathe social media. They understand timeliness, accuracy and engagement.
In regards to this post, I’d have to say the most important element for creating a Facebook page is to plan, plan, then rethink your actions and hire the right people!
Quesenberry, K. (2015). IMC 619: Emerging Media Syllabus. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.
Eyewitness News Logo Image. (2015). Retrieved on February 1, 2015 from: http://www.wchstv.com/template/ugc/wchs/1524/1vFbtBkz.jpg
Facebook Image. (2015). Retrieved on February 1, 2015 from: http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2014/09/ 18/facebook-inc-news-feed.jpg?itok=KWHgaxVz
Digital Buzz Blog. (2010, March 22). Facebook 2010 Iconographic. Retrieved on February 1, 105 from:
No Plan Image. (2015). Retrieved on February 1, 2015 from: http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/no-plan.png
News Image. (2015). Retrieved on February 1, 2015 from: https://static.distilled.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/extra-news.jpg
Opinion Image. (2015). Retrieved on February 1, 2015 from: http://t2.ftcdn.net/jpg/00/35/78/47/400_F_35784765_S9Ysk0qNeqNkfNJgdpCUdqWWLKASaQ3s.jpg
Control Image. (2015). Retrieved on February 1, 2015 from: http://info.saintclairsystems.com/Portals/219243/images/control.jpg
Soldsie.com. (2014, June 26). Facebook Business Tips: How to Engage Your Fans. Retrieved on February 1, 2015 from: http://new.soldsie.com/blog/facebook-business-tips- engage-fans/