With the rise of social media and Internet 2.0, readership of newspapers and viewers of news broadcasts has dropped dramatically. Some news stations, however, have made adjustments to engage with their audience where they are, social media sites. Recently, Brad Belote, director of digital content at KY3, Inc., came to speak at my COM 509 class to share how KY3, Inc., utilizes social media platforms.
1. Be in the Fan’s “Feed.”
To begin with, it is important to have a profile on the social media platforms where the viewers are. KY3 has profiles on Facebook and Twitter and engages separately with each audience. It is even more important to participate actively on them. Belote said he has the website linked up to Facebook so that it posts a story every time it is published on the website. Some social media people disagree with this method, but by constantly posting information, it ensures that KY3 shows up in their fans’ newsfeed along with their friends’ status updates.
2. Provide Value.
Just like in traditional journalism, it is essential to share compelling stories about people. People want to read about a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend, a family member or just a real person they can relate to. They, also, encourage their journalists to engage via social media as well. For example, Ethan Forhertz of KY3 posts little polls that he calls “The Great Debate.” It is a great way to socialize with his fans.
3. Ask for Feedback
By asking questions, it furthers engages the audience. It is also necessary to listen for questions and respond quickly. If someone asks a question via Twitter or Facebook, someone should be monitoring that via Hootesuite or something similar so that the account manager can make the appropriate response. It is about the conversation.
Belote emphasize he values an engaged audience over a large inactive audience. He could get a thousand to ten thousand more followers if he had a contest, but he considers that steroids.
“I want people to like us because they actually like us,” Belote said.