I thought it would be interesting to pick two local news organizations to compare for this short project, so chose KSDK and KMOV. I took a look at their Twitter and Facebook pages, the stories they covered/linked to, and the ways they used their social media accounts.
First, KSDK. KSDK’s twitter feed seemed to be ran pretty well. They were linking to stories on their website, teasing stories that were going to be on air, and interacting well with followers. There were several ‘thank you’ tweets to followers who were sharing their stories. One thing I especially liked was that they used several types of hashtags with their tweets, ones that were not specific to KSDK like #KSDK (they used this too, but definitely not exclusively) might be. For instance, they used #STL and #oddnews. Someone who does not normally pay attention to KSDK might be able to come across them by searching those hashtags, which of course is the whole point. All of these things come together to mean a very successful Twitter account for KSDK. What is more, all the work they put into the account is likely to lead to them getting many more hits on their website and thus more ad money. Alissa Skelton has a piece about a study that shows exactly why this is the case. Applying those principles here, it’s easy to see why KSDK’s Twitter account is four times as popular as KMOV’s.
KSDK’s Facebook page was not as well ran, however. With the storm happening last night, they used Facebook to keep everyone up to date. Unfortunately, it is not good Facebook etiquette to publish more than 1-2 posts per hour. What might have been more appropriate would be to link to the channel’s Twitter feed. Another Facebook no-no was the frequent use of hashtags, which do not have any power on Facebook. KSDK’s Facebook was well-done in how it encouraged interaction and linked to reporters’ pages. There were several posts requesting followers’ input and others that tagged relevant reporters.
Overall, I would say that KSDK did a fairly good job connecting with their fans and followers and encouraging interaction.
The other news channel I followed was KMOV. KMOV’s Twitter feed was a little different from KSDK’s. They have three main feeds, one for programming changes, one for news and one for Cardinals news. All three were disappointing. The programming one is helpful in that it lets followers know about schedule changes, but that’s it. The Cardinals feed just sends out news about them, and since it’s the middle of winter, it was very quiet in the last 24 hours. The general news feed was just not very good. It got the job done in that it told the news and linked to stories, but it never once tagged a reporter or a follower. What was worse was that it only used the hashtags
#kmov and #News4StLouis and it put them on every story. These are specific to KMOV and will not help anyone find out about the station or its website.
KMOV’s Facebook site was much better, however. They avoided the error of posting too many times about a certain story, but they did participate in using useless hashtags. The Facebook page had a variety of stories with pictures and video. There were links to interesting things, including giveaways and their reporters’ pages. There was very good viewer/follower interaction going on.
In all, I would say that KMOV’s social media management was average. They clearly have not caught on to Twitter yet, so it’s no surprise that KSDK has more than 4 times as many followers.