Inside Vidpresso

Don't buy fans: How broadcasters can get the most out of Facebook, without having to pay to promote posts

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You might have seen a video explaining how buying likes from Facebook can actually hurt your ability to reach your audience.

It's true: Click farmers spend hours trying to like pages they'll never engage with. Savvy social media analysts note that the less people engage with your posts, the lower in priority Facebook will rank your posts, and fewer people will see them. Then, if you want anyone to see your posts, you wind up paying Facebook to promote posts to people who've already asked to see your content. Not a fun situation.

There's good news for broadcasters, though. They have a solution that no other business has. Broadcasters can tell their audience that they're planning to use Facebook comments on air. This simple action will increase Facebook engagement, which counteracts the previously described plot, and (even better!) can also increase ratings.

The Broadcast Advantage

We're still running the experiments1, but in anecdotal evidence from our customers, broadcasters tell us they see anywhere from 30-60 comments on most average posts they make to Facebook. For broadcasters who explain they'll use the comments on air, Facebook post comments can increase 5-20x, depending on the topic and social media usage. And this trend isn't localized... we've seen the same effect in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as Karachi, Pakistan.

As viewers comment on Facebook, the algorithm that prioritizes posts in the news feed will count that post as a "success." As a result, more of your posts will be shown to more of your users. Obviously, just using this strategy to increase general reach on Facebook is rather limiting, and could cheapen your Facebook brand, but pair it with other Facebook best practices and you're sure to reach more viewers, and likely even drive ratings.

For instance, mention you're looking for comments to use on air, but also include a substantial video nugget of a story you're planning to air that night. Tying opinion gathering (which generates comments) with an enticing video (which generates video views) is a sure-fire signal to Facebook you're doing your job correctly, and viewers are getting value from your posts. Worst case scenario if you're strapped for resources: Include the promo you'd show on-air as a video clip. It's not as substantial as a 30 second money-quote sound bite, but it'd at least get your message to a viewer in a way they'd be familiar with already.

We think this strategy, if sustained, can drive engagement for stations who might be struggling with what to do on social media. Obviously, our product can help you get the viewer comments on air, but even if you use more laborious methods (copy / paste into CG) we're certain this can help you both drive ratings on air, but also increase viewer loyalty and exposure on Facebook.

  1. And, we're looking for people who haven't used this strategy in the past. If you'd like to be a case study to try this experiment, I know other stations would appreciate it. Please contact us! (details in the footer)

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