I have gone around and around on this subject with more GM's and News Directors than I can count.
For some reason, TV stations and their newsrooms will spend a lot of money and a lot of time trying to get viewers to go to their Facebook page.
The station does not own Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg does. Why are you spending the money and the time trying to get viewers to go to a digital property that you don't own, nor one that you have control over?
Some stations will give away money and iPad or some other prize to viewers that "like" them on Facebook.
Why not put that time and effort into getting the viewers to come directly to your website?
The graphic to the right is part of FTVLive's stats from last year. Almost 80% of our traffic comes to us directly. Less than 6% comes from social media.
FTVLive gets more traffic each day than many TV station's websites across the country. We do not rely on social media to drive our traffic. Our Facebook page has not been posted to in months and we never promote the page or ask you to "like" it.
We do post links to Twitter and when we do, it drives somewhere between 500 to 1500 people to the story that we promote. 1500 might sound like a big number, but in the overall traffic to FTVLive it is not.
So, why do TV stations promote Facebook "Likes" almost more than their own website?
Becuase that is what their consultants tell them they need to do.
Why send viewers to a digital property you don't own and you don't control?
Why do you have a TV screen in the newsroom with a digital scoreboard of how well your news staff is doing on social media?
How is this making you money?
And let's look at one of the more boneheaded moves you will see by a station in the 2nd market.
Check this out from KCBS/KCAL in LA:
Why would you ask viewers to leave your 5PM newscast on YOUR air and go to Facebook, a site you don't own?
If I owned an auto dealership and I just bought a spot to air in your 5PM newscast and saw that you were encouraging viewers to tune out your 5PM newscast and log onto Facebook, I would be demanding a refund for the ad I paid for.
Forget Facebook "likes"!
Spend the time and the money to get people to skip the middleman and come directly to your website. Something you own, something you sales department can sell.
Ditch the Share Rocket scoreboard in the newsroom and start your talent Vlogging and blogging on a regular basis on YOUR website and not on Facebook.
Drive the traffic to you and not to Mark Zuckerberg.
If you listen to this advice and not the consultants, you just might find out that we're right.