Take Advantage of Huge Christmas Digital Opportunities

Some of you might say this blog is from Captain Obvious. But I figured I would write it anyway to maximize the enormous digital opportunity on Christmas.

We’ve learned that Christmas Day is a huge digital day. Folks are getting new phones, new tablets, wearables and other connected devices. And as the wrapping paper is thrown away, folks will spend a good part of the day and night online playing games and searching for content.

This is a perfect opportunity for you to remind users that you should be their local digital content provider. One of the tricks is to make your sites look and feel fresh and relevant throughout Christmas Day. When I mention sites I’m referring to your website, apps, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter platforms.

First, I realize that staffing on Christmas and the day after is at a minimum, so you can prepare now.

Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Have some web and app stories written and edited for posting on Christmas. Someone in your newsroom can just make the stories “live” or your site may have a feature that allows timed posts. These don’t have to be the hard news stories of the day. They could be stories from AP that are not dated, reposting of investigative stories with new tops or even stories you can take from another station in your group. Just post content.

  Besides the stories of the day, try to get a new post up every hour for your web and apps.

  1. Weather must be updated. We know users are always checking the sites for the latest weather. Many stations post video forecasts and often forget to either update them for the holiday or take them down. One of the worst things to have on your site is a video forecast that is 12 hours or, worse yet, days old. It hurts your credibility.
  1. Move the links for your traffic page to your home page and to the top of your app. People will be looking for traffic information, especially Saturday and Sunday following the holiday. Be there for them. And, in fact, mention this on-air how you want to be available on-air and online.
  1. Chances are there will be some open sales/commercial inventory. This is the time to run the promos you have for your apps and your Facebook page. By the afternoon many people will be sitting around and watching TV. Take advantage of those eyeballs.
  1. It is really important you post some content on Facebook, especially content that calls for action and interaction. Facebook allows timed posts. Right now create some content that you can have posted during the day. It can range from the simple, “What was the best gift you got?” to asking users to post a picture of their tree or even who has the ugliest sweater. Also create timed posts that remind folks to check the traffic and weather with a link to your traffic site.

  Reporters and producers working the holiday should post to the station page to help provide more timely content

  1. Post links on your website, your mobile site, Facebook and twitter for folks top download your apps. On Facebook you may want to post this several times – just change the copy and the image so the Facebook algorithm won’t think it’s the same story and block it. You may also want to add to your morning/ticker crawl telling folks they can download your app. Don’t send them to the app store where they may get distracted, use a feature where they can text a request to you and the system can reply with a link to download the app.
  1. Also, ask folks in your newsroom to always share station posts. This increases the likelihood that Facebook will push more and more of your content out. IF they see people share your content, then the algorithm gives you a higher ranking.

Users are LIVING on Facebook. Many folks will be “device focused” and it’s your chance to have content they want to see or share. It’s a great opportunity to make sure your brand is digitally active.

  1. Think about Instagram. It’s a place stations have done little with, but it’s heavily used by folks 40 and under. Create a series of Instagram hashtags and promote them on your air and on your Facebook page. Remember, Instagram is all about images, not a place for paragraphs of text.

Here are some examples:

#WFSBTree – Invite folks to post pictures of their holiday trees and decorations. Start with the folks in the newsroom and get them to talk about it and share their pictures. Link the Instagram post to Facebook to help create more awareness.

#FoxCarolinaUglySweaters – Ask your users to post pictures of people wearing ugly holiday sweaters. Again, get your on-air folks to participate.

#Fox19Family – Ask users to post pictures of them with their families – basically, family selfies. People may then share the selfies with friends and family on Instagram and Facebook.

#WNEMBestToy – Post a picture of the kids with their favorite toy or Christmas present.

You get the idea. The goal here is to start using Instagram and reaching out to a new digital audience and expose them to your brand.

If we can help in anyway just shout. Drop me an email sschwaid@cjni.com and I’ll be happy to help.

By | 2016-12-13T15:28:01+00:00 December 21st, 2015|Digital Strategy|0 Comments

About the Author:

Today developing an effective digital media strategy is critical for revenue growth and brand-building. Steve is working with station groups, website developers, content suppliers, and others to in three key areas: social media, web and mobile. In addition, Steve puts his extensive television news expertise to work for clients helping them develop and refine their on-air product. Steve has led news operations in markets across the country including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Hartford and Tampa. In addition, he has served as an executive at the corporate level for NBC Universal and Meredith Local Media leading strategic growth and digital content initiatives. Most recently, Steve was vice president of news at WTXF, FOX Philadelphia where he took all newscasts from a fourth place position to second or first. Steve has also served on several industry boards and is the winner of many awards including the Georgia AP Best Website Award and numerous Emmy awards.