While covering the epic Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, KKTV* has taken an agile approach; turning to social media to distribute life-saving information. With nearly 35,000 evacuees, traditional news distribution is turned on its head and many residents are relying on Facebook and Twitter. It’s clear – after nearly doubling their Facebook Fans since the fire began – that KKTV is doing something right… Here are a few great take-aways from their social strategy:
1) Read, Respond, Read, Respond
Read through the posts made to KKTV’s Fan Page and you’ll notice a few things. First, the engagement is through the roof. Every post has hundreds (if not thousands) of shares, likes and comments. Certainly, the subject matter is key. But for KKTV, this isn’t a one-way street. The staff is reading comments, responding to them and creating a sense of “we’re all in this together.” It’s the number one reason the Page has exploded. Take a look at the exchange below. And then, notice the time-stamp. Who in your newsroom is reading and responding at 2:30am?
2) Organize and Centralize
KKTV completed 130 hours of wall to wall coverage today. Finally taking a few off-air moments to catch their breath. But throughout their coverage, the station promoted the hashtag #waldocanyonfire. Not because it was “their” tag…but because it was “the” tag. This is where everyone was talking about this event. From city officials to journalists to volunteers and evacuees. And KKTV did a great job of encouraging the conversation on Twitter by promoting the hashtag.
3) Make it Viral
Social media is inherently viral, but KKTV was able to harness that with a creative campaign that encouraged viewers to show their support for the firefighting and relief efforts by sharing or posting a graphic on their Facebook personal profile. The station posted one image which it encouraged viewers to use as their profile pic and another which they encouraged viewers to share. As you scan through the comments on KKTV’s Fan Page … you can see plenty of Fans who got on board:
4) Ask for Shares