WRAL Using Social TV to Inspire Community

It all started with the Executive Director of the Komen NC Triangle to the Coast affiliate asking if we could make her dream come true. Well, we do love a challenge at WRAL! We’re a station with community focused DNA, partnering with local agencies to bring real and sustained change to important issues. Komen wanted the Triangle Race for the Cure to be the most “social race” in the country. They had a hashtag in mind but needed us to figure out how to show all the people using it on social media on site during the Raleigh Race for the Cure.

10,000 Strong

2014 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: 10,500 Strong

Immediately, I thought of Jenni Hogan and tagboard. Jenni and I share a passion for Social TV and have collaborated several times, first with WRAL as a beta station for her TV Interact product and later on WRAL’s first ever Social TV documentary #missionormoney. Tagboard is a live hashtag hub that aggregates content from twitter, facebook, instagram, vine, google+ and app.net. The tagboard dashboard is tabbed to toggle between LATEST posts (all posts coming in using the hashtag), and FEATURED posts (posts you choose to be seen on the public board). This gives you ultimate control of what content goes ‘live’ on your board. We practiced with it for about two weeks and it worked beautifully onsite at the event. We set up two Samsung 70 inch touchscreen monitors. Next time, I’d like an 80-100+ inch video wall meant to be viewed outside! Can I get a sponsor for that?

Building it for Live TV Because the full suite of products had not been used on TV before, we had a learning curve. The tagboard engineers and designers collaborated with the WRAL graphics team for a good result.We debuted the live touchscreen mode, fullscreen automated and became the first station to use the live, automated lower third super.

Marketing It We named our baby the “Social Inspiration Board.” Our partners at the Komen NC Triangle to the Coast affiliate started promoting usage of the hashtag about two weeks before the event in email blasts, on their web site and social media. WRAL created social share graphics that both the station and Komen posted to our social networks:

Created and posted on twitter, facebook and instagram

Created and posted on twitter, facebook and instagram

Komen posted “how to” photos to twitter, facebook and instagram:

Helping teach people how to participate!

Helping teach people how to participate!

We ran static, as well as Jivox interactive, web ads on WRAL.com:

A variety of web ad sizes give us maximum exposure on wral.com

A variety of web ad sizes gives us maximum exposure on wral.com and WRAL mobile.

Jivox interactive web ad includes live twitter widget.

Jivox interactive web ad includes live twitter widget.

We promoted on air during newscasts in the week leading up to the race, and the Social Inspiration Board was a key part of our live coverage on race day.

Results #KomenTri trended on twitter in Raleigh for 11 hours. It was the top hashtag for the day on #tagboard in Seattle. “The WRAL campaign trended online for 11 hours, the reach Shelly and her team got for #KomenTri could have easily been over 6 million people with the impressions even higher than that,” Jenni Hogan, Chief Media Officer of #tagboard.

KomenNCTC’s facebook page saw a 453% increase in fans, and a 328% increase in reach. Tagboard reports 660 unique posts, not including shared posts. Twitter made up half of these posts, with Instagram and Facebook making up the other half.

It’s important to not ignore those platforms in live events, as the combination can exponentially increase exposure. We could clearly see a spike in posts during live television coverage that used the live lower third serving as a call to action for people not at the event to get involved by sending messages of inspiration to those participating. Considering, we debuted the Saturday of the Men’s US Open (being played in North Carolina!), the NBA Finals and USA World Cup Soccer … we’re more than pleased with the social results. Oh and the end game for our partners at Komen:

Raised a million dollars for breast cancer research and support.

Raised a million dollars for breast cancer research and support.

Social TV is changing the game. You can drive viewers to your content on all your platforms using social media. You can dominate the social chatter in your market with a coordinated effort that includes on air, social and web promotion. Cable channels are doing it and getting big results, so can the locals. We have the opportunity right now to create self-sustaining audiences using content that engages their values. If you’re not experimenting, get started! Complete web/tv coverage of the this event: http://www.wral.com/thousands-put-on-pink-to-race-for-the-cure/13733742/

UPDATE: “WRAL Hosts Most Social Race in the U.S.” TVNewscheck MarketShare article by Paul Greeley 

UPDATE: Team WRAL — a team open to the public to join our on air talent – was the largest corporate team in the race and raised $11,388.

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