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A Word From Your Peers: Empower


Creating and maintaining a successful social media presence can sometimes be a challenge, and because many social media "best practices" articles are aimed at those working in the for-profit world, we in public media don't always find them helpful. Now enter, "A Word From Your Peers," a new series of social media posts for the system, by the system.


By Colin Schoenberger, Associate Director of Social Media and Analytics, WNET

Describe social media in one word.
Empower.
The Holy Grail of social marketing is tapping into—and amplifying—word of mouth surrounding your show. The key is remembering you work for your fans—they don't work for you. The content you publish should make a person look smart or funny, so they are inclined to share it. It can never feel like work, and should never require much explaining.


Describe your role at WNET.
I oversee social media strategy for national and local WNET-produced programs, in addition to working on web analytics and SEO. WNET national programs include: Nature, American Masters, Great Performances, and Secrets of the Dead, as well as many one-offs and mini series, like TED Talks Education and The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. 

I'm lucky to work in a department with a lot of enthusiasm and buy-in surrounding social media. Whitney McGowan, our social media editor, has taken the lead on American Masters social media, and David Ernst, a program assistant for Great Performances, tweets for the series. It's great to have people close to the content itself contributing to your social presences.


Describe your social media strategy in two sentences or less.
Balance promoting tune-in with an instantly engaging experience for the user to encourage sharing of branded content. Tailor content as much as possible for each platform, but, in general, lead with visuals and use a quick, conversational tone.


Outside of Facebook and Twitter, what is your favorite social channel?
Tumblr!! Tumblr has some 150 million accounts, but to me there is still a Tumblr “type”—it's a haven for nerds like me. Facebook is so universal, there is no community. No one identifies as a "Facebook fan" in the way that a "Tumblr fan" is a badge of honor. I also love a good GIF.



What are some social media tips every person in your role should know?
  1. Post frequently (repeating yourself on Twitter is OK) & experiment to see what time of day your posts get the most traction with fans
  2. Ads are key even if your budget is small, especially on Facebook and Twitter
  3. As simple as it sounds, quote graphics and text excerpts on top of images perform really well
  4. Include a call-to-action - even asking fans to Like a post works surprisingly often - but keep it to one call to action if possible
  5. If you can get buy-in of on-air talent, people prefer following real people on Twitter
  6. Integrate with on-air as much as possible
  7. Think about how you can make a person smile or give them an "aha!" moment, not how you can explain something to them.

What site do you frequent for social media news?
KissMetrics social media explainers are awesome. I also read Mashable, Lost Remote, and Social TV Digest.





Colin Schoenberger joined WNET's social media team in 2010, where he specializes in ongoing and project-based social strategy, paid advertising on social platforms, and social TV interactive viewing strategy, in addition to Google Analytics and SEO. When he can find free time, Colin enjoys going out to the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights to read and watch boats go by.