With the conventions behind us, the election season is intensifying. The Tampa and Charlotte conventions proved that social TV will be a huge part in how networks share public sentiment on the candidates and outcome of the elections. Fox News and Twitter launched a special partnership around the conventions. How has social changed the role of a TV news anchor? Is social a big part in how they promote their broadcasts? Were they using social during the last election? We interviewed Bill Hemmer, the co-anchor of “America’s Newsroom” about social TV.
Last week “FNC was the top-rated cable news channel” and “placed third in primetime in all of cable with two million viewers,” according to Nielsen. Hemmer, who joined Twitter over a year ago, told Lost Remote how important social is becoming to the way he broadcasts. “There has yet to be a creation like Twitter to enable viewers in any part of the country to provide instant feedback on the speech by Paul Ryan, or by Mitt Romney, or the performance by Clint Eastwood,” he described. “I find it an invaluable tool… action as they [the viewers] see it at home,” he added.
We asked him how he’s personally using Twitter while he’s on and off the air. “I like to keep people updated on what we’re doing and the progress of how we’ve been setting up,” he explained to Lost Remote. “I cherish the instantaneous feedback you get from viewers – they’re seeing it in their offices, on their computers and to get a perspective for how they are reacting, is priceless.” He added how they use social on air during his show. “If there is a newsmaker who is tweeting information that is relevant to the news of the day, that often times finds its way into our broadcast,” he explained.
Hemmer’s understanding of social as a tool for his broadcast is also proof that every network shouldn’t just be coming up with a strategy but investing as many hours as it takes to make sure their talent get how social TV can transform their broadcasts in a positive way that will also result in ratings success.