Why TV Stations Are Doing Facebook Wrong

By Kevin Eck 

Many local TV stations are looking to facebook to lure back a base of followers (millennials) who seem to be running away from TV sets and expensive cable providers as fast as their young feet will take them.

As PBS.org’s Mediashift writes, TV stations have to do more than open their minds to social media, they need to reverse their old-fashioned thinking, especially if they’re only posting teases to stories.

Dale Blasingame, who wrote the piece, says TV stations should stop seeing facebook or other social media platforms as the entrance to broadcast TV. Instead, stations should see social media as just another channel to air content.


When all TV stations do is post video teases to Facebook, they’re thinking short-sighted and missing gigantic opportunities to provide relevant content where their consumers already exist. Instead of teasing the story, post a Facebook-specific video version of the story. Post video of some sound that didn’t make the cut. Post a recap from the reporter about what surprised him or her about the story. Do anything other than a standard 15-second video tease pushing to the legacy medium.

Here are his reasons why:

TV newsrooms have to get out of the box that tells them packages, VOs, and VOSOTs are the only way to tell stories.

Teases waste people’s time. Many of us avoid advertising as much as possible – especially on TV. So why invade their social spaces with nothing but advertising? Provide something of value instead.

Even if someone does pay attention to a video tease on Facebook, there’s an ever-growing possibility they don’t have a TV or cable/satellite to watch said newscast. It’s like advertising a shiny car to a bunch of people who don’t have driver’s licenses. Provide something of value instead, and provide it where the audience wants it.

The idea that people still wait for news to be delivered to them on their televisions at 5, 6, or 10 p.m. is beyond outdated. We want content now – in some sort or fashion.

TV newsrooms can’t hide behind the “second screen” excuse anymore. They need to understand the TV may be the second screen when it comes to their content – and that situation will only increase as time goes on.

Perhaps the most important reason to avoid this practice: video teases on Facebook get repopulated in newsfeeds over the next couple of days. So that tease has a very real shot of looking incredibly outdated by the time people see it. When a station provides actual video content instead, this isn’t a problem.