On Facebook, Local TV News Isn’t So Local

Local TV network affiliates always seem to be killing it on Facebook. They are dripping with video content and inevitably hit it big every week with a story that outrages, shocks or inspires driving a boatload of clicks.

I decided to take a closer look at the composition of the posts that do well on Facebook for these big network affiliates to see if I could spot any patterns. One characteristic that immediately jumped out at me was that their highest performing stories largely had nothing to do with the market they serve.

Using CrowdTangle I exported all of the posts made by the Boston network affiliates in a 7 day period and sorted them by performance. I included all posts that performed 10x that of one of their normal posts and labeled them either “local” or “non-local”. I found that more than half of local network affiliate stories analyzed had absolutely nothing to do with the market they serve.

7 Day Period from July 2017

Shocked by this, I did the same analysis on local print publications in Boston and found that the lion’s share of top performing stories were highly local. During the 7 days measured, 61% of top performing posts were locally focused.

7 Day Period from July 2017

When you count a local columnists take on a national stories as local, the percentages shift to show nearly a quarter of all top performing stories being counted as “local”.

7 Day Period from July 2017

I was shocked by the difference in post makeup between the two different types of local news sources.

What do you think of these findings? Leave a comment below.

As with all of my medium posts, this was not proofread and probably contains tons of errors.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Matt Karolian’s story.