Twitter Observation: Local News Stations - WKRN vs. WSMV

By Nathan Moore
October 29, 2008

I am seeing more and more media outlets jump on the Twitter bandwagon in an attempt to utilize the latest web trend. However, while many see the obvious opportunity, few actually use it effectively.

Two local news stations here in Nashville are on Twitter: WSMV (an NBC affiliate) and WKRN (an ABC affiliate). Even though both stations utilize Twitter, the differentiation between the two is huge.

Station 01: WSMV

This station hasĀ 5,770 tweets at the time of this post. However, despite the high frequency, EVERY SINGLE tweet is a link back to an article on their website. No replies. No personality. No face to this station. WSMV is using Twitter for the sole purpose of pushing people to their website. Lame.

This strategy misses the sweet spot of Twitter: to participate in the conversation. For WSMV, it is merely a one-way conversation with self-centered objectives.

Station 02: WKRN

WKRN, on the other hand, gets what Twitter is all about. Despite less activity on the account (only 26 updates), each tweet is engaging the users. In addition, they have experimented with using reply tweets in their nightly broadcasts - brilliant.

Instead of taking advantage of Twitter like their counterpart, they are utilizing it to connect to the audience. They are joining in the conversation and engaging users, which is what social media is all about.

Additionally, they actively follow 90 other Twitter users (compared to the 0 users that WSMV follows).

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the most recent tweet from WKRN was over three weeks ago. I hope they have not dismissed Twitter as a viable communication outlet. If they stick with it, they will find it to be rewarding to their station and their audience. Come on, WKRN - keep it up.

Follow WSMV on Twitter
Follow WKRN on Twitter

Any readers see other news organizations that utilize Twitter effectively?