By Reva Gaur, News Operations and Beth Loyd, News Partnerships

Jamie Sawyer, VP of Digital Marketing for Raycom Media, a group of 63 local TV stations in the US, achieved 99% adoption rate among the group’s reporters and anchors on Facebook Mentions in just a few months. Mentions is the app for public figures which allows them to post, search for what interests them, and go live on Facebook.

Local broadcast news organizations are a natural fit for Facebook Live because broadcasting live is an area of expertise. And many local reporters have found success – including fan growth and increased engagement – because Live is a great way to deliver breaking news and connect with fans. Raycom Media stands out from the pack because of the scale of adoption they achieved—396 of the 400 reporters at their owned and operated stations are now on Facebook Mentions and regular users of Facebook Live.

“It’s very exciting to have a team of people at Facebook who are passionate about news and media working with us to enhance our relationship with our audience. Four years ago, we were focusing our efforts on maintaining our reach on Facebook, so that our fans would see our stories. Today, we’re focused on providing our viewers with a social experience that engages them in ways that local news never has,” said Sawyer.

Coming out of this adoption campaign, there was a significant lift in average engagement rate, fan growth, and content quality across Raycom’s talent Pages.

“For media organizations, Facebook had already become an indispensable channel for distributing news. With Mentions, Live, and Instant Articles, Facebook becomes much more than a distribution channel. It becomes the primary way to engage viewers in a dialogue. It’s all about engagement. Television has traditionally been a passive medium. Facebook changes that.”

In addition, Raycom saw a tangible impact on ratings as a result of Live adoption. Raycom’s reporters and anchors go live during breaking news situations, offer severe weather updates, and take viewers behind-the-scenes.

In one instance, the investigative journalist at their Louisville station WAVE went live to get viewer feedback about a developing story. After the Facebook Live video, ratings on the newscast were 26 percent higher than the 4-week average. Similarly, Raycom’s Missouri station KFVS used Live in the development of a story and as a social extra immediately following the newscast and saw 40 percent higher ratings compared to their 4-week average.

Raycom’s talent has been very successful at leveraging Live to create excitement and keep their fans and followers informed through their authentic content. Live allows people on Facebook to stay connected to their favorite reporters and to engage with them in real time.

Kym Clark of WMC Action News in Memphis went live to show a squirrel that visited the newsroom and caused chaos.


Raycom anchors have also connected with fans during their shows by going live during commercial breaks, such as Charisse Gibson of KSLA in Lousiana: