The KSL Interactive Team takes news stories on trending topics -- from health to politics to the economy – and lets viewers drive the content. Instead of a reporter presenting the story, viewers are part of the story. They interact with the news through Facebook and Twitter in real time. This isn’t putting social media on TV for fun, this is an effort to use social media to tell a better news story. In the era of DVR programming and online news consumption, these interactive stories make viewers want to make an appointment to watch the news live – via TV or online through the KSL Livestream. By making stories interactive, viewers participate and retain knowledge. Viewers remember what they learned because they are part of the story. KSL did six interactive stories during 2012, as well as four interactive segments during the presidential and vice-presidential debates. How it works: KSL Interactive stories are promoted through social media and TV for a few days leading up to the story. Viewers are told the topic and encouraged to tune in and share their opinion. Then, during the story, the reporter asks questions. In real time, viewers answer the questions on Facebook or Twitter. The answers are inserted throughout the story. Often, the reporter will ask a question as the news is going to a commercial break and show viewers response when the news returns. Viewers are engaged as they watch for their answers to appear and watch the story at the same time. Success: KSL keeps viewers during these stories, as is evident through sustained Nielsen and Rentrak ratings and a 42 percent average lead-in lift on Interactive story nights, according to Nielsen. On Facebook, the posts asking the questions see hundreds of comments and according to Facebook analytics reach over 33 percent of KSL’s Facebook fans in a matter of minutes. On Twitter, the #KSLLIVE hashtag is used to solicit viewer opinions. KSL switched it to #KSLPolitics for interactive stories following the presidential debates and trended locally during all four debates as we interacted with viewers during the debate and in our 10 p.m. newscast. The first story branded as a KSL Interactive in February 2012 was the Brain Test http://bit.ly/w7k8Ul. Viewers were quizzed on their memory while hearing from experts on how memory fades over time. It received a Rocky Mountain Emmy and a Utah Society of Professional Journalists award for Best Use of Social Media. The KSL Interactive stories tie into what KSL is doing elsewhere on social -- expanding news to social networks on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and beyond.
Links to some of the KSL Interactives: Feb 20 – Do you feel like your brain is losing its edge? – http://bit.ly/w7k8Ul May 17 – How hidden sugars are hijacking your good health – http://bit.ly/WsWi3j Oct 29 – Growing up social in a digitally connected world - http://bit.ly/WsWrDP
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