social tv ratings boston wcvb

For the past few weeks, the world has been watching Ferguson, MO.

Protesting turned to riots and looting in after a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson on charges in the shooting death of unarmed teen, Michael Brown.  And as calm returned to Ferguson, the protests began spreading across the nation. From New York to Los Angeles to Dallas to Boston, the story hit home for local broadcasters.

Hearst’s flagship ABC affiliate WCVB in Boston led the way in coverage of the riot in social, landing the top spot in Share Rocket’s Social TV Ratings™ in Boston, earning a 34.18 Social Share™ from Nov. 24 – Nov. 30.  WCVB has been leading the the Social TV Ratings race in Boston with a 91 SEI™ since we began tracking the market. Everyone else is chasing them.  Cox’s FOX affiliate WFXT earned a 20.14 Social Share™ last week, but is a distant second over the long term with a 54 SEI™.

WCVB earned the top spot with big engagement on Facebook with coverage of the Ferguson grand jury.  WCVB was the most aggressive of the local stations on Facebook, posting 22 times over the first two days of coverage and generating more than 37,000 engagements.  That’s more than all other local stations combined. WFXT posted 6 times (more than 11,000 engagements), Sunbeam’s NBC affiliate WHDH posted 14 times (more than 8,600 engagements), and CBS’s WBZ posted 10 times (more than 2,800 engagements).

Last week WBZ meteorologist Eric Fisher was Boston’s top performing individual, earning a 2.24 Social Share™ and is best in the market with a 94 SEI™.  Over the past few weeks, Fisher accounts for almost 12 percent of CBS’s Social Equity™ and generated eight percent of the station’s total social engagement on his own.

Weather dominated among individual ratings, and WCVB talent fared well, with meteorologists Danielle Vollmar (1.08 Social Share™, 83 SEI™) and Cindy Fitzgibbon (1.02 Social Share™, 79 SEI™) finishing second and third. CBS sports anchor Dan Roche (0.99 Social Share™, 81 SEI™) was fourth, and WFTX’s Maria Stephanos (0.93 Social Share™, 69 SEI™) finished fifth.

Here’s a look at Fisher’s Share Rocket report card:

social tv ratings eric fisher share rocket

Social TV Ratings for the week of Nov. 24 – Nov. 30, 2014

15 ABC34.1891791,4462,949149,423-38.14%
225 FOX20.7954679,3562,00783,0399.37%
37 NBC14.6545553,2202,39841,063-1.31%
44 CBS16.0244431,9902,61948,774-1.23%
59 ABC14.3640387,3731,71153,93712.69%

Top individuals

1Eric Fisher4 CBS2.249428,6805883,973-46.94%
2Danielle Vollmar5 ABC1.088318,3242891,71322.53%
3Cindy Fitzgibbon5 ABC1.027918,5652621,76749.87%
4Dan Roche4 CBS0.998126,3201732,856174.00%
5Maria Stephanos25 FOX0.926931,8192437815.83%

Social Equity Index™ (SEI™): Measures social equity you have built over time and performance — relative peers. Social Share™: Measures a brand’s raw share of the total audience, voice and engagement in a defined market. Audience: Combined fans and followers (Facebook, Twitter) for all profiles. Voice: Outbound posting and commenting activity. Engagements: Total likes, shares, comments, mentions, replies, retweets and favorites for the brand.

Top content, best practices

With such a controversial story driving the news cycle, often viewers and readers become tired of the negative tone that often accompanies such strong, hard news. It’s nice to break the cycle, especially if you can share a more positive spin on the negative storyline. This week, WFTX earns a gold star for engaging audiences with an uplifting story in the aftermath of the Ferguson protests. Many stations across the country posted the item. But we especially liked WFTX’s spin. Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum hugged a 12-year-old protester during a Ferguson demonstration.
The post earned a top content spot in Boston on Nov. 29, collecting more than 2,700 likes, more than 140 comments and more than 700 shares (smiles). It’s a great example of asking for engagement. At the end of the post, WFXT asks readers to

“Share this post to pass on a smile.”

Made us smile, and perhaps a few people feel a little better.

This post hits all of our checklist:

Tells an urgent, compelling, inspirational or funny story?
Appeal to emotion?
Use a photo?
Ask for engagement?

Each week Share Rocket highlights the top performing stations and individuals across the nation’s top TV markets, sharing insights and best practices that are helping the nation’s best social journalists connect with their audience. Next week: Atlanta.

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