We recently espoused the value of leveraging “fun stuff” to gain favor from the algorithms in order to position your brand to take advantage when big news happens.

It’s a strategy that helped ABC’s WPVI dominate social coverage of the apprehension of accused cop killer Eric Frein, and win the TV Social Ratings™ race last week in Philadelphia.

Generating social buzz around a nationwide story is important, but not nearly as important to a local TV brand as owning an important local story.

It took 48 days, $10 million and an intense manhunt but accused cop killer Eric Frein was caught. … The dragnet involved hundreds of law enforcement officials fanned out across the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. … Halloween trick-or-treating is back on for Friday, after it was originally canceled because of the intense manhunt.

That’s right. Trick-or-treating had been cancelled in the area where officials were searching for Frein. Alleged local cop killer. Halloween cancelled. That’s a story that impacts viewers.

WPVI captured a 50 Social Share™ in Philadelphia from Oct. 26 – Nov. 2, generating more than 615,000 engagements across Facebook and Twitter. That’s more than every other top station in Philadelphia combined (394,000). Seven posts about Frein generated more than 60,000 engagements within several hours of the news breaking.

WTVF Fox29 (1 million) and WCAU NBC 10 (708,000) have respectable audiences, but do not connect at the level of WPVI. Over the past 30 days WPVI has generated more than 2.4 million engagements, accounting for 57 percent of all engagement among the Philadelphia broadcast market (4.2 million), and WPVI saw their engagement increase 19 percent month over month.

The nod for top talent in the market goes to WPVI’s Adam Joseph, who earned an 8.96 Social Share™ last week and was best in the market with a 94 SEI™. Joseph, a meteorologist has been posting a lot of content about being a new father. He earned headlines in August when he posted about the birth of his first child and publicly acknowledged his partner of 5 years. His viewers love updates on baby Jacob; a recent photo generated more than 26,000 engagements. The mix of personal news and weather related updates is working very well. Here’s a look at his Share Rocket report card:


Joseph and two colleagues held the top three spots in Philadelphia after characteristically strong performances this week with strong performances from Cecily Tynan (6.82 Social Share™, 91 SEI™) and Jamie Apody (2.93 Social Share™, 82 SEI™). Talent contributed 59 percent of audience and 52 percent of engagement for ABC’s market presence. That level of talent contribution is among the highest we’ve seen in a major market.

WTVF Fox29’s traffic reporter Bob Kelly (1.08 Social Share™, 79 SEI™) and Good Day Philadelphia host Mike Jerrick (1.03 Social Share™, 66 SEI™) round out the top 5.

Social Ratings for the week of Oct. 27 – Nov. 2, 2014

16 ABC50.0981,664,2823,304615,50841.21%
229 FOX24.6591,021,0592,686244,7462.92%
310 NBC13.741708,6272,24295,384-10.14%
43 CBS11.333376,6342,60553,06157.44%
565 Univision0.61.225,130162815-24.33%

Top individuals

1Adam Joseph6 ABC8.9694160,433199134,463169.00%
2Cecily Tynan6 ABC6.8291152,56770675,661190.00%
3Jamie Apody6 ABC2.938245,86813640,983109.00%
4Bob Kelly29 FOX1.086313,26313411,41876020.00%
5Mike Jerrick29 FOX1.037654,8742553,14994.50%

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

Frein’s capture was certainly big news and earned the top content spot over two days in the market. Typically, that kind of social story is dominated by the leading main station social accounts. But this week, ABC’s Tynan earned a second-place finish on Oct. 31 with this smart post.

Don’t forget the victims

Tynan’s facebook post, which urged followers to “take some time to remember his victim: Corporal Bryon Dickson,” generated more than 25,000 likes, 5,900 shares and more than 1,300 comments. This tactic is something everyone in social news should add to their playbook.

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: Tampa/St.Pete (Sarasota).

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