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Facebook Analysis: FOX 2 News in Detroit, MI

Last Monday I kicked off a new weekly segment  where I analyze a news organization’s presence on Facebook.

The first news outlet was a TV news station called, WESH 2 News in Orlando, FL. In my analysis I noted that the station had figured out how to make the Fan Page work for them, to drive conversation and engagement with readers, and also create a viable marketing channel for themselves.

This week I’m keeping with the TV news theme and looking at the Facebook Fan Page for FOX 2 News in Detroit, MI.

Like WESH, FOX 2 also uses a Custom Landing Tab to “Like-gate” the page. The purpose of a tab like this is to entice people to “Like” the page. For that to happen on a large scale, there must be a solid call to action or clear incentive behind it.

In the case of FOX 2, their call to action / incentive is to suggest that everyone else has already liked the page, so you should too. Landing Tabs like that are meant to add extra fuel to the growth of a community that might be lagging, or build awareness around a campaign.

FOX 2′s use of a landing tab is lack-luster and perhaps even unnecessary. The statement “Your friends like us … you should too!” is unlikely to sway someone who is considering whether or not to Like the page. I suspect that removing the tab would cause little or no change to their Monthly New Likes. Instead of Like-gating a page for the sake of doing so, use the Like-gate as part of a marketing calendar. That way you get dual use out of it: Driving likes and promoting products.

This is another tab on the FOX 2 News Fan Page, which displays recent updates to the news items that appear on their website.

On the page itself, it looks great. However the true indicator of value of this tab will come through in Tab Views and number of unique visitors to the Fan Page, because that’s the only way to view this content. A better strategy might be to use these links as content to post to the wall. That way the news items are broadcast to nearly 50,000 people, instead of the limited audience of whomever engages with the content directly on the page.

The content that appears on their Facebook Wall is an interesting contrast to what typically happens around engagement. Increasingly it’s becoming standard that content that is text-based will perform less-well than content that has some kind of imagery attached. The content here breaks that mold, and nets 20-100 comments and 20-60 Likes per post.

The content of the posts are mostly previews for the coming broadcast, which I’m sure is part of their larger strategy. I would be interested in seeing how they would be able to use that captivated audience to comment and interact around news stories that appear on their website. It could be a significant resource for generating page views and unique visitors.

Another tab that I was interested in was their “Fan of the Day” feature. However the application appears to be broken.

Overall I would say that FOX 2 has found a way to successfully engage their fan base on Facebook.

However there are missed opportunities to create greater engagement and build the community. They are things that can be fixed, and I’m hopeful that over time they will be.

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