WABC-TV is one of New York City’s largest local broadcasters with a social media following to show for it — they have more than 2.4 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Their @ABC7NY Instagram account has grown an average 3.2% every month since they started using CrowdTangle in 2016. Here’s how their editors use CrowdTangle to stay ahead and keep readers engaged.
How @ABC7NY Became One of the Top U.S. Local News Outlets on Instagram
During the first six months of 2019, the @ABC7NY account had 2.18 million total interactions on Instagram, one of the highest of all U.S. local news publishers on CrowdTangle’s Local News leaderboard:
The account launched in 2013 primarily as a place to promote other users’ content. “We started engaging people by re-posting their photos more so than ours,” says WABC-TV executive producer Bob Monek, who helps oversee their social strategy. “It was a good way to connect with the community.”
“There was a great hesitation to move beyond that,” Monek admits. But as Instagram got more competitive, their attitude changed. “It wasn’t until we started using CrowdTangle [in 2016] and saw places like ABC News and the BBC and others were using Instagram to tell news stories — we realized there’s a bigger opportunity here.”
CrowdTangle Helps Them Find Content That Works — and When They’re Lucky, a Viral Combo
To stay ahead, WABC-TV uses CrowdTangle to find videos or visual-heavy stories that will perform well on Instagram. To do this, they search for stories that CrowdTangle classifies as “Overperforming” — a metric calculated by benchmarking how many interactions an account’s posts usually get after a certain period of time. “And I’m not looking just at Instagram,” Monek says. “Sometimes a story that’s doing well on Facebook or Twitter will also resonate on Instagram, we just hadn’t thought of it. If we see video that’s performing well even on our own platform, we’ll try to leverage that on Instagram.” They do that by reworking the video and posting it elsewhere.
One recent success story happened in March 2019, when a Westchester Country, NY, man and his dog jumped into an icy lake to save another dog who was trapped. “It was doing really well on Facebook” according to CrowdTangle, Monek says, “so our producer turned it into an IGTV video, and that one got us over a million views.”