More and more TV stations – and cable news channels – are going aggressively into social networking, especially Facebook and Twitter.  CNN has a daily show on at 3 every afternoon with Rick Sanchez that feeds off those two sites.  Why so much focus?  In our case at WZZM, it’s all part of our strategy to connect with current and future customers where they are.  CNN says Rick’s show is now #1 in its time period.  There’s something here.

    A new study, written about in TV Newsday,  shows we’re currently half right.  Crawford, Johnson and Northcutt, along with Brand Amplitude, studied 18-30 year olds who are active online.  One key finding was this:

 In a series of online focus groups, young adults across the country indicated a strong interest in local information and said they would welcome the availability of that information on their turf — social networking sites. Further, they said that a local television station would make an impression with them if it had a presence on those sites.

   But it also points out these people are not necessarily going to turn on TV newscasts right now, except in the case of breaking news.

    Here’s what interesting to me.  10 years, even 5 years ago, we weren’t that worried about whether teenagers were going to start watching our newscasts anytime soon.  Now, I hear and read about that more and more.  Most teens I know do not care about local news – yet. They care about weather, snow and school closings and whether the football team won on Friday night.  So we do have some connection with that group right now.  Obviously, we’re all hoping this pays off when today’s 18-year old becomes 25 or 26.

    I also know from looking at my Facebook group that more and more 30 and 40-somethings are joining – and research backs that up.  So, we are hitting our current customers using these tools as well. 

   And what I keep wondering about is this – what’s next?  What’s the next Twitter, Facebook?