Evaluating the use of Facebook brand pages by television journalists to promote their professional brand
Television journalists have taken note that social media sites have transformed how and when viewers/users consume news content. Controlling the flow of information is becoming more of a challenge and viewers are seeking gratification from a variety of sources. Facebook has become a powerful tool for television journalists to develop a professional brand that goes beyond the image a user sees on the nightly news. By cultivating a user following through sharing personal interests and goals, some journalists are seeing great success in maintaining and building their influence with an audience. The overall purpose of this study is to learn how journalists with a large following on Facebook are building their name into a brand, how that brand is satisfying the user and how that brand‟s development affects a journalist‟s ability to maintain authority when controlling the flow of information. One-on-one, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six television journalists. Each of whom had more than ten thousand page likes and high user engagement on their Facebook brand page. The interviewees work in a variety of market sizes from one to100. This research discovered that most journalists receive their highest user engagement when they post non-news content. In order to satisfy users, journalists created feature (non-news) content in hopes of when they did have to share important news content, they would be the trusted source for information. High-performing journalists have a clear definition of their professional brand and create content that cultivates a relationship with the type of user they are targeting. Finally, authenticity rules as the number one attribute that research participants say contributes to their success.