A Lesson from Weather Channel Social

Launched about two weeks ago, Weather Channel Social is bringing personal weather conversations and observations to its website. The 24 hour cable channel launched a social page integrated with Twitter tweets that is searchable by location. What this means is the Weather Channel has figured out a way to further ingrain its brand into to local markets, direct competition for your weather team. Consider it the social version of “Weather on the 8’s” launched years ago on local cable systems around the country.

The idea is to bring Twitter posts from a particular area into one place for all to see. More importantly, it allows us to listen to what people in that community are saying about the latest weather events.

Tapping into this treasure trove of conversation was actually not that difficult. The tweets were already there, the Weather Channel simply found a way to bring them into one place, creating a social conduit for 220 cities around the nation. In it’s release of the product The Weather Channel touted the power of Twitter and the number of weather conversations taking place each day.

  • On an average day, U.S. users send approximately 200 weather-related Tweets per minute
  • On an active weather day, U.S. users send between 300 to 500 weather-related Tweets per minute
  • Significant weather events can generate more than two million Tweets per day
  • “Twitter gives voice and context to the topics people are most interested in, and everyone is interested in the weather,” said Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s director of content and programming. “We’re excited to make Tweets an integral part of weather reports on television, online and mobile. By surfacing these conversations and providing human context around factual weather information, The Weather Channel Social brings weather alive.”

    I think this idea from the Weather Channel is brilliant, so brilliant it is worth borrowing for local stations. In research, weather consistently tests as one of the most relevant topics for local news viewers, owning weather in the local social universe is just as important.

    Take yesterday for instance, while Hurricane Irene was beginning to slip up the East coast, an earthquake rocked the eastern seaboard and like most breaking stories Twitter lit up! Twitter sent out this tweet, “Within a minute of today’s #earthquake, there were more than 40,000 earthquake-related Tweets.” Not just national tweets, but local tweets, people reacting and reporting what was happening at that very minute an how they were impacted. Breaking News coverage doesn’t get any better than that. Here is a sample of what was being said in the Roanoke, VA market even after the main quake and aftershocks rumbled into the night.

    Hundred’s of tweets poured in and continued to update through the night. Local stations should also be part of this conversation with local information that can be linked to your website and retweeted with the local Twitter universe.

    Today would be a great day to begin adding local based weather related tweets to your online weather page. Twitter makes it easy with the ability to search for weather related terms and cities with a certain number of miles of a metro area. From there your web producer should be able to display this ongoing weather stream into your web page.

    We always heard is important to listen in this social world we live in, it is also important to participate and share in the local conversation.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 8:57 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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