SDPB's social media audiences and overall reach has grown by triple percentage points over the last 18 months. This has created opportunity for storytelling specific to those platforms, with a special focus on our active Facebook audiences.
Currently, SDPB hosts 7 unique Facebook pages ranging from SDPB Sports where we host our high school sports coverage to SDPB Music, a showcase of local music and musicians. Our flagship page is our branded South Dakota Public Broadcasting page which has grown from just 7,000 followers in July of 2016 to over 26,000 by the end of 2017, with an average monthly reach of over 1,000,000.
The strength of that audience has paved the way for the creation of social specific storytelling to take the best advantage of the reach of Facebook. On a monthly basis, SDPB now creates an average of a half dozen "digital short" video stories that cover a variety of topic areas from breaking news to cultural stories to high school sports supplements.
An example of how social media has allowed us to reach new audiences both online and on tradition media platforms was how we used it during The Shift. Leveraging our social platforms allowed us to tie together all components of our multi-platform storytelling project, The Shift, and gave us new ways to promote our reporting on radio and television.
The Shift-Facebook Live Video kickoff
As part of our multi-platform storytelling project, The Shift, we used Facebook Live to launch the conversation around the project. This video features the host of our television South Dakota Focus political affairs program, Stephanie Rissler, our In the Moment radio news and cultural program host Lori Walsh and our health and education beat reporter Kealey Bultena.
The Shift: Parker School District
During coverage of The Shift, we used Facebook to launch social video that was produced in conjunction with radio reporting on the same topic area. This social video was a partner project between our television video team and veteran radio reporter. It allowed us to tease the 2-hour radio show while still providing a full story via social.
The Shift: Hurley
Another example of cross-department storytelling was in this story. By pairing a videographer with a radio reporter, we were able to effectively tell the story both visually online and also use the same audio for a radio story the next day.
The Shift: Eureka
This video was produced as a roll-in for our public affairs television show, South Dakota Focus, but edited in such a way that we were also able to use it online. By being cognizant of the requirements of social audiences, we have been able to successfully use the same video for both platforms with great success.
South Dakota Focus: Excerpt from The Shift episode
South Dakota Focus is our live, on-air, television public affairs program for which two episodes were dedicated to The Shift. After each episode, our production team scrubbed through the conversations for key takeways that could then be launched via social media in the days following the live show, thus allowing it to have a longer "shelf life" and reach more audiences than the typical live television program.