How to enrich news coverage with audience participation and social media content

More and more TV programs are using social content as part of their daily material and as a way of complementing important news. Watching the news is no longer a passive experience, and audiences are seeking a bigger role in the conversation. At the same time, filling a programming schedule is not an easy task for broadcasters. What better solution than to create an interactive space that generates fresh, ready-to-display content that adds great editorial value to a show and allows the audience to be heard?

Interactivity turns news shows into participatory and relevant experiences for audiences, and in this post we’ll demonstrate how shows can make the most of viewer input and curate social media content to enrich news coverage.

Poll of the day

Voting mechanics are very effective for keeping an audience engaged during a show. They are a way of immediately displaying the thoughts and opinions of the audience on any given topic. And, the results of votes and surveys give programs an organic way of enriching editorial content in real time. These types of mechanics can also extend onto second screens, that is—other digital properties, such as websites and apps, which can drive monetization and further engagement.

Here’s a practical application: a news channel can post daily about current events and get the audience’s opinion, and this content can in turn be incorporated into broadcasts throughout the day. The posts can be simple and even ask for simple votes with two responses—for example “do you agree with X decision”? “Yes or no”? Questions can also become more complex, richer sources of information, soliciting open-ended responses—for example “what do you think should be done about X issue?” These content-generating call to actions can be hosted on proprietary digital platforms or on social media.


questio“La Qüestió” and “Les Notícies del Matí” are 2 shows from À Punt Mèdia (CVMC -  Corporación Valenciana de Medios de Comunicación). Both of them use Flowics to enrich their news coverage with social content and interactive experiences. Watch the case!


RCN uses daily polls to hear the audience’s opinion on specific topics.

Rate the news

Among the many options for audience involvement is yet another creative way of projecting the audience’s opinion: through scoring. Ask your audience what score they’d give to a specific reporter or politician or ask them how they’d rate a recent political decision. Beyond simply generating greater participation, this mechanic also drives traffic to digital properties.

scoring-2FAQs using this mechanic during one of their shows 


Give viewers a voice. Their opinion matters

Capitalize on content shared on social media, whether Facebook comments, tweets, or even Instagram or Facebook posts, and display information and trends regarding people’s opinions on certain topics or events. This is yet another excellent way to make the audience’s voice heard while taking broadcast content to the next level with real-time, unscripted material.


Opposing Opinions Display

Another interesting way of generating content is to incite a conversation around opposing opinions. This can be done by displaying two comments with different outlooks on an issue. These comments can be sourced from the audience or from public figures, like politicians, and take the form of a “crossfire” as shown below.


Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis with Polls and Comments

Complement content sent in by the audience with poll results to promote participation and enhance news coverage with social content. In this participation mechanic, there are two layers of meaningful participation. The audience can substantiate their votes by detailing their opinions, and this context in turn makes for a more robust conversation, generating a less static and more dynamic news broadcast. The end result is a qualitative and quantitative analysis of a specific issue.



Another extremely effective call to action is inviting the audience to participate on social media using a specific hashtag that will in turn allow them to unlock exclusive content. This method can be used to generate a high level of engagement in a short period of time. A practical example? “Comment in order to unlock X reporter’s opinion.” Once the content is unlocked, it can be displayed during the show or on digital platforms, like websites and apps, thereby driving traffic to these digital properties.


FAQs on TV3 makes use of this mechanic to allow the audience to unblock reporters’ opinions on certain issues. Watch the case.

Conversation Trends on Social Media

Social media can provide interesting insights regarding public opinion towards current events. Analyzing this kind of information becomes relevant, for example, during election seasons, in which broadcasters can provide a visualization of the amount of mentions generated on social before, during, or after a political debate or the announcement of important piece of news.


Grupo Imagen used Flowics platform to deliver a complete Social coverage after presidential debate in Mexico, showcasing trends, relevant social content and wordclouds. Watch the case


Word Clouds

Similar to social stats, word clouds can help show which terms are being used the most on social media with regard to a person/candidate. This allows news shows to understand how the public perceives important figures in society and their ideas or platforms, and it allows viewers to participate in a wider conversation with other voters and peers.


Check out this other blog post to find out more ideas for covering elections using Social Media 

As social media becomes an increasingly important space for conversations around important political and societal issues, news outlets gain an exciting opportunity for interactivity and displaying unique content. Infusing broadcasts with these types of mechanics differentiates news outlets and brings them into closer proximity with their viewers.

Interested in learning how to enrich your news coverage and optimize your production workflows? Request a demo!

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