To supplement coverage of a Carolina Panthers pep rally leading up to their January 12 playoff game, WSOC (@WSOC_TV), the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C., invited NFL insider David Newton (@DNewtonESPN) to answer fan questions live on Twitter.
Newton, who covers the NFL and the @Panthers for ESPN.com, was on hand to talk about the team’s matchup with the San Francisco @49ers two days before the game.
Viewers were encouraged to tweet to @DNewtonESPN or @WSOC_TV using hashtag #PanthersPride, which was displayed on air.
The station used Twitter two or three times a day for promotion during the week leading up to the event.
Get your questions ready. @DNewtonespn will join us for #PanthersPride Kickoff Special Friday live from @EpiCentreNC pic.twitter.com/hEFtN6rOTn— WSOC-TV Sports ( @WSOCTVSports) January 6, 2014
Jason Rice (@JayDRice), WSOC’s executive producer of digital content, credited the station’s heavy promotion of the Q&A for its success. In addition to Twitter, they promoted it on TV and their website throughout the week and made special graphics for TV that highlighted their #PanthersPride hashtag and the Twitter accounts.
The station’s anchors tweeted about the event, and Newton encouraged fans to join the Q&A session. @WSOC_TV also solicited questions from viewers that evening.
.@DNewtonespn is on set live at EpiCentre ready for your questions. Send them in NOW! #PanthersPride pic.twitter.com/bdQxQdUBF0— WSOC TV ( @WSOC_TV) January 11, 2014
[Twitter is] the easiest way to get our message across.Jason Rice@JayDRiceexecutive producer of digital content, WSOC
During the broadcast, Rice coordinated closely with Newton. When either one spotted a good question, Newton retweeted it and replied as Rice retweeted from the station account.
If it’s not a defensive struggle it won’t be in Carolina’s favor @drewseels— David Newton ( @DNewtonespn) January 11, 2014
The chat was more of a dialogue than a strict question-and-answer session. Newton talked with fans and even asked questions of his own. Rice and the team received plenty of Tweets — enough to fill up the entire hour.
Rice was happy with the level of engagement:
Wish I’d said that. Nice @JasonTselentis @RightChandMan— David Newton ( @DNewtonespn) January 11, 2014
In addition to the Q&A, the WSOC team tweeted throughout the Panthers’ pep rally, which went on for three days. WSOC sports anchor @TiffanyMWright encouraged people to tune in by tweeting out this Vine video:
Join us live at the Panthers pep rally live on WSOC TV until 9pm https://t.co/gLwnZYtT0y— Tiffany Wright ( @TiffanyMWright) January 11, 2014
WSOC created this Storify page where you can see Tweets from the Q&A and photos from the rally.
Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.