Abbey Fernández is “Synced In” to the social media landscape in the Bay Area

How a young journalist approaches social media

Abbey Fernández is all over social media in the Bay Area. It’s not only part of her job description, but it’s also something she uses as a tool to help build her brand as a journalist.

The bilingual Fernandez does it all for NBC Bay Area’s ‘Synced In’ as well as a Spanish-language version on Telemundo 48, ‘Conectados Contigo.’ She writes, shoots, edits, hosts and posts both shows every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on IGTV (Instagram TV), Instagram Stories and Twitter.

 

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‘Synced In’ first aired in January, and Fernández describes it as a show that delivers viewers trending news from around the Bay Area, whether that’s a story about the Warriors’ last game in Oracle Arena or the best spot in the area to take wildflower pictures.

 

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“I think about the stories that we choose as those that you might hear if you’re standing in line at Starbucks, right?” Fernández said. “It’s very much just trending stories around the Bay Area told in under two minutes.”

According to Fernández, it’s about tapping into a market of consumers who don’t watch news on television. “It’s geared towards an audience that’s not your typical broadcast audience,” she said. “It’s geared towards those people, that audience, that consumes everything on mobile.”

IGTV is the perfect platform for that — it operates like a mobile-first version of TV and YouTube. IGTV is still growing since its launch in Summer 2018, but it hasn’t seen the growth that some expected. NBC Bay Area has seen success for this show on the platform though, with nearly 3,000 views per episode.

NBC Bay Area isn’t the only station experimenting with a news brief show on IGTV though. A few months ago, we brought you the story of New York City’s WNBC, and its show, ‘Listen Up,’ which has been getting upwards of 10,000 views an episode in recent weeks.

Outside of being on social media as part of her job every day, Fernández is also locked-in on her personal social accounts. After graduating from Cal State Fullerton in May, Fernández has only been “in the business” for seven months. But she’s taken full advantage of that time to build her brand as a journalist.

She’s active on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook, and realizes — like many people out there versed in social media — that each has a very different audience and purpose. No two posts, on any of her platforms, look alike.

Her content reflects the nuance of each platform. She takes full advantage of Instagram by showcasing stunning photography. “Instagram obviously started as a photo sort of journal,” Fernández said. “So I like to post stuff that I think it’s pretty, it looks nice, or stuff that I’ve been doing.”

Fernández keeps it fun and personal on Instagram. If there’s an opportunity to showcase some good photography, you’ll find it on her Instagram. (Screenshot from her Instagram @abbeyfern)

While on Twitter she realizes that the focus is news, so her content shifts to reflect that as well.

On Twitter, Fernández focuses on the news, sports, as well as promoting what is going on at NBC Bay Area. (Screenshot from her Twitter @abbeyfern)

“If I’m watching sports, I’ll live tweet some stuff,” Fernández said. “I’m really into UFC — Ultimate Fighting Championship — so I do that as well.”

No matter how you use the platform, Fernández echoed the advice from many of our other Social Media Spotlight guests so far. What she posts on social media reflects who she is as a person first and foremost.

And for young journalists in particular, those who are just entering the industry and trying to find their footing, she suggested, “You know just keeping in mind that we’re still ourselves. Social media shouldn’t rob us of expressing ourselves really, but understanding that we do hold a responsibility and a role in society. And that we should take that seriously.”

Do you know an anchor, reporter or meteorologist who is using social media to engage with his or her viewers and deserves to be our next Social Media Spotlight? If so, email us at cronkitenewslab@asu.edu and we’ll check them out.

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