NBC Local Media boosts online traffic via social media

NBC Local Media, which runs 10 large-market sites including NBCNewYork.com and NBCChicago.com, said last week that it has seen steady audience growth over the past year — up 32 percent in page views and up 20 percent in unique visitors.

NBC said the growth was fueled in part by the sites’ integration with social media, from its shareable “mood” ratings, and from its “show off” module — which allows users to post photos and short messages. Referrals from Facebook and Twitter grew from 2 percent of total referrals in August 2009 to 8 percent in August 2010, NBC Local said.

“It’s encouraging to see such strong site performance, and especially as it relates to our social media gains,” said Greg Scholl, president of Local Platforms, NBC Local Media. “Our momentum not only reflects new product investments, but also the fact that our local news organizations have embraced expanding well beyond our core local broadcast business to provide our audiences with the information they seek.”

While NBC Local’s sites are tied to their broadcast properties, they’re a major divergence from the traditional television site. They target a younger demographic with more entertainment and “city guide” fare, with a noticeable lack of TV branding.