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Want Facebook fans? Try roadkill and tasers

Besides big weather events, local TV sites often see big traffic spikes for bizarre stories and caught-on-tape clips. As you might imagine, the same popularity applies to Facebook.

In Alexandria, Minnesota, KSAX posted this viewer photo of a mysterious animal, killed in the middle of a road. That was on August 1st, and since then, Facebook fans have been weighing in with every possible guess under the sun — and sharing it with their friends. Every day, new users discovered KSAX’s Facebook page and asked about the story, so KSAX kept posting update after update.

Then national sites like the Huffington Post picked up the story. KSAX’s website — tiny on a typical day — spiked with 1 million page views over 4 days, reports Poynter.org.

But that’s just the beginning. While mysterious roadkill is a sure winner, KSAX wanted to hit a previously-set goal of 3,000 Facebook fans. So while the roadkill debate continued, KSAX offered fans that it would show video of meteorologist Mark Anthony getting tased if they hit the 3,000 mark. (The station had shot the video earlier but never aired it.) As you might expect, they hit the goal, and, well, here’s the clip.

To date, KSAX wins the prize for the most unconventional path to Facebook popularity in TV. The runner-up has to be WJW in Cleveland, which promised to donate $2,500 to an animal shelter (complete with live shots with puppies) if it hit 100,000 new Facebook fans.

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