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At last week’s BVE Conference, Rule5 attended a seminar hosted by The Connected Set on the Rules of Social Media Engagement for broadcasters and television companies. 

As social media strategists and community managers for a wealth of brands, including sports, interiors and events, it was especially interesting for us at Rule 5 to hear a fresh perspective from broadcasters on bringing to life their brands and shows through social media.

Given TV SMCMs work a large majority of their day job in real-time as shows air live, there was an obvious parallel for Rule 5 and the work we do on live sporting events such as the Track World Cup and Taekwondo Grand Prix.

Much like a sporting event, there’s a period of pre-promotion and structure to follow to ensure the biggest swells of engagement at event. The panellists, who included Ally Branley, Social Media Marketing Manager at Channel 4 and Zodiak Media’s Ben Freeman, raised the importance of structure and story-telling, bringing the narrative of a show to life as early as possible with behind-the-scenes content and teaser footage.

Harnessing the reach and power of talent was another key point. Working in the sporting events arena, Rule 5 know the value of the influence of our ambassadors in communicating messages to our audiences in an effective, genuine and interesting way. Much the same, the discussion led us to recommend coaching and developing plans with talent in mind, involving them in the process and allowing them to tell their side of the story.

What of a feed once a show comes to an end? Ally at Channel 4 believes this should be done on a case-by-case basis. Once time and effort has been invested in bringing about a community of like-minded people, the value of their interest in one subject area shouldn’t be ignored if brands are able to re-use and re-educate audiences about forthcoming projects.

Much like events, a live broadcast isn’t always easy to predict, though the panellists agreed that a template or outline strategy should always be applied throughout (here’s where the trusty Q&A comes in invaluable)! With live programming, much care and attention should be paid to rules and regulations – polls for example require independent auditing to meet industry standards proving the life of a broadcast and events social media community manager isn’t a simple one!

At the end of the session, Amber D’Albert from the Connected Set asked the panellists to share their particular insights and one recommendation for anyone looking to set in place a social media strategy.

Complementing, not distracting from the broadcast is key, pointed out Dominic Brooks of 33Seconds. The user experience for any viewer ‘second-screening’ while watching television should be an enhancement of their usual interaction with their chosen entertainment.

The panel reminded the audience of a pivotal rule, which should be applied to all and any brand communications on social media – be human! Sentiment can’t be measured by a robot, nor does your audience want to hear from one so getting tonality right for the account is crucial, not just for broadcast, but across all sectors.

One thing that struck as particularly pertinent closing comment was the need for a social media management team to come up with the content that the producer or client wishes they had time for. In addition to enhancing the viewing experience of an audience member or event attendee, social media opens the opportunity for marketers to embrace wider creativity, increase engagement and tell sides of a story that an event or air-time would usually edit out.

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