Social Media Strategy from the Broadcast Sector

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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.

BBC Future Media Event Part 2: The first ‘safe’ social network?


The first installment of our two-part blog on last week’s BBC Future Media Event looked at the developing technology of Perceptive Media and what this might hold for the communications industry. In this second follow-up blog, we look at two key areas of interest arising from discussions with the CBBC and Digital Sport teams, starting with the launch of what the Beeb is calling the first ‘safe, real-world’ social network…

CBBC launches the first ‘safe’ social network for children

Children under the age of five have never known a world without the iPhone and so naturally demand that their technology is slick, quick and ahead of the times.  The CBBC website hosts around 1,700 games and is available on a host of different devices. In a move that breaks ground in the online social space, it is soon to launch what it is calling the first ‘real world’, safe social network for kids. Allowing children to connect with their friends online in a space named ‘Vs’, the new CBBC hosted network ensures that children trade user names in the playground rather than digitally, so it’s completely transparent as to whom they are connecting with. The development has not only benefited children and their parents; investing locally, the Beeb has awarded independent developer contracts for a number of its upcoming digital projects in pitch processes that include over 300 agencies. An example of which is Manchester-based Young , responsible for developing the new Cbeebies ‘Music Mash-Up’ game-app.

BBC Sport: Mobile browsers first

The success story of the night came from the digital sport team. Ten million people per day watched the 2012 Olympics on the BBC Sport website, which typically receives 6 million hits per day. Seven-hundred thousand people watched Bradley Wiggins race for gold on their mobile and athletes and journalists utilised the ground-breaking live stream technology to watch team mates compete while keeping abreast of all events.

Head of the sports team, Chris Condron, explained the importance of first optimising the site’s mobile browser, which receives more traffic than the Apple and Android sport apps combined. A device’s market share is the key factor in building the critical mass that warrants a bespoke app development, bringing to light the need for a fully optimised mobile browser on all devices. This is especially significant when you consider 2014’s packed sporting calendar, including World Cup, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

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