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The Social TV Summit took place on November 16th in New York City. For many, the highlight of the day was the afternoon keynote presentation given by one of the few women attending, Chloe Sladden, Director of Content and Programming at Twitter.
Sladden briefly discussed progress made in 2011 with the integration of Twitter into TV content. The use of on-air visual indicators paired with a verbal call to action is a basic programming practice that has accelerated across networks. Sladden referenced statistics. This simple integration into the show content can result in up to a 10-fold increase in Twitter volume, directly and immediately. Moreover, out of the top 50 TV shows, approximately 50% have active brand accounts on Twitter.
On air hashtag endorsements, high profile accounts and live tweets have only begun to create the foundation of basic infrastructure between TV and social media. Courageous content producers have taken risks this past year in pursuit of offering their audience an enhanced viewing experience. Live fans have welcomed TV content infused with social media because it transcends the fourth wall by encouraging their participation.
Sladden’s excitement peaked when she began outlining the blueprint for Twitter’s broadcast fusion in 2012. She boldly challenged the TV industry to utilize social media by considering revolutionary propositions. First, “make Twitter engagement a peer to Nielsen Ratings,” by perceiving Nielsen as the scientific measurement, like blood pressure; whereas, Twitter is the emotional investment, like one’s heartbeat. It is becoming clear that social buzz is related to ratings. Both brands and producers should consider the social media velocity associated with certain types of programs to plan strategically.
Second, “program Twitter like you program your Network,” by beginning to think of your show(s) or brand’s TV content as an experience event. The true potential for groundbreaking engagement dwells amongst the producers, networks and advertising agencies. Optimize live tweeting, write, produce and program your content to design a holistic experience that is significant to the audience. TV may traditionally be categorized as a lean back experience, but certain shows are participatory in nature and yearning to harness social media with multi-screen functionality. Know your content, know your audience; but, above all, learn to embrace your fans! Decide when and how to involve the audience. Social media needs to be used creatively in ways that surprise and delight viewers; therefore, increasing resonance.
The third challenge, and according to Sladden, the most difficult for content producers to seize is the ability to, “invite your Twitter audience to become integrated into the show itself.” In the past, TV content has used telephones, SMS text messages and branded websites to add a facet of interaction to static programming. Today’s technology is exponentially developing. Aim to make the interactive element of TV content remarkably creative! Sladden stated that Twitter, “is the real laugh track.” Social traffic spikes during moments of drama or during scenes with heightened emotion. These moments are distinguished because viewers react together, sharing emotions, in a united live experience.
I loved Sladden’s enthusiasm when she spoke of how a program, like the political debate, could incorporate live Twitter activity into the show itself. If the hashtags #answer and #dodge were promoted for instantaneous interaction, the audience could offer their judgments as to how well candidates addressed the posed questions. Automatically, I thought of how this type of opinionated participation could enhance other programs, like sporting events on TV. The network would present a question on-air or on the second screen: was the call fair or foul? What if the immediate public response, via twitter or in conjunction with other social media channels, was against the referee’s official decision? How would the fan’s communal opposition change or challenge the outcome? Influence public discussion? Public opinion? This is where producers can put their creativity to the test. As an avid television viewer, I find that TV content becomes much more interesting and engaging if I am emotionally or socially invested to tune in. Broadcasters need to take risks in order to discover the best approach that captures and maintains this type of meaningful investment appropriate for their audience and tailored to their content. Drive tune-in week after week, season after season and year after year.
Twitter wants to assist the infiltration of social media into broadcasted programs. The company seeks to collaborate with networks, producers and advertisers with their implementation by providing best practice guidelines. Seek to discover what motivates your viewers and what drives initiative. That is the portal to interactive digital revenue. The best creative storytelling requires risk taking.
Original Publication Source: Never.no Blog
I attended the Social TV Summit on November 16th in New York City. The event was beautifully executed to host an executive conference focused on social media and it’s effect on viewing content on TV, online, on tablets and on mobile devices. Jack Myers and Andy Batkin moderated the panelists primarily throughout the day.
Facebook representatives Kay Madati and Andy Mitchell took the stage as keynote speakers in the morning. Madati clearly stated that the past age was dominated by search, but that today’s social rules and digital expectations will command social TV to respond in a new age of discovery. He went on to mention that quantified social insights will determine engagement and uncover what motivates users to influence their friends via sharing. Technology will drive programming and monetization opportunities because it will be able to execute content recognition. Winner of the idea pitch, TVplus companion application, demonstrates the intertextual prospects of synchronized recognition most distinctly during a program. Content recognition will empower the companion experience by making supplemental content contextually relevant in conjunction with the temporal metadata of a broadcast.
Olivier Delfosse from Fremantle Media emphasized that broadcasters need to work with technology companies to make second screen experiences more consistent. As connected TVs, smart phones and tablets begin to proliferate, viewers will expect the technology to be dependable and work in harmony with the program in a naturalized fashion. However, Delfosse noted that unexpected second screen experiences are also needed in order to keep the content fresh and initiate participation via the element of surprise. Broadcasters need to become fully committed to integrating these technical tools and producers need to begin to consider the second screen when writing content. Once these practices are adopted content creators will be in the best position to capitalize on interactive digital revenue.
Jason Klarman, President of Oxygen Media/NBC Universal, mentioned that the audience mostly wants to talk to each other about content and use companion devices to observe related activity and discover more in depth. Chloe Sladden, afternoon keynote speaker from Twitter, discussed the basic programming practice of using visual indicators, like a promoted hashtag as an on-air graphic, to alert the audience of the active digital community they can participate in while producers harness backchannel traffic. Sladden indicated that the highest peeks in digital dialogue occur during moments of drama, whereas, commercial breaks seem to be consistently leveled.
Overall, the event was very insightful and reinforced many of the principal theories and beliefs currently in circulation about the development of social TV. I would have liked to see more producers present to voice their concerns as well as expectations for this emerging distribution platform. There is a substantial divide between creative production and advancing technical platforms for distribution; the lack of content creators present at the conference highlighted this reality. Progress will be achieved once these two sectors initiate communication and sustain partnerships. Those are the types of discussions that need to occur in order for the best digital programming strategy to surface and succeed.
Last week I participated in the two-day Social Media World Forum and Apps World conference in New York City. The event had four tracks in the following concentrations: marketing, social media marketing, social media tools and app development.
Scott Lincke, Senior Director of product management at Yahoo! Connected TV, spoke most about behaviorally targeting the three stages of a TV viewing experience.
- Decision Making
- Consumption of Content
- Review and Reflection
First, the viewer initiates the decision making process. Social activity influences every individual. The source of influence may be from community chatter, public marketing exposure or from monitoring the activity of their social networks. Psychology principles acknowledge social influence to be a powerful factor during decision-making. Media’s participatory culture suggests that the true power of persuasion is provoked by suggestion within social networks and through the viral distribution of messages shared within niche TV centric communities. I believe this initial discovery of content and decision to consume is an opportunity for social media marketing strategies to harvest new viewers, but a phase that broadcasters often overlook.
The second stage is the actual consumption of content. This is when the audience as a whole engages in discussion and reacts to the content, online or offline. Broadcasters and advertisers have an opportunity to sustain loyal viewers if they seek to control the distracted moments of inevitable media-multitasking with related content. For example, social intermissions are ideal moments for brands to trigger interaction. Viewers are instinctively reaching for their mobile/tablet. The companion screen can prove highly successful if the broadcaster learns to empower each viewer. Commercializing on these interactive opportunities will keep networks from becoming outdated and obsolete. Supplemental content supplied exclusively for connected devices is becoming an element that viewers not only expect, but also demand. Companion content that encourages participation on personalized devices sustains attention and results in higher retention rates.
Investing into synchronized communication and supplemental content will benefit content providers tremendously if they seek to control these secondary touch-points.
It’s no longer about keeping eyeballs focused on the shared screen, but keeping viewer’s attention during the broadcast! By being in command of the exact moments to launch interactive components, networks can seamlessly capture the peripheral attention span of their audience during intermittent programming. Guiding the viewer’s will to stay tuned through initiating custom “calls to action” will lead to increased live traffic spikes, viral p2p distribution, monetization opportunities, social feedback, brand retention and content resonance. Communicating one-to-one stimulates the currently inactive and passive spectator into an empowered participant and brand advocate. Never.no’s single framework customizes synchronized communication strategies for unique broadcast content and the (IS) Interactivity Suite provides support within on-air systems, enables mobile/tablet companion applications and monitors live social discourse.
The final stage is review and reflection. Analysis of social feedback within online channels of discussion, ratings, reviews, sharing and community exposure of the branded content is critical in order to successful pursue a more relevant branding strategy.
Original Publication Source: Never.no Blog