5:15PM March 6 2012
When we first carried out social TV activity for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing back in 2009, we created editorial calendars to push content through Facebook and Twitter, opening up the programme to fans. We updated social media channels with behind the scenes photos, polls and updates about the dances, as well as tweeting alongside the programme using hashtags. The activity was largely successful; we had great engagement, built a large community for the programme and achieved the objective of building fans and followers.
This approach to social TV – creating editorial and content calendars upfront to start conversations with a programme’s audience, is commonplace across many channels and programmes today. However, we do have another tool at our disposal that complements social TV activity, and that is real-time social media monitoring. This involves listening into conversations that occur around a broadcast and creating content that is contextually relevant.
An example of this in practice is the social TV activity we engaged in for the launch of Dynamo: Magician Impossible for Watch. This involved producing editorial calendars and pushing this content out through Facebook and Twitter, of course, but we also added social media monitoring to the mix, listening into the conversations happening around the show pre-, during and post broadcast. An analyst made sense of the data, and produced real-time visualisations of the conversations taking place on Twitter and highlighted key topics of conversation.
With the data we could understand that the topic of Rio Ferdinand was of importance based on its size in comparison to other topics. We could also understand that the majority of the context and sentiment centred around Ferdinand’s emotional response to Dynamo’s trick. So, instead of pushing out an update immediately after the show had aired asking what the audience thought about it, we took a screen grab of the moment and seeded it into the community immediately after broadcast. The audience shared this social currency amongst their social graph (some of whom did not watch the show), thus attracting more fans to the community through word of mouth. This activity, not to mention the overall social TV campaign and Dynamo’s own mastering of social media channels, made it a hit show last summer.
We also worked on the Call of Duty TV live broadcast for the launch of Modern Warfare 3. We planned the editorial calendars, but we allowed for slots in the schedule that would be influenced by community conversations. To do this, we analysed the conversations that occurred before and at the beginning of broadcast. The data allowed us to see trending topics forming around celebrities at the event e.g. The Gadget Show host, Jason Bradbury. When we delved into these conversations in more detail we could see the passion the community had for him, so we ensured that we interviewed him using questions from the community. The data also revealed negative topics around certain celebrities attending, so we ensured that we did not interview them to maintain programme engagement with the core fans.
These very basic examples illustrate exactly how we can use real-time social media monitoring to produce content that is contextually relevant to the audience, joining conversations rather than starting them, and taking the audience to a deeper level of engagement.