Okay, maybe that title was a little misleading, in that social media is definitely an intrinsic part of social tv as it provides the tools that make it possible.
What I’m really trying to do in this post is point out that the two things, although sounding the same, require very different approaches.
Which is why I’ve come up with 4 principles for you to consider, when approaching a social TV project.
Social media for both brands and broadcasters, is an often awkward, slightly perplexing idea.
Yes, you need to be visible on it, yes you need to be creating some form of content as part of this deal, and yes you need to be listening and responding to your consumers. But this is where the similarities end, for one simple reason*
People are already fans of TV shows!
They’re interested in the stories you have to tell, they’re interested in the secrets you can share, they’re interested in the exclusives you can dangle in front of them as your will decides.
With brands, people are largely interested in getting stuff for free and customer service, unless you’re lucky enough/smart enough to have built a really strong content offering, solidly over time then getting them to stay interested in your content in 2015, is pretty hard work.
So, it makes sense that you would go about developing your social media strategy for a broadcaster, quite differently than you would for a brand.
When it comes social TV, it really is all about the fandom.
Fandom is something that brands rarely have unless they’re very, very good with Tumblr (I’m looking at you Dennys)
The key to creating a good social TV strategy is understanding the fandom. Only then can you create the kind of content that fans will go crazy for.
This sounds obvious, but time and experience have taught me that it’s really not.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying you need to love the shows, but you need to understand the fandom.
In every social TV project that I’ve worked on, I’ve started with the fandom and worked my way outwards to the mainstream.
Starting with the mainstream is never going to work, because those guys aren’t going to be bothered about your show unless it’s popular right now.
Fandom is what makes the show popular, it’s what buys the shirts and the boxsets and creates the art and goes to Comicon and gets the people on Facebook interested in watching in the first place.
Not all platforms are created equal
Yes, this goes for regular social too, but (kings of social TV, The CW will tell you) it’s more pronounced with TV. (Or as I like to put it, don’t try Superwholock on Facebook.)
Different types of people naturally gravitate towards certain platforms. Always, always look at your analytics and then use them to hone your hunches.
Different platforms require different content types and different timings. Are you looking to build buzz, drive to TX or drive to catch up? Each of these things will benefit from understanding the whens are wheres and whos.
Also, people are beginning to make noise about Snapchat being the future of social TV, so you might want to keep an eye on that.
Oh, and always check fandometrics.
Everyone loves a reaction gif.
If you want to know more about any of this/are looking for some help with social TV, then please drop me a line.
*Yes, I know there are exceptions to this rule, but they are just that, exceptions.