Four Tips for Maximizing Twitter Engagement with your TV Audience
As fall rolls around once again, our signature fall events have begun. Back to school, football season, pumpkin spice lattes, boots, colorful landscapes and of course, the premier of the new TV series and seasons. With so much hype around our nightly TV programming, Twitter’s activity naturally increases as well as viewers take to the network to share their thoughts, opinions, triumphs and woes related to their favorite shows.
The following 4 tips were written by Nick Cicero for Expion and focus on how to increase Twitter engagement with your TV Audience.
1. Make Social Sharing Easy for Your Cast and Crew
According to Twitter, “the most direct way to make an impact through live-Tweeting is through the cast members. They’re your greatest asset.” Most notably, ABC’s Scandal flooded Twitter with conversations during broadcasts, using hashtags like #AskScandal to connect audiences to the star Kerry Washington, creator Shonda Rhimes and the rest of the show’s cast, writers, and even makeup artists in real time.
The problem is TV stars (and celebrities in general) are not always the easiest to motivate when it comes to getting them to tweet for themselves. That’s going to take some work, but the best way to solve this problem is to bring the digital team into the production process as early as possible.
Set up a season strategy guide and kickoff meeting for cast members, directors and even crew. Tell the production team the story of their audience members online. The social team probably has a much better view into real conversations taking place, so provide those insights back to the cast and crew to take into account as they’re engaging.
In your strategy guide include a look into what the show’s branded accounts are doing, official hashtags (and fan hashtags) and let them know that the team is there to regularly provide them with assets to share on their accounts (even going so far as including pre-written, suggested tune-in tweets if you have to).
If you can, connect your cast accounts into your social relationship platform. Often times cast members (or their assistant/personal community manager) get to slacking on posting, or in many cases are just not good at creating and engaging in social. A social relationship platform enables a network to push content directly through the cast member’s Twitter and Facebook accounts in these cases, in addition to gaining access to the invaluable data around that particular cast member’s social channels.
Other ideas are simple, you could set up a live-tweeting schedule and assign different people to different episodes and work with them directly. Even more fun, if you can get your team together why not host cast/crew parties where everyone watches and and tweets together?
2. Anticipate Social Storylines
A tweet is both the new applause and the new boo. Why not anticipate (and prime) these emotions? Work with production teams to find potential “tweetworthy moments” ahead of time. Lay out the types of keywords people might say to anticipate those results. Listen for those moments and reactions to them using social listening tools.
Plan your live-tweeting and moderation around these moments, set up moderation streams inside of your moderation software to easily segment tweets about your show based on keywords that determine sentiment, intent, interest in a certain character, the possibilities are really endless.
Make a gameplan that actually schedules out those peak moments for the community team to prep for in advance. Write it down on paper if you have to, no different than production teams have shot sheets.
For example, If your show airs at 8pm and it’s an hour long, and you know that roughly around the 5, 10 and 40 minute mark (give or take for commercials) are these “tweetworthy moments” you might want to list those out so you can plan content and prep for a rush of conversation during those times.
There are a lot of ways you can execute on these “tweetworthy moments.” Aside from live-Tweeting staples like photos, videos and text-based tweets, a reality show might set up a social poll to tweet out to their followers at the height of an episode that speaks directly to a moment in the show.
3. Create winning moments by identifying high impact conversations
Influence is real, and some conversations are just flat-out more engaging than others, there’s no way around it. In fact, the entire Twitter report basically supports this argument by telling social TV marketers to get their stars involved.
This relationship goes both ways, not only do influential cast members hold weight, but so do celebrities and other influencers also talking about your show online.
Let’s be real, top TV shows generate a TON of tweets in the one hour a week that their show might air. It’s almost impossible to respond to each and every tweet in real time, and even tougher for a TV show’s community team to decide who to respond to and about what.
That’s why I believe that TV community managers should be looking to surface high-impact real-time conversations (scored by combining the amount of engagement and true reach) that can result in an instant social lift for a TV show, or what I call “Moments of Spontaneous Conversational Combustion.”
Put simply, the faster you can respond to high-impact discussions, the more opportunities you have to boost viral discussions around your TV show.
So if Taylor Swift is talking about Sharknado, and SyFy responds to her, two massive overlapping audiences are seeing a public conversation play out in real time, increasing the likelihood of different audiences jumping into the conversation adding to the ripple effect.
And while Taylor Swift loving Sharknado is definitely awesome, any tweet from any user with any follower count can spark a high-impact discussion. A good social strategy (combined with Twitter’s improvements to the product through threaded comments, etc) encourages the audience to have their own discussions.
Social relationship tools like Expion can help analyze and filter these conversations to uncover these “Moments of Spontaneous Conversational Combustion.” Instead of flipping randomly through hashtag searches or chronological mentions, a community manager could set up customized streams in their moderation dashboard based on keyword, level of engagement, or other factors.
4. Build a Team of Passionate Players
Assign community managers (either internally or at your community agency) to shows they have interest in. Your community manager is spending all day and night immersed in story lines, so that constant mutual excitement helps build deeper bonds with the audience and also helps your community manager to avoid burnout because they’re actually having fun.
TV is highly polarizing. When you love a show you love it and can talk to anyone about it (people still talk about Lost and it ended like 5 years ago, I am one of those people). Execution is everything. You can’t expect to build a raving fanbase online about a TV show without having some great community minds behind your audience development who share that same passion. That’s why you need to hire amazing talent.
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