Use Social Media to Build Audience Loyalty and Earned Media Potential – MarketWatch.
Singapore, Mar 26, 2014 (ACN Newswire via COMTEX) — Social media has changed the way people interact with one another, and also how they discover, share and use content. It has become a unique and innovative platform for broadcasters to adopt, to effectively reach out to their existing and target audiences. Social media platforms also provide opportunities for personalised engagement with each viewer to enhance awareness and build loyalty. With the advent of second screens at home, viewers are savvier than ever and fans of popular TV shows have also leveraged on social media to express their views or even create their own stories (fan fiction).
BroadcastAsia2014 speaks to Erin Dwyer, Executive Director of Digital Marketing of Starz and conference speaker at BroadcastAsia 2014 International Conference for her perspectives on social TV and social media – how this phenomenon can enhance a broadcaster’s brand and content offerings.
Benefits of a social media strategy
Broadcasters can leverage social media in a variety of ways, but the most important thing for all networks to understand is that social media is a long-term investment. If you’re in a great situation, with a pre-existing fan base, you may have quick activation capabilities. Ultimately, social is about breaking down barriers; it’s about providing accessibility, and one-on-one communication, that will lead to increased loyalty and stronger consumer relationships.
Fans reward shows and brands for considering them, and that in turn builds earned media potential. This can offset large media buying costs, or dovetail with them to increase efficiencies.
Broadcasters can use social media to:
— Build loyal fan bases, which generate word of mouth for them and their content
— Leverage earned media to compound your paid media reach
— Build valuable communities that are dedicated to your content and programming, which in turn become recurrent viewers
— Reward and engage your viewers to increase retention and weekly viewership
Integration of social media with content – challenges and opportunities
The largest challenge is being nimble. It’s vital to take advantage of timely opportunities, while navigating internal and external groups, and providing a value proposition that everyone can support.
Social is still a very new marketing initiative; in fact, in its truest form it’s not really ‘marketing’ but community evangelism. Moreover, it’s changing every single day, so communicating all those evolutions, and their impact on strategies, is a sizeable challenge. However, I think the entertainment category has the greatest opportunity in social. After all, which other category has natural ‘super fans’ who live and breathe for characters, quotes, actors and shows? Many marketers are forced to create content that’s valuable or interesting about their services, or packaged goods brands. Entertainment is ripe with content that is already valuable; the greatest opportunity lies in how you package, leverage and provide this content to your communities.
Important strategies for enhancing content offerings
First and foremost, you must leverage existing fan bases and influencers. You should engage and encourage your super fans, and also create unique experiences for your communities; feed them the content story you want your fans to share. Use your metrics and listen to what is resonating with fans; they will always tell you what they want. And, complement your content with paid social media campaigns to create larger reach, and in turn, boost high performing content.
Finally, you’re in the business of content creation. You should continue your value proposition in social by providing complimentary and parallel social content.
Monetisation of social media – is it possible?
Monetising is possible, but it’s also a means of redefining what that word actually means to your organisation. If you have access to your consumer or subscriber base, you can likely develop a cost of retention model; one that shows how your investment in social media has helped retain more consumers than before you participated in it. However, I think social media, at its core, is less about direct monetary gain and more about the perception of your brand. You can empower your fans to tell the story for you, and thus build loyalty through authentic communication.