Social media is a tool to bring in additional viewers, but it’s also a way to build a conversation and create an engaged audience. A panel at the recent Streaming Media Europe conference in London looked at how to use social media effectively.
“Where does social media fit in terms of online video, in general? What are the platforms out there that are really having an impact for programmers and their traffic and distribution strategies?” asked moderator Rags Gupta, vice president of new business initiatives at Brightcove, as he started the discussion.
“It’s very much a growing and very important source of traffic for people,” Gupta noted, adding that videos shared through social media have longer engagement times — by double-digit increases — over those found through search.
Panalist Kaustav Bhattacharya, senior technology manager for the U.K.’s Channel 5, told how the network used Facebook to build an audience for “Big Brother.”
“Our decision to leverage Facebook was primarily driven by the fact that a lot of our audience already exists within the universe of Facebook. Channel 5, as a company, has already had a presence on Facebook for a number of other shows and we’ve leveraged that to direct traffic to the Big Brother Facebook page,” Bhattacharya said.
Bhattacharya also emphasized that companies should use Twitter to generate conversations with their customers, rather than just broadcasting updates. As for distribution, Bhattacharya said that Channel 5′s plan was to syndicate its online content as widely as possible.
Panalist Adam King of Diagonal View seconded the importance of using social networks for conversations.
“For relatively little effort you can engage with your viewers and build loyalty and dwell time, and people will come back and recommend you to their friends,” said King.
Asked what emerging social networks were worth a look, Bhattacharya talked about Google’s Facebook competitor.
“Google Plus is obviously the one that’s just around the corner, potentially on everyone’s mind. I’m not completely sold and convinced on Google Plus, yet on a personal level I’m a big fan of it and proactively use it,” Bhattacharya said, noting that the network still had a limited niche audience.
To see the entire panel discussion, scroll down: