Having worked in live television production for the past six years I understand that having a presence on social media is not always seen as the most important part of a production. I mean there’s always so much happening, particularly in live programming that social media responsibilities can sometimes be abandoned or left until someone volunteers to take them on.
Last year I decided to take the social media reins on a live daytime show I produced. Along with some colleagues we worked on securing a social media following for our show and we did pretty well. When the series ended in March we had over 8,000 fans on Facebook and nearly 4,000 followers on Twitter.
Here are some ideas we implemented along the way.
Drive viewers to your social media channels by offering exclusive content on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. If, for example your show involves cooking then mention on air that the chef has put some exclusive recipes on Facebook for viewers to take a look at. If your show involves celebrity guests then offer an extended interview with a celebrity on your YouTube channel. Driving viewers to these channels will result in increased activity and interaction. We also found that quite a number of our viewers shared the exclusive content across Facebook & Twitter.
Behind the Scenes
Viewers love to see behind the scenes of television shows. Each week post up some photos of your production staff, guests and presenters onto your social media channels. Viewers will feel as though they are getting an insight into the inner workings of the show. Again, we found that viewers were inclined to share these photos across Facebook & Twitter.
Be Creative with Giveaways
Say for example that New York Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow is coming onto your show promoting his book. Why not ask his publicist to bring ten books, all signed! Then, mention on-air that the first ten people to post a photo of their best Tebow pose onto Facebook will win a signed copy of the book. Great publicity for Tim Tebow and it will drive viewers to your Facebook Page. Having the photos will also provide great content for your show.
Use Your Guest’s Social Media Presence
It may not be Lady Gaga with 24 million Twitter followers coming onto your show but always ask your guests to let their social media followers know when they are appearing on your show. You will be surprised by how many Facebook fans and Twitter followers you’ll get from a simple mention on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’re posing a question to your Facebook fans, post a relevant photo too. We received a higher level of viewer engagement on posts with photos.
So there you have it, five simple steps that helped us go from having no social media presence to having almost 12,000 followers across Facebook & Twitter. The increased interaction we got from viewers was truely invaluable. Within a short space of time we knew which elements of the show worked and which didn’t. Also, comments and messages from viewers provided a few minutes of on-air content each day on the show.
One conclusion which I have taken from my experience is that gone are the days when a junior member of the production team can take on the responsibility of posting social media content. Social media content has to be produced. I say produced because how your show is represented across social media is as important as how it’s seen on screen.
YouTube is second only to Google, when it comes to search. YouTube receives over 3-billion views every single day. When my 4-year old broke his arm, I went to YouTube, not Google or Bing, to watch a video on how to make a sling. When I was making a dinner for 6, and trying to nail a recipe, I went to YouTube to see how to do it right. And I’m not the only one. We’ve been hearing it for a while now how video, as a medium, dominates search… and that spells big payoffs for YouTube.
With this in mind, it’s high time to start thinking – not just how to make more videos – but how to get your video content and your general video presence seen! The good news is, you already know how. We’re talking about basic SEO practices like those for Google, or any search engine.
There are literally dozens of tips for optimizing content for YouTube. Here are a few easy ones to get you started.
Post content frequently. Activity begets activity. Active channels get more attention. Every time you post new content on YouTube, it indexes that content. So in essence, each time you post, it’s like poking YouTube and reminding it you’re there. Posting frequently can also foster loyalty in your audience, and if it’s good content, posting frequently will grow your audience.
Encourage comments and respond to them. Just like a blog, each video should provoke comments or questions from your audience. Following up on each and every comment will show your audience you’re listening, and will encourage further interaction. Furthermore, responding to comments gives you more opportunity to showcase your humor, or expertise.
Use meta tags. Once again, just like content on a website, using meta tags helps YouTube correctly categorize your content and serve it up to the right audience when they come searching. Learn more about that here.
Transcribe your video content. This step is often overlooked but can make a big difference in the optimization of your content. Transcribing video means writing out each word that is spoken. The resulting script is rich with keywords and essentially gives YouTube a roadmap for your content. You can read more about transcribing here.
Want more? Here are 10 more tips you should know about YouTube.
Have more tips not listed here? Share them in our comments section.
If you took in the big game yesterday you may have noticed that some of the commercials had already created buzz online. Volkswagen’s ads scheduled for release on Super Bowl Sunday were leaked 5 days earlier on YouTube, purposefully.
One day after the Wednesday February 2nd release, the commercials had gone viral – with “The Force” receiving more than one million hits. As I write this post, early Monday morning, the commercial is sitting at 15.5 million hits!
The strategy: by releasing the videos early, Volkswagen was able to engage audiences before the bombardment of other beer, cola or car commercials scheduled to hit the big screen during the game. The timing of the release was perfect. Volkswagen jumped the gun, and stayed one step ahead of the competition.
Pre-released or not, these ads were well received and have been touted some of the most memorable ads of Super Bowl XLV. Thus, showing us, once again – the power of video online. Check them out: “The Force” and “Black Beetle”.
On November 11, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced its progress with indexing Adobe Flash content. A webpage is indexed when Google becomes aware of its existence and is added to Google’s database. In the past, Flash was a big problem for search engine optimization because search engines like Google, were not able to crawl (read) content within Flash files. As a result, Google was not able to understand and properly rank websites created largely in Flash.
In June 2008, Google announced significant improvements for indexing Adobe Flash files, such as the ability to index textual content and discover URLs within Flash files. Further improvements were announced in June 2009.
Flash content and videos offer a richer medium to engage website visitors. There is always a trade-off between making a website look attractive with Flash content and making it more search engine friendly. With these improvements, the trade-off is reduced and ultimately allows website developers to improve the visitors’ experience, from finding a website to exploring it.
Every month I take some time and check out the latest videos posted to TED. The latest talk to catch my eye is by Chris Anderson, previous publisher and now curator for TED. He speaks of the rise in web videos fueling a cycle of innovation in a talk titled “How web video powers global innovation”.
Anderson states there are three things needed for crowd accelerated innovation: crowd, light, and desire. A crowd of people who share an interest. A light, as defined as a means for people to see what others are creating. And desire, inspiring people to participate.
So, unlike crowdsourcing (where tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, are outsourced to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call), crowd accelerated innovation is less controlled or contrived – it just happens. The web has made it easier than ever to form crowds, as well as shine a light on what is being created. And the desire, we know is out there. “We are a social species,” Anderson says. “We spark off each other.”
Anderson speaks about how the accessibility of video on the web (and the abundance of it), allows for people to teach themselves (and share with others) how to do things they might never have done before. He speaks to how video is accelerating the speed at which we are innovating (an interesting thought when you consider that Cisco predicts that within four years more than 90% of the web’s content will be video).
The world of dance has evolved with dance videos being posted online. Kids are able to teach themselves, and challenge others. Jonathan Chu, a director, writer and producer, also part of a dance crew called AC/DC (Adam/Chu Dance Crew), is quoted saying:
“Dancers have created a whole global laboratory online. Kids in Japan are taking moves from a YouTube video created in Detroit, building on it within days and releasing a new video, while teenagers in California are taking the Japanese video and remixing it to create a whole new dance style”.
This type of accelerated innovation in effect produces a new kind of dance dance revolution (check out this kid’s moves).
I agree with Anderson whole heartedly and can see that power in numbers has served us well when it comes to many things, take for example: programming. Open source practices lend themselves well to the internet, which allows code to be easily shared and distributed. Thus allowing for more collaboration, resulting in further innovation and creativity.
TED, probably without realising, is actively promoting the idea of crowd accelerated innovation. By crowdsourcing and appealing to audiences to help translate their talks online, they have managed to provide subtitles in 18 different languages. This accessibility allows millions of people to access the magnitude of intelligence, creativity and innovation surrounding technology, entertainment and design that TED shares with us daily.
We are part of their crowd. What innovation do you think is worth accelerating?