Hello and thank you for having me today here at OMMA. I am Don Steele and I am the VP of Digital Marketing and Fan Engagement at Comedy Central. What I would like to do today is talk a little bit about how Comedy Central is tackling some aspects of social media and also spend a little bit of talking about how the organization has and is evolving. I also want to talk about some things that I feel are challenging going forward… So to be honest, I have always wanted to use this image in a presentation so thanks for bearing with me. The actual #s would have been closer to the truth about a year and a half ago but right now when we add up all of the fans/followers of the pages/profiles that are part of Comedy Central we get well over 100mil fans that we have a relationship with. Like any strong relationship this has evolved over time and I would say that two things that are very different now than may have been in the past are the care we put into these communications and how much time we spend listening.
I am going to guess that most everyone in this room can name these people… WE have Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Kevin Systrom, Dennis Crowley, David Karp and Ben Silberman. There is something that they have in common, that is something that we at Comedy Central pay attention to and drives a lot of what we do. Can anyone take a guess as to what that is? So here is the thing…. In addition to all being wealthy and internet famous, they are all GUYS who are all pretty much right in the sweet spot of the Comedy Central Demo because we target Males 18-34. And by having started the companies that they started, and in some cases multiple companies this tell us that our core demo values their digital experiences and are constantly striving to make them better/different. I think about this all of the time for two main reasons- 1. I am way outside the demo and not wealthy and secondly I think these guys represent something that is critical to how we need to think about social from an organizational point of few- Our demo is the absolute Savviest in this space, they are making things that add value to their lives and as a brand that wants to be part of that world we better do a great job in this space.
I want to walk you through a timeline of how Social profiles exist at Comedy Central, this is going to illustrate a little bit about how organizationally we have pivoted in the past few years…. So what has happened historically is that there a few of the more savvy members of the Comedy Central staff start using a platform. These people tend to work in our digital/multiplatform group and find a tool and start using it. At exactly the same time no matter what the platform, someone out there starts using it as Comedy Central or Cartman or one of the Workaholics dudes or something like that. Sometimes these profiles that people have set up are really spectacular and we can learn a great amount from them. Then for the most part we either work with these platforms or the individuals to take them back so we can start using it. As these platforms grow in stature/awareness etc. We figure out how to incorporate them into our marketing plans. Comedy Central has been an innovation partner on quiet a few of the bigger platforms with first to market ideas etc. Then, after the profiles are up and marketed, we have to figure out our maitenance plan. One of the things that has absolutely evolved organizationally for us is the time and effort we spend figuring out the best type of content, communications, interactions etc. on different platforms. You can not just re-purpose the same content on all platforms at the same time and check the box that you are done. SHELFIE After that is usually an evolution within the platform lifecycle and in our goals for the platforms and then we usually start making more investments in analytics/publishing tools etc so that we can continue to excel in this space. One thing to point out here, is that we are always paying attention to our performance from the start but I would say that this is the time when our performance is more operationalized and other people in the company start helping with things. This is also the time when “Other Lines of Business” start looking at these platforms and want to be involved. Can we bring a sales partner into our social feeds? As we launch a Radio Station on Sirius XM we have to find smart ways to talk about that in social to tell people we are there.
As you saw in the slide before, there comes a time in all of these platforms where we invest heavily in researching and analyzing our performance on them and Comedy Central is in the sweet spot of what guys want out of social and this obviously influences how, what, when and where we post things. Our research team has told us two big things about our guys in this space… If given the choice our guys would prefer to be stuck in an elevator/dessert island with comedians than athletes or musicians. Humor is the # way our guys express themselves in social. If you think about that for a minute it will make perfect sense. How often do you see people post jokes/funny videos etc. It is something you see all the time. Obviously are take away from these two macro points is that our brand is super relevant and important in this space and we do everything possible to make this as easy and shareable experience as possible.
So, you heard me earlier talk about my title of Digital Marketing and Fan Engagement and this clunky slide really illustrates what Fan Enagement is. This slide is a few months old but is is one that we aspire to on a daily basis…. I am going to walk you through it from the start where @TheZakSmiths lets the world know he was going to watch workaholics… I mentioned at the very start how we strive to be in a relationship with our audience and we have this group called Fan Engagemement. It is all about enabling these kind of conversations on a daily basis and really dedicated efforts to make it a two way communication. For us it also goes way beyond telling people to watch our shows or download an app. We want to be part of their daily conversation and bring that to life. As I said in the previous slide, people express themselves through humor, so we need to be part of that. One fun way to illustrate this is in how we look at general twitter trending topics and our audiences. We have people who pay attention to Twitter Trending topics and then provide the humor for people to express themselves by. A few examples are a few weeks ago when they Announced the new Pope, the Term #ReplaceMovieTitle with pope was trending and we tweeted Episode 4 New Pope and it became the top tweet against that topic. We know
So a few years ago I spoke here at an OMMA event and someone asked the great question of “What is your biggest challenge…. My answer at the time was that things were coming in and being the shiny new thing. At the time for us we were really struggling with what to do on Twitter. The idea of #s on air was very novel and we had seen some successes etc. So rather than wait for the question I am going to talk about the what I see are being the biggest challenges facing me and my job going forward. Over this week the whole concept of curration and brands & content are in a ton of panels and there is really some great work going in these areas. I have already seen the tweets from here about the great work that 360i did with Oreo and that brings me to one of the biggest challenges- Ubiquity. With every brand/tv network/etc having a desire to be active in social, for all the right reasons, we are now at a time when there is just so much stuff out there that is harder and harder to stand out. We also see this UBIQUITY lead to different behaviors from people that we are still trying to figure out how we can be party of. The trend of people watching full seasons of TV shows etc. is a big part of people’s behaviors and how we can encourage and participate in that is big.
How Comedy Central Engages with theSavviest of FansDon Steele- OMMA Social 2013
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