Social Media at Channel 4

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Channel 4's Jen Topping presentation on use of social media at #ciprsm.

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Social Media at Channel 4

  1. 1. Social Media and Channel 4 Jen Topping New Media Commissioning Manager www.twitter.com/toppage
  2. 2. Social Media @ Channel 4 <ul><li>Social Media activity has grown organically </li></ul><ul><li>Used in various ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotional (TV shows, websites, channels, talent) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Help (4oD helping people on Twitter) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reputational (Head of Press Tweets) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and Insight (user responses to shows) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Storytelling device (Surgery Live, Alone in the Wild) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have a practical set of guidelines for internal use or by production companies </li></ul><ul><li>Not formalised, not owned by one person or team, trial & error approach </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some numbers are nice… <ul><li>Facebook Pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skins 1.4m fans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shameless 1.3m fans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Black Books 205k fans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 of the top 5 UK TV show pages (Top Gear Skins, Shameless, X Factor, Inbetweeners) </li></ul>
  4. 4. … but its what you do with them that counts <ul><li>Capture passion for current and old TV cult shows </li></ul><ul><li>Public service activity (Embarrassing Bodies, News) </li></ul><ul><li>Niche audiences (Unreported World on FB) </li></ul><ul><li>Find contributors for production companies </li></ul><ul><li>Most (all?) activities have clear measurable objectives </li></ul>
  5. 5. Our new experiment… <ul><li>Traditional feedback mechanisms of broadcasters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewer Enquiries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments on channel4.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research (focus groups and the like) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Whole other conversation of people not speaking to us, but about us </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of illuminating this conversation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unmediated feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual theatre of this other conversation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Social Media Car Crashes <ul><li>Skittles Twitter search on skittles.com </li></ul><ul><li>Telegraph and the Budget #hashtag on homepage </li></ul>Image from Guardian article http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/apr/20/telegraphmediagroup-twitter
  7. 7. <ul><li>Four screens in the lifts (show TV output) </li></ul><ul><li>Using Visible Tweets, all tweets mentioning Channel 4 now appear on the screens </li></ul>Tweets in the Lifts
  8. 8. What happened first… <ul><li>Spread very quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Promoted by C4 staff and re-tweeted </li></ul><ul><li>People took to it quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Started asking if it was true </li></ul><ul><li>Published some photos on Posterous to show how it looks </li></ul>
  9. 9. Then it all got a little silly… <ul><li>People started talking to the lifts </li></ul><ul><li>The lifts started tweeting back </li></ul>
  10. 10. Not to be outdone… <ul><li>Startdotstar (digital agency in Manchester) made their own </li></ul><ul><li>http://stardotstar.com/channel-4-elevator-pitch </li></ul>
  11. 11. Outcomes… <ul><li>People have been Tweeting… </li></ul><ul><li>a) silly things (AARRRGH THE LIFT IS CRASHING!! etc)… </li></ul>
  12. 12. Outcomes…. <ul><li>b) promotional things (read my blog, buy my product, commission my show, sponsor my charity)… </li></ul><ul><li>c) Rude things…. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Outcomes…. <ul><li>And d) feedback to Channel 4 on its programmes and output. </li></ul><ul><li>Once you take out the RTs, silly things and feedback are the most popular. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Fingers crossed… <ul><li>People can’t see the fruits of their labours (unlike the Telegraph or Skittles examples) </li></ul><ul><li>Hoping it will calm down and become both people talking to us and about us </li></ul><ul><li>Risk it will be swamped by promotional spam </li></ul><ul><li>If so, change search terms (e.g. other channels, big programmes etc) </li></ul>

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