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Social Media at Channel 4


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

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

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  • 1. Social Media and Channel 4 Jen Topping New Media Commissioning Manager
  • 2. Social Media @ Channel 4
    • Social Media activity has grown organically
    • Used in various ways:
      • Promotional (TV shows, websites, channels, talent)
      • Customer Help (4oD helping people on Twitter)
      • Reputational (Head of Press Tweets)
      • Research and Insight (user responses to shows)
      • Storytelling device (Surgery Live, Alone in the Wild)
    • Have a practical set of guidelines for internal use or by production companies
    • Not formalised, not owned by one person or team, trial & error approach
  • 3. Some numbers are nice…
    • Facebook Pages
      • Skins 1.4m fans
      • Shameless 1.3m fans
      • Black Books 205k fans
    • 3 of the top 5 UK TV show pages (Top Gear Skins, Shameless, X Factor, Inbetweeners)
  • 4. … but its what you do with them that counts
    • Capture passion for current and old TV cult shows
    • Public service activity (Embarrassing Bodies, News)
    • Niche audiences (Unreported World on FB)
    • Find contributors for production companies
    • Most (all?) activities have clear measurable objectives
  • 5. Our new experiment…
    • Traditional feedback mechanisms of broadcasters
      • Viewer Enquiries
      • Comments on
      • Research (focus groups and the like)
    • Whole other conversation of people not speaking to us, but about us
    • Benefits of illuminating this conversation
      • Unmediated feedback
      • Visual theatre of this other conversation
  • 6. Social Media Car Crashes
    • Skittles Twitter search on
    • Telegraph and the Budget #hashtag on homepage
    Image from Guardian article
  • 7.
    • Four screens in the lifts (show TV output)
    • Using Visible Tweets, all tweets mentioning Channel 4 now appear on the screens
    Tweets in the Lifts
  • 8. What happened first…
    • Spread very quickly
    • Promoted by C4 staff and re-tweeted
    • People took to it quickly
    • Started asking if it was true
    • Published some photos on Posterous to show how it looks
  • 9. Then it all got a little silly…
    • People started talking to the lifts
    • The lifts started tweeting back
  • 10. Not to be outdone…
    • Startdotstar (digital agency in Manchester) made their own
  • 11. Outcomes…
    • People have been Tweeting…
    • a) silly things (AARRRGH THE LIFT IS CRASHING!! etc)…
  • 12. Outcomes….
    • b) promotional things (read my blog, buy my product, commission my show, sponsor my charity)…
    • c) Rude things….
  • 13. Outcomes….
    • And d) feedback to Channel 4 on its programmes and output.
    • Once you take out the RTs, silly things and feedback are the most popular.
  • 14. Fingers crossed…
    • People can’t see the fruits of their labours (unlike the Telegraph or Skittles examples)
    • Hoping it will calm down and become both people talking to us and about us
    • Risk it will be swamped by promotional spam
    • If so, change search terms (e.g. other channels, big programmes etc)
  • 15.