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Embracing the Power of Social Media for Broadcast Business Insight


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Media and entertainment companies can maximize their programming content by integrating a broadcasting-focused intelligence program with consistent use of social measurement and analysis tools.

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Embracing the Power of Social Media for Broadcast Business Insight

  1. 1. Embracing the Power of Social Mediafor Broadcast Business InsightMedia and entertainment companies can maximize their programmingcontent by integrating a broadcasting-focused, organization-wideintelligence program with consistent use of social measurement andanalysis tools across functional silos.Executive SummaryBroadcasters are using social media to innova-tively enhance consumer engagement, traditionalmarketing campaigns and promotions. However,their approaches to social media are often siloedand narrowly focused, limiting the value that thisnew communication and engagement model canprovide. By listening to, analyzing and integratingfindings from social media on an enterprise-widelevel, broadcasters can ultimately improve theirreach and engagement levels with their contentaudience.This white paper highlights how broadcasters canmaximize the value of their social media programs.In addition, it provides a high-level framework forestablishing a social media analytics programto drive the value obtained from social datathroughout the organization.Trailblazers in Social MediaOf all the broadcast industry participants,television is the most active in its use of socialapplications such as Twitter.1This comes as nosurprise, given that the entertainment industrylends itself to pop culture and social conversa-tions. But while many in the industry have usedsocial channels for the past several years tomarket content, this is not to say that televisionhas perfected its social media use. In fact, the risein social media’s popularity has given a substan-tial boost to other players in the value chain, insti-gating a flood of new issues for the broadcastingindustry.TalentThe talent component of the broadcast industryseems to have benefited most from social media.As social media prominence has risen over thepast decade, actors, athletes and musicianshave been quick to establish social networkingaccounts, realizing the potential benefits ofdirectly engaging with fans.Having found early success using social media,celebrities continue to utilize it as a means ofcreating, building and dictating the direction oftheir own careers. Social media has enabled themto add value to their personal brands by buildinglarge networks of fans and followers, take controlof their image and reduce reliance on studios andproduction companies for promotion. Accordingto a recent Knowledge@Wharton article, “Therise of the Internet has accentuated the value ofcognizant 20-20 insights | april 2013• Cognizant 20-20 Insights
  2. 2. cognizant 20-20 insights 2celebrity endorsements. Celebrities — for betteror for worse — do get our attention.”2Along withTwitter and Facebook, niche applications such asInstagram and Whosay are growing in popularityfor celebrity communication and engagement.In fact, conventional metrics reveal that talent isleading the media and entertainment brands withwhich they are connected in terms of followers andfan counts. A sample of Twitter follower counts inFigure 1 reveals a disparity of millions of followersfor Lady Gaga, Cristiano Ronaldo and OprahWinfrey compared with the most popular enter-tainment organizations on the social network.This disparity in social clout not only increasescelebrities’ endorsement power with brands,but it also provides them with more negotiatingleverage when being hired by broadcasters.BroadcastersSocial media has transformed traditional broad-casting norms. New technology and increasinglypowerful mobile devices have allowed networksto break down the so-called “fourth wall” andconnect audiences with programming like neverbefore. Broadcasters are using this technologyto create a “second screen,” extending programcontent to screens alongside the primarytelevision view.Reality competition shows such as AmericanIdol and Dancing with the Stars take advantageof these new capabilities, integrating fan voting,audience polling and show topic hashtags intoprogramming (see Figure 2).Recent technological breakthroughs in broad-band-delivered programming on personalcomputers and “smart” TVs are opening up aworld of possibilities in screen-clickable socialinteractions and cross-promotions.Broadcasters are also leveraging social networksto deliver new types of content and interact withviewers beyond the program. For example, fans ofThe Simpsons can go to Fox’s Facebook page to seemore photos and commentary and interact withother fans. Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones canvisit the show’s Wikia page to contribute additionaldetails and insights about the show. In fact, manyof these communities are created and managed by“super fans,” which make rules, correct false infor-mation and promote show events. The social mediaplatform allows fans to directly help promote andencourage the growth of the audience base.Twitter followers (in millions)MusicJustin Bieber: 36.9Lady Gaga: 35.6MTV: 7.4SportsCristiano Ronaldo: 17.2LeBron James: 7.8ESPN: 6.2TVOprah: 17.7Ashton Kutcher: 14.1CBS: 0.11Source: socialbakers.comFigure 1Celebrities Tweeting Broadcasters to the PunchTalent dwarfs entertainment companies in follower countSource: fox.com3Figure 2The New Social RealityReality TV shows rely heavily on social media todrive content and ratings.
  3. 3. cognizant 20-20 insights 3Gaps and ChallengesWhile marketers in media and entertainment haveimproved by leaps and bounds in harnessing socialmedia to promote content, many are missing thetrue benefit of the social Web. Marketers continueto build social profiles, with a narrow focus ongaining likes and followers. Some are even findingsuccess in driving traffic to online content, digitallibraries and traditional broadcast programming.The hurdles we often see is that they take asiloed approach, use disparate tools and strugglewith understanding which social data to sift andanalyze to generate greater business insight.In addition, marketers still rely on traditionalforms of measurement. Budgets continue tobe devoted to focus groups, pre-screenings andworkshops to test content and messages on indi-viduals. This creates a disjointed approach tomarketing. On the one hand, marketers are usingstate-of-the-market tools such as Radian6 (nowSalesforce Marketing Cloud) or Crimson Hexagonand building marketing campaigns and publishingpromotions in near-real-time using social mediapromotion tools such as HootSuite. On the otherhand, they are still applying physical forms ofmeasurement and key performance indicators(KPI). Many organizations don’t realize they cannow filter through the ever-increasing “noise”generated from expanding numbers of users insocial media channels, gather messages fromfans and customers promoted through socialmedia, and take action on those messages.Marketing departments continue to use socialtools for promotion, but this is not enough. Theymust create and then meet business-critical KPIsfor gathering and thoroughly applying meaningfulbusiness insights and intelligence based on socialdata. This takes an organizational commitment tosocial tools that are already being used inside theorganization. Additionally, they need to apply arigorous framework for applying data defined bythese tools and do so with an eye toward effectivedata governance, maintenance and storage.The Potential of Social MediaData in BroadcastingThe true power of social media is in the infor-mation it provides. Millions of users, generatingthousands of messages every minute, freely giveaway valuable insights in public forums. Theyreveal to marketers all the relevant details of theirmedia consumption habits and opinions. Oncesocial data is combined with an internal strategycriteria and traditional performance metrics (e.g.,Nielsen ratings, subscriptions, ad revenue, etc.),rich insights can be gleaned thatcan inform powerful businessdecisions.Broadcasters are always lookingfor a competitive edge when itcomes to their programmingand marketing. Actionable,insightful data is a great way toachieve this. Here is a samplelist of relevant insights into theTV business that can be gainedfrom social data:• Deep and ever timelierinsights into what people likeor do not like about content.• Viewership behavior andsentiment, week-over-weekor by season.• Response to promotionalcampaign events.• Social sentiment based on demographics,segmented by demographic market area.• Validation of sentiment for syndicatedproducts for use in sales and bundling.• Precision viewership predictions driven bythe social buzz that precedes the airing of aprogram.• Greater confidence in predicting award winners.• Better understanding of key influencers andbuzz generators.• Faster awareness of trends, events and emer-gencies.• More precise targeting of promotionalmessages.• Targeting of sponsors and cross-promotionpartners.All of these insights can be gleaned through socialdata right now. But how do organizations begin toapproach this opportunity and find the valuablenuggets of data being touted? Fundamentalto the discovery is an integrated framework ofsocial strategy, tools and processes, along withkeen analysts who understand the business andthe metrics that need to be defined. Further,the framework is useless if organizations do notheavily embed the mindset of mapping socialmetrics to specific business goals in their overallsocial analytics strategy.Many organizationsdon’t realize they cannow filter throughthe ever-increasing“noise” generatedfrom expandingnumbers of users insocial media channels,gather messages fromfans and customerspromoted throughsocial media, andtake action on thosemessages.
  4. 4. cognizant 20-20 insights 4Harnessing Social Data toBuild Actionable InsightAccording to a recent study by McKinsey & Co.,social technologies can potentially unlock billions,if not trillions, of dollars in value to organizationsacross industries.4A large portion of that value isthought to be created throughdeeper customer insights,resulting from better productsand services achieved throughbetter market intelligence.Another area where socialtechnologies are projected tounlock value is in improvedcommunication and collabora-tion opportunities. What thismeans for media and entertain-ment companies is that theycan impact marketing and theproduction value chain throughthe ability to listen, understandand act appropriately on social data. Broadcast-ers can use this data to improve content, engagecustomers and optimize operational efficiencies.A social analytics program consisting of listening,refining, workflow and strategic elements must beimplemented to effectively realize this potential.The following describes, at a high level, how mediaand entertainment organizations can implementa social analytics program using these elements.ListeningThe most fundamental and important step inanalyzing social media data is listening. This isthe component of the social media analyticsworkflow where data feeds from various platforms(e.g., the Twitter firehose, Facebook’s Graph API,Pinterest Web Analytics) provide access to all ofthe “chatter” available on the social Web. However,data pulled from social media applications is eitherunstructured or less structured than traditionaldata pulled from common marketing data sources,such as Nielsen, focus groups and other researchoutput stored commonly in relationship databases.A large majority of the social “chatter” typicallydoes not come in usable formats; it needs to berefined in order to be used effectively. Solutionshave emerged to address this issue. For example:• Crimson Hexagon’s social listening tool comeswith an algorithm that users can train over timeto structure social data into a more useful form.• Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows users to editsearches to seek out (or omit) key phrases formore refined listening.• Sentiment analysis companies such asFizziology offer services to monitor the entireindustry, using historical comparative andnon-social benchmarks to discover unknowns.There are at least a dozen solutions attemptingto bring meaning to social data. While no onesolution dominates the market, ever-increasingcompetition is a sign of the value that organiza-tions place on the ability to effectively listen tocustomers via social media. In fact, even tradi-tional market research companies are jumpingin, as evidenced by the recent Nielsen acquisitionof SocialGuide.5With this acquisition, the tradi-tional measurement giant can combine its propri-etary ratings system in television with the socialcapabilities of SocialGuide to gain an advantagein linear television measurement. This will allowNielsen to provide “listening” services on multiplefronts. More combinations of traditional mediaand social media pairings are sure to follow.RefiningThe refining of data is a critical function of asocial media analytics program. Here is whereall of the data acquired from a social listeningprogram (Tweets, posts, etc.) is organized into astructured, usable and insightful format. Refiningdata for an entire social media listening programrequires the right people, processes and technol-ogies to manage the complexity of transformingthe data into meaningful insights.The data deluge of today’s social media industryexceeds an organization’s abilities to handle itmanually. Take, for instance, the reality competi-tion program The X-Factor. The season premieregarnered 1.4 million comments, peaking at 13.374comments per minute.6That is simply too muchdata for the typical group of marketing analystsusing Twitter accounts to process. The refinementexercise must be automated, process-driven andwoven into a robust strategy, replete with appro-priate tools. Otherwise, thousands, if not millions,of comments and opportunities will be missed.The list of vendors providing social media analysistools is expansive. In addition to Salesforce,Crimson Hexagon, Bluefin Labs and Fizziology,other vendors have successfully marketed theirsocial listening products to large organizations,as well, such as Attensity, Lithium and JiveSoftware. There are also smaller vendors buildingtargeted products for media and entertainmentcompanies, as well as companies building nicheproducts for one component of the social mediaanalytics workflow. Almost all of these tech-The key is aligningthe analysis tool withthe organization’ssocial data goals andensuring that thereporting capabilities,data and analysiscan be seamlesslyintegrated intothe workflow.
  5. 5. 5cognizant 20-20 insightsnologies can provide some value, but the key isaligning the analysis tool with the organization’ssocial data goals and ensuring that the reportingcapabilities, data and analysis can be seamlesslyintegrated into the workflow.Workflow and IntegrationAs important and technically challenging asrefining social data is, it can be equally challeng-ing to build a workflow. Different APIs, schemasand formats cause integration challenges, andthe siloed structure of media companies cantrap data within single departments, when thisdata could provide value to other areas of theorganization. Here is where refined data is madevaluable:• If a tweet is analyzed about an actor’s per-formance, a process should be in place to relaythe detail to the production team.• If a post mentions the difficulty of down-loading a digital copy of an episode, it shouldbe forwarded to a customer service rep in theappropriate department.• If a report is produced on volume andsentiment trends for a series, it needs tobe available and communicated to marketingteams, executives, production teams and allrelevant stakeholders within the organization.The value created through the increased efficien-cies of integrating social intelligence into thecurrent business process is potentially enormous.Given the examples above, a production team canwork with an actor to adjust his or her delivery.This could potentially re-engage viewers andprevent those eyeballs from moving to a newshow. The difficulty in downloading the digitalcopy could immediately be resolved by thecustomer service team, saving a sale and evenfuture sales by forwarding bugs/fixes to thetechnical team. Reports on trends could auto-matically route to stakeholders, increasing trans-parency and allowing more time for respectivegroups to anticipate and adjust.An effective workflow can create value in almostevery department of an organization. Thereis opportunity for all of the aforementionedexamples to become a reality, but it will take hardwork and a concerted effort, from the top, down.StrategyThe main problem with social media programs istheir lack of a comprehensive strategy. Individualdepartments within an organization are devisingsocial strategies to benefit particular businessunits, including programming, research, ad sales,creative and sales, all over the organizational map.For example, a marketing department mightcreate its own Facebook page and Twitter accountto promote a show. Across the lot, the productionteam creates its own hashtag to interact withthe show in real time.Meanwhile, the researchdepartment is looking forits own tool to gauge thesocial buzz about thisseason’s lineup. All of thisis happening in isolation,when the activities couldbe optimized with a bit ofplanning and coordination.To maximize the benefits of social media, astandalone social strategy is not the answer. Asustainable framework will incorporate socialdata in all elements of the business strategyand plan, coordinated across the enterprise foroptimal sharing and integration, to create betterinformed business insights. This strategy mustbe fully supported by an engaged executiveteam and typically needs to be enforced by agroup tasked with the specific goal of breakingdown these silos in order to unlock the value ofsocial data across the organization. To achieve areturn on investment, goals must be connected tospecific metrics, and a process must be developedto continually report on specific outcomes andrefine practices appropriately.Looking AheadThe broadcast industry is becoming increas-ingly competitive, and the lines of demarcationare blurring. As the business model in the enter-tainment space continues to shift toward Web-delivered content, televisions will get “smarter,”delivery channels will grow, and applications willcontinue to become more “social.” In fact, therise of “over-the-top” television (OTT) and “TVanywhere” delivery will surely promote evenfurther integration with social networks andprovide more granular data about consumptionto be revealed via social media. This increasedcompetition and complexity creates ever morereason to capture intelligence and extract fullvalue from established programs.Social measurement and analysis must becomea block in the foundation of any intelligenceprogram. When performed correctly, socialmedia analytics can unlock the value content,As important andtechnically challengingas refining social datais, it can be equallychallenging to build aworkflow.
  6. 6. About CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 156,700 employees as of December 31, 2012, Cognizant is a member ofthe NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performingand fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant.World Headquarters500 Frank W. Burr Blvd.Teaneck, NJ 07666 USAPhone: +1 201 801 0233Fax: +1 201 801 0243Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277Email: inquiry@cognizant.comEuropean Headquarters1 Kingdom StreetPaddington CentralLondon W2 6BDPhone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102Email: infouk@cognizant.comIndia Operations Headquarters#5/535, Old Mahabalipuram RoadOkkiyam Pettai, ThoraipakkamChennai, 600 096 IndiaPhone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060Email:­­© Copyright 2013, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.About the AuthorJ.P. Benedict is a Consultant in Cognizant Business Consulting’s Media and Entertainment Practice. Hehas worked in IT business process consulting since 2009 and specializes in social media analytics, digitalsecurity and digital asset management. J.P. has an M.B.A. from the University of Arizona. He can bereached at “Netprospex Social Businesss Report,” Netprospex, Summer 2011, “The Hazards of Celebrity Endorsements in the Age of Twitter,” Knowledge@Wharton, Feb. 27, 2013, Fox American Idol App, 2013, Michael Chui, James Manyika, Jacques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Charles Roxburgh, Hugo Sarrazin, GeoffreySands and Magdalena Westergren, “The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through SocialTechnologies,” McKinsey & Co., July 2012.5 ”Nielsen, NM Incite Acquire SocialGuide,” press release, Nov. 12, 2012, “The Britney Effect on The X-Factor,” Bluefin Labs, Oct. 3, 2012, the organization to better engage thefan base, optimize marketing and ultimatelyincrease profits and ratings. The information isout there, it’s publicly available, and it’s ready tobe used. The companies that build comprehensiveanalytical programs around it will be rewarded.The companies that continue with traditionalbusiness models for analysis and measurementwill be left behind.