With social media surpassing television as the primary source of news for Gen Z and millennials, TV stations need to use it more creatively to share and promote their news stories and events to offer better, broader customer satisfaction through personalization and one-to-one engagement..
I just read an Adweek article with the arresting headline, “Social Media is the New Television.” Of course, marketers are the author’s intended audience; his premise is that those working to get the attention of potential consumers need to use social media channels. If marketers want to reach consumers digitally, TV stations need to pay attention.
Eighty-four percent of all consumers and at least 95% of millennials are active on social media. Patrick Jehu, a principal at Deloitte Digital and a keynote speaker during MFM’s Media Finance Focus 2017, cited these statistics when addressing our conference attendees in May. Deloitte’s research, summarized in its latest Digital Democracy Survey, also points out that social media has surpassed television as the primary source of news for Gen Z and Millennials.
TV stations have already recognized the strong bond between viewers and on-air personalities. Local fans are intensely loyal to their favorite news, weather, and sports personalities, tracking their hobbies, favorite teams, and even their family information. In fact, it’s not uncommon for their social media followers to number in the thousands.
However, as an article from Share Rocket summarized in last week’s TVNewsCheck points out, “larger market stations often can’t come close to the mid- and small-market stations numbers in terms of commanding the majority of their market’s attention.” That’s a problem because personalization and one-to-one engagement are the name of the game these days.
Meet the New ‘Mass Reach Media’
Another article, in an earlier 2017 issue of “Adweek,” is entitled “Reach is the New Black: Advertising’s Mass Reawakening.” In that piece, the author suggests three “sustaining realities of media”:
- It takes big reach to make big sales.
- There’s a natural momentum for audiences that have something in common.
- Media won’t work in isolation.
While it may sound contradictory, this helps to explain the advertising community’s embracing of social media sites as “mass reach media” that also allow them to target their best prospects. Advertisers including Heineken and Procter & Gamble have been shifting dollars away from TV to platforms like Google and Facebook, where they say “consumers are spending most of their time” and they can take advantage of hyper-targeting capabilities. It’s a market-by-market calculation.
Interestingly enough, TV can and does create the events that fuel social media activity. Take February’s Academy Awards as an example. While total viewership was down, Nielsen tracked ABC at 22.09 million interactions on social media, mostly as a result of the incorrect naming of La La Land as Best Picture.
Inarguably, video is a valuable component for marketing campaigns. An article from IMPACT asserts that, “Video has the ability to illustrate a brand’s story, personality, product, or even a mission faster than words alone.” Even Facebook itself includes an article entitled “The Value of Video for Brands” under “Facebook for Business.” And TV is all about video.
TV stations and other publishers have been responding to these trends by increasing their use of social media platforms to share and promote their news stories and other events.
As TVNewsCheck’s Harry Jessell reported earlier this month, new data from BIA Kelsey validates the promise of enhancing station ratings with third party “Big Data” about viewers’ buying interests saying it, “adds substantially to the local TV value proposition.” The report goes on to say that local TV operators could double their digital revenue growth “simply by monetizing the audiences they already create on Facebook.”
Focusing On The Customer Experience
Getting social with viewers isn’t just a matter of becoming more competitive for digital ad dollars. It’s quickly becoming a matter of survival. Citing data from a survey conducted by Gartner a few years ago, Deloitte’s Patrick Jehu reminded MFM conference attendees that nearly all companies believe customer experience is their primary basis for competition.
Jehu went on to point out that the top measures for how well a brand has provided a valuable customer experience are the quality and nature of their interactions as well as their level of satisfaction.
How successfully an organization accomplishes these outcomes will determine: how much that consumer promotes the brand; how much he or she spends in consuming the brand’s goods and services; and how much it ultimately costs the company to serve that customer.
There is a lot to be said about this and its implications for stations. It’s topic that we will cover in a future article.
Media Outlook 2018
How TV stations and other media publishers are incorporating social media into their 2018 sales and business plans is on the agenda for MFM’s upcoming Media Outlook 2018 conference, which will be held in New York On Sept. 12 from noon to 6 p.m.
Co-chaired by Stuart Benson, CFO, Helios and Matheson, and Brian Ignatowski, VP controllership, Disney Financial Services, the half-day seminar will also feature an opening keynote speech from Paul T. Sweeney, U.S. director of research, senior analyst-media & internet for Bloomberg Intelligence as well as a discussion with Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass, the nation’s largest theatrical subscription service. Qualified attendees will be able to earn up to four CPE (continuing professional education) credits.
With MoviePass representing the latest example in which traditional media meets big data to deliver personalized marketing promotions to U.S. consumers, Lowe’s presentation should give participants some news ideas for ways to look at technological possibilities for 2018 and beyond.
Mary M. Collins is president and CEO of the Media Financial Management Association and its BCCA subsidiary, the media industry’s credit association. She can be reached at[email protected] and via the association’s LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook sites.