While I originally was going to devote this article about what free tools exist that publishers, fans, artists, writers and stores could leverage online to help promotions, I came across this article on Mashable about the breakout television show The Voice and it’s leveraging of social networking. I admit, I’ve watched the show and 1) have enjoyed the music and it’s format, but 2) I’ve been impressed with it’s use of social media.
As the article points out, it’s not the normal chatter on Twitter and Facebook. From the article
…what separates The Voice from other social television shows is that NBC doesn’t use social media as an awareness and marketing tool — it is core to the show as a whole, so the digital integrations are very organic.
The show is more than fan tweets, the contestants and coaches also interact, there’s a social media room, correspondent and staff to help the celebrities. NBC also realized that a special infrastructure needed to be built to leverage the volume.
NBC spent the time to figure out an integrated social media strategy. They figured out a plan that would leverage their assets of the contestants and judges, not just the usual pitch and hype you see. There was encouragement for the celebrity judges to tweet during the live show, interacting with the audience and especially each other, even when they weren’t on screen. This continued the “narrative” being shown on screen. What also helps is a digital maestro who helps move along the conversation online and on screen in their social media room where contestants await.
They’ve also thought through when to interact, placing tweets on screen when they feel there’ll be an influx of discussion and encouraging the use of the hashtag #thevoice which has a rate of being place in show related tweets 70% of the time. But the discussion isn’t limited to Twitter, instead the digital correspondent encourages viewers to also chat on Facebook and NBC websites. This combination generates upwards of 3,000 tweets a minute. NBC has also been working closely with Twitter to maximize their practices and analyze data.
The show knows it’s judges have massive followings and hasn’t been shy leveraging that. For instance during a performance of “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera’s team, the show was able to leverage her Facebook fans to add 10,000 new fans to the show’s page in a matter of minutes.
The most important thing, if you haven’t picked up on it, is the engagement and encouragement to interact with viewers and fans. The UFC has an interesting take on this rewarding fighters for their Twitter interactions.
Add in the counting of iTunes purchases as votes and this might be the first fully integrated show in history.
“The story of The Voice is not just an hour or two every week,” Yaron says. “It lives online all day and all week long, and it will continue all year long. This is a living, breathing entity, it’s not just show-based.”
So what can the comic industry learn?
- Publishers, writers, artists and other industry leaders need to interact. Just pushing information out there isn’t enough. A constant conversation needs to be generated and that includes interacting with fans and especially critics.
- People want digital interaction. When a story has a web address, you better use it in real life (I’ve snatched 5 addresses so far). Take advantage of QR codes to show videos or story and character FAQs.
- It’s about discussion between fans. Give fans the forum to talk to each other. Your Facebook page should not be locked down to prevent posts from fans.
- Get the creators to discuss their works. They should be proud of their creations, so they should be posting about their offerings to their audiences and drive web traffic to their publishers.
- Reward. The UFC has shown how to reward employees for tweeting. Stores, writers, illustrators can be rewarded in similar or more creative ways. In the end it all equals sales (aka votes) for products and don’t we all want to win the competition?
Up next really will be the store/fan flip side as to how they can leverage tools to spur discussion and promotion from fans and customers.