10 Ways To Make Your TV Strategy More Social -- And Vice Versa

Social network advertising may be less than 5% of total global media spend – $25 billion out of $570 billion in 2015, per eMarketer – but it has a dramatic impact on all media, especially the ~40% going to television.

Here are 10 ways to make your TV strategy more social, and vice versa:

1. Use social engagement data to pick which TV networks and programs to buy. Mining social data to find connections between people, brands, and other entities can often lead to unexpected outcomes. By mapping the overlap in engagement between your brand and various TV networks or programs, you can get a good read on which ones are a fit for your media plan. For example, looking at people who engage with Taco Bell on social media, the top two TV programs that these people also engage with were “Outside the Lines” (742% higher penetration than the baseline) and “16 and Pregnant” (716% index). Clearly these are two very different audiences, making the findings non-intuitive but quite valuable for the brand when considering ESPN and MTV on its TV ad schedule.

2. Use social engagement data to determine which geographic markets and dayparts are most ripe for your TV ads. Similar to networks and programs, social engagement data can shine a light on key DMAs and timing for TV targeting. If your brand has lots of action in a particular city, you may want to further amplify your awareness by bulking up on local cable buys. Or you may want to focus instead on places with low social engagement – and likely brand awareness. Ditto for dayparts. If your audience is active in the wee hours, you might want to capitalize on more affordable post-late fringe spots. Or you may want to pony up to stimulate some prime-time activity.

3. Use social engagement data to measure the impact of your TV commercials. Not only can social be helpful in terms of TV planning, it can also provide a strong barometer for measurement. Go beyond audience reach and look at lift in social engagement as a measure of how effective your spots are. Do you see spikes on Facebook and Twitter when your commercials run? How long does that engagement level sustain? These can be great indicators of which placements are truly performing, and this data can be used to optimize your schedule.

4. Put a social call-to-action in your TV spot. Yes, I know 2005 called and wants its strategy back. But including social media callouts in your commercials are still a best practice — and there are still plenty of brands not doing it. Table stakes are showing social network icons, but you can raise the ante by telling viewers to do something specific on a specific platform to further engage with your brand.

5. Use TV metrics to benchmark your social advertising. Here’s another one that may generate a few eye-rolls — but there’s merit to using KPIs like reach, frequency, GRPs and TRPs in creating apples-to-apples comparisons between TV and social ads. Before you can talk about sales revenue and ROI, you must understand the upper-funnel impact of your advertising on brand awareness, recall, and preference. From there you can optimize media value and begin to connect the dots to the cash register.

6. Use social media for live commentary during broadcast. In a world of cord-cutting and time-shifting, social media has nearly single-handedly resurrected live television. As the New York Timesput it, “Instead, largely because of social media, TV is becoming an interactive, communal experience. And in an unexpected throwback to the earliest days of television, the best stuff, rather than playing out whenever we like, is best experienced live, because that’s when everyone else is watching, too.” For brands, the imperative is to monitor and contribute to the live conversation around major programs and tentpole events, especially those you’re sponsoring.

7. Use social data to determine which celebrities to feature in your TV spots. Social media affinities can be great indicators of key influencers for your brand. For example, when it comes to overlap in social engagement, LL Cool J is the top celeb for AT&T, Starbucks is the top brand for Kanye West, and Tyler Perry is the top celeb for Samsung. These brands would do well to engage with these celebs via social and potentially sign them to endorsement deals.

8. Identify relevant TV programs, live events, and celebrities for social ad targeting. On the flip side, examining affinity overlap can also provide direction for specific audience targeting via social networks. If you know what and whom your key segments are interested in on TV, you can add those selects to your social campaigns.

9. Sync your social ads with TV programming and advertising. Per TiVo, 61% of U.S. TV viewers simultaneously use their phones, 49% use their laptop and 37% use their tablets. And according to Millward Brown, 64% visit a social media platform while watching live prime-time programs, with 71% doing so during commercials. Surround your audience by using TV triggers to pair ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Whether it’s showing the same ad at the same time across TV and social or conquesting a competitor’s ad, TV synced ads can help you capture second-screeners and multitaskers.

10. Use social media data to define segments for programmatic TV targeting. Although there’s not a ton of scale yet with programmatic TV – 4% of U.S. TV ad budgets in 2015, per Magna Global – the market is quickly growing, with estimates it will reach 17% by 2019. Just this week DISH unveiled its programmatic offering. In a world of TV automation and addressability, social data can provide a big advantage. By matching public information on social media profiles to TV household demographics, you can generate household IDs for addressable audience activation. While programmatic TV is still in its infancy, the time to test and learn is now.

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