The Rise Of Social TV With Viacom's Logo TV, Huff Post Live, Lost Remote

On Wednesday, August 21, 2013, OLC attended Social Marketers NYC’s event, The Rise of Social TV with Viacom’s Logo, HuffPost Live, and Lost Remote. The panelists in attendance were: Shawn Hollenbach and Alex Petronico from Viacom's Logo TV, Mat Yurow of HuffPost Live, and Natan Edelsburg of Lost Remote and Sawhorse Media. As usual, Mark Cooper of Offerpop led the discussion as moderator.

Social TV is a technology that supports interactions around watching television. From Facebook, GetGlue and Twitter, these apps act as second, third and even fourth screens. An unprecedented 88% of TV watchers are watching with mobile devices. Two-thirds of people use social media while watching television and TV-related social activity is exploding.

Social is impacting the television industry. Nielsen has begun to measure Twitter chatter. Live broadcasts integrate social features and hashtags. Television is also integrating social feedback.

Mark Cooper: Should mobile devices be named the second screen—do you have a point of view?

Natan Edelsberg: The second screen is something that needs to be redefined. It’s turned into a 24 hour live stream. It’s changing from being a complement to a second source. I think it’s becoming more about content—not tech.

MC: How have Logo been looking the second screen?

Shawn Hollenbach: For us, RuPaul’s Drag Race has been our most engaged show. We do launch our episode on Facebook before it airs on Monday.

Alex Petronico: We do a live interview on Spreecast and it’s awesome to see an incredible amount of interactions that happen.

Mat Yurow: On our platform, people can hit a red button and do a video screening. People can leave comments on the live chat box too.

MC: What about your moderators?

MY: We have very good moderators. They make sure that it’s relevant and engaging.

MC: What are some emerging platforms?

SH: Facebook is the platform for us. It’s where our fans become our marketers.

AP: Google+ doesn’t have a social echo, but there’s an audience there.

NE: I think Tumblr is underrated.

MY: For us, it’s not limiting people to have conversations, but we like people to have conversation in our native comment stream.

MC: Sounds like user-generated content is really emerging. How do you repurpose some of the content?

SH: For RuPaul’s Drag Race, we’re re-releasing season 1. We’re having fans Vine and Instagram themselves and we’re going to show the best.

AP: We held art contests, selfies—we tried to make it as low of a barrier of entry.

MY: Without community members, we’d just be a talking head. So we use Instagram video to repurpose content and it turns out to be really funny.

MC: How do brands fit into this?

SH: We have a long relationship with Absolut Vodka—we partnered with a company and made videos with Absolut and we ended up getting 3 to 4 clicks per viewer.

AP: It’s as simple as hashtags or Tweetins about a spot that we’ve talked about.

NE: We built a Tweeting voting widget for the Shorty Awards. We were forced to solve problems and provide a platform where you can do something cool with brands.

MY: Every brand wants a part of social. But it’s tough because editorial and advertising don’t see eye-to-eye.

MC: What are the best practices you’ve seen?

MY: The most important thing is to add value. What we found is to have a payoff—find value on engaging with your customers and fans.

NE: One of the simple things Duck Dynasty did was to get the entire cast to take over their social media channels for their premier. It’s adding a human face to social media channels and that’s very powerful.

AP: It’s strategic use of various platforms. Make sure the call to action is clear and make sure you’re throwing the right content out there.

SH: Just listen to your fans and look at the analytics. And respond to that. Know your fans too.

MC: What are some key metrics you guys are interested in?

SH: Your social footprint is very important. I look at engagement—we look at pure engagement.

AP: We look at engagement in a different way. We want to know how many people saw it and interacted with it.

NE: Average number of followers. We look at how many views come from social.

MY: As much as we’re interested in engagement, we’re looking at clicks. We’re always looking at activations—signups and logins.

MC: Do you devote budgets to promoting the project or build it organically?

MY: It’s mostly organic, but if we really needed to, we’d pay a little bit of money to push it.

NE: I hope one day to have great budgets. One model I like is what Buzzfeed does—sponsored posts.

AP: We do spend against our social initiatives. We promote posts on Facebook to target fans.

SH: We’re small fish at Viacom, so our budget is tiny!