As part of its ongoing battle for second-screen domination, Facebook has been promoting its smallscreen presence more aggressively than ever. The social media platform is partnering with TV programs, networks and A-list celebs to cultivate and curate conversations about TV in a variety of ways.
“Dancing With the Stars”: Audience building
The social network teamed up with the ABC reality show in mid-September in its first entertainment partnership. During the season 17 premiere, Facebook enabled a look into real-time conversations about the night’s competition. “DWTS” was able to identify the show’s most talked-about moments, dances and teams, and share that information with audiences live on air. Charles Porch, Facebook’s strategic partnerships lead for music and entertainment, said the interactivity is all about adding audience. “You want to get people on air to post on Facebook so they’re sharing about the show with their friends and hopefully that’s going to attract people to the show,” he said. “And you want what’s happening on Facebook to be pushing people to tune in.”
CNN: Instagram video Q&As
Facebook has been working with news networks to connect audiences with TV personalities and on-air guests. Most recently, CNN leveraged Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) to compile video questions from viewers to Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani education activist nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Christiane Amanpour introduced the Instagram vids tagged with the #AskMalalaCNN hashtag, and worked them into her interview for CNN’s Oct. 13 segment, “The Bravest Girl in the World.” The initiative engaged auds while promoting the interview on Instagram.
Miley Cyrus: Day in the Life
The social media giant reaches out to, and is approached by, celebs who want to interact with fans before award shows, TV appearances and performances. Miley Cyrus hosted a #DayintheLife leading up to her now infamous MTV Video Music Awards performance. She shared behind-the-scenes photos from the red carpet and backstage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on her Facebook profile, which yielded 26.5 million interactions (posts, likes, comments and shares) on the night of the VMAs. “We provide analytics that no other social platform can really have,” Porch said. “Talent hasn’t had this before. Do you want to see the gender breakdown or the top cities where you’re popular? Artists are looking at these to (ask), ‘Where should I go on tour? Where should I go abroad or where should I do this promotion?’ ”
Lucy Hale: TV event Q&As
“Pretty Little Liars” star Lucy Hale answered fan questions on Facebook before co-hosting the Teen Choice Awards in August. This second go-round of the Q&A format allows talent to promote televised shows before, during and after broadcast. Questions that earned the most “likes” rose to the top of the queue, allowing the most popular ones to gain precedence and be answered by Hale. Hale’s Q&A thread, to which fans responded, generated 100,000 likes on its own. The star also uploaded photos on Instagram and Facebook, including rehearsal shots with co-host Darren Criss and a peek at her red-carpet look.
Hashtags and mentions shape trends and help Facebook gauge what’s buzzing on its site. #CharlieWilson trended for 36 hours after the R&B vet received a Lifetime Achievement honor during June’s BET Awards. After accepting the kudos, Wilson performed with Justin Timberlake, Snoop Lion and Pharrell, boosting his Facebook presence. Said Porch: “What’s been really interesting, and we’re testing trending topics right now on Facebook, is that things are trending a really long time. You’ll see something trend live, but then after maybe a big Sunday night show, I’m still seeing it trending Monday and Tuesday because people are watching these things on their DVRs.”
Seems like Facebook’s TV partnerships may be trending toward longevity, too.