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Mipcom: Facebook Makes Friends with TV Biz

Rose: 'Facebook is word of mouth at scale'

CANNES — “Social media has truly become an inseparable part of the TV experience,” Dan Rose, Facebook’s VP of Partnerships, told an industry audience during his keynote at TV mart Mipcom in Cannes.

Social media has become the place to have water-cooler conversations about TV. “It is driving conversations about TV with greater intensity and engagement than ever before,” he said.

Rather than distracting from TV viewing, social media is complementing it.

“This is the ultimate irony: the second screen instead of drawing people away from TV is pushing people toward TV,” he said.

Television shows was a frequent topic of Facebook conversations.

“More than any other platform Facebook mirrors the way people have always engaged in conversations about TV with the people who really matter to them. Facebook is word of mouth at scale,” he said.

Rose gave three examples of best practice for TV companies wanting to harness the power of social media.

First, he said companies should learn how to spark conversations on Facebook.

Second, he recommended that celebrities and public figures involved in TV should use social media themselves to engage directly with the audience, citing Vin Diesel and Ricky Gervais as examples of celebs who were already doing so successfully.

“People on Facebook love to hear from celebrities and public figures in the same authentic voice they use with their friends,” Rose said.

He also tubthumped for the use of Instagram videos.

“Fifteen second Instagram videos are becoming a major platform for celebrities to communicate with their fans,” he said.

Third, Rose said TV companies should leverage the tools available on social media, such as its APIs, which measure the number of Facebook posts about TV programs in real-time.

He said that Facebook’s existing group of broadcast partners on the API TV tools — Fox Sport, Sky, Today, Fox and CNN — had now been joined by, among others, TF1 and Canal Plus in France, Channel 4 in the U.K., ZDF and ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany, Star, Discovery Networks Intl. and CBC.

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