"I would encourage everybody to invest in social media—internal team, hire an agency," said Diego Reck, senior vice-president, marketing and creative services, FOX International Channels Latin America, in a panel discussion on social media.
Reck's fellow CASBAA panellists were Gautam Anand, director, content partnerships, Asia-Pacific, Google; Michael Lantz, CEO, Accedo; Thomas Crampton, Asia-Pacific director of social media, Ogilvy & Mather; and Jonathan Ellis, CEO, TMS.
According to Reck, Fox Latin America has found that social-media amplification garners the network higher reach at lower cost per user.
"For example, once we created a strong base of followers, we started investing in Facebook with sponsored stories," he said. "We spent US$97,000 in a year on National Geographic and saw an average return of close to a million brand new fans. If we wanted to buy this kind of reach via traditional media, we would have to invest about US$9.5 million a year."
A problem for channels however, as Ellis pointed out during the panel, is that it's difficult for channels to monetise the audiences they've painstakingly built up.
"The opportunity is for broadcasters to generate data from these interactions and in turn, sell that data to brands," Ellis said.
Reck disagreed. "We've started selling ads based in part on our social-media audiences because it's a reach we can guarantee," he said.
When Fox worked with Unilever to launch its programme "Touch", and branding for Unilever's Rexona Degree, across 100 channels in multiple languages, the campaign included social media, apps and live events.
Touch became one of the top five social conversation generators for new dramas, driving a 25 per cent lift on nights when Touch was screened, versus nights it wasn't. Alongside the programme, Degree's partnership with Fox increased purchase consideration by 90 per cent, according to Nielsen, and its online presence on the Touch site section increased product awareness.
Canon too used a channel partnership to build brand awareness and a stronger social-media presence. The brand partnered with Discovery Network's TLC to create a cross-platform marketing campaign via a six-part series starting Ian Wright.
'Invite Mr Wright' featured Canon's cameras and printers producing moving and still images as Wright travelled around Southeast Asia. The campaign also included on-air spots, social-networking initiatives (Facebook and YouTube), an interactive contest experience and on-ground events, as well as vignettes produced for Canon roadshows.
The show was seen by 20.7 million viewers in Southeast Asia, increasing positive perception of Canon among consumers and generating fans for its Facebook page.
"TV can no longer think separately about audiences," Reck concluded. "For them it's one single experience, and that's the only way to go, to ensure one platform complements the other."