Discovery Communications: Social Media’s Role Throughout “Shark Week” — Live from BlogWell

Coverage of this session by SAP’s Sylvia Santelli. Follower her on Twitter at @SylviaSant.

3:50 — Kurt Vanderah introduces Discovery Communications’ Manager of Digital Communications, Amber Harris and VP of Social Media Communications, Gayle Weiswasser.

3:50 — Shark Week is longest running programming event –23 years — and is strongly associated with Discovery Channel.

3:52 – We wanted to celebrate the “national holiday” nature of the event and wanted to show consistency with the rest of the messaging. This year, we asked how we could reinvent shark week with social media.

3:53 — Social media is all about community. Share more than just programming information and let the fans speak for us.

3:56 — Goal was to amplify and not generate content with the pop culture buzz through social media. We wanted to increase engagement with fans and partners and brands. We wanted to retweet often and let others talk for us.

4:00 – We even created an album on Facebook so fans could post their pictures.

4:01 – We also ran a YouTube generated contest for creating new lyrics to a song.

4:02 – Before this year we didn’t have a lot of focus on Facebook, but we were able to take community started Facebook page and turn it into the official “Shark Week” page.

4:04 — Shark Week was mentioned in over 14,000 online media and blog posts. #SharkWeek was a worldwide trending topic on first day of Shark Week – and we had 91,000 mentions on Twitter, along with 25,000 public mentions on Facebook. We also got celebrity engagement from Joe Jonas, Lauren Conrad, Alyssa Milano, Brad Paisley, Kirstie Alley, and Jimmy Kimmel.

Q&A

Q: What didn’t work?

A: The Shark Week video challenge.

Q: What was the relationship between paid content and earned content?

A: This year, social media efforts were not focus on paid content. We’ll work closely with media buying online for the future.

Q: For the YouTube submission contest, what was the official process and how was content handled? Who has the rights to the content?

A: We posted rules online. Those who wanted to enter could read the rules or watch video of the rules. Those who created videos were asked to post their video URL in the comment. Wasn’t a greatly successful contest this time.

Q: How is the social media team structured?

A: Every company has a different structure, but the goal needs to be that everyone stays collaborative in their efforts.

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