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Multicultural TV: Social Media Key To Building Momentum For Big Events

Knowing your audience and taking advantage of the extensive reach of social media can help maximize network investments made in big tent pole TV events and shows, said a panel of executives speaking at the Multicultural TV Summit here Tuesday.

In order to execute a successful programming event, network executives have to surround that event with the right amount of promotion that will not only sell the show to its targeted audience but also reach consumers on various platforms, social media in particular, according to Fernando Fernandez, partner and chief client officer for communications agency d expósito & Partners.

Linda Finney senior vice president of marketing for TV One, which for the first time will air live this month the NAACP Image Awards, added that it’s no longer enough to just schedule a big TV event, run traditional TV ads for that event and expect viewers to tune in.  “We can no longer throw something up on the big screen and think that it’s going to connect … you have to reach people in a number of different ways,” she said.

Saskia Sorrosa, vice president of multicultural targeted marketing for the National Basketball Association, says the league depends on social media to alert fans to tune into marquee games both before the contest begins and during the event. With multicultural consumers representing 60% of the NBA’s 20 million Facebook fans and 50% of its 9 million Twitter followers, social media has become an integral part of its consumer outreach efforts. 

“We also use the social media platform as a sounding board to understand what the consumer wants to see from us,” she said.  

Eric Sherman, CEO of Veria Living, added that event itself and the promotion behind it has to deliver different things to different platforms. “Understand the platform that you’re targeting – television is an entertaining platform so you have to entertain ... but the web and mobile are deeper, more interactive experiences. You have to connect with the viewer on all levels.”

If done correctly, a successful, big-ticket event or show can help define a network’s brand in the eyes of the viewer, particularly for a startup network, according to Fernando Rodriquez-Vila, vice president of programming for Fusion. “We need that one big defining thing,” he added.