A few weeks back CBS announced a comprehensive social media marketing campaign where all of its primetime programs would have the actor’s take over the program’s Facebook and Twitter pages for a week, and it occurred to me that this was a great example of an enterprise social media program for a company with multiple, disparate brands.
While the “Social Sweeps Week” received a lot of buzz, I thought it would be beneficial to review the program to see if it was “effective” with the general public. (I should note that I do not have any inside knowledge of the program investment or expected goals – all of the analysis is done as an outsider). To my surprise, the campaign appears to be a success in both concept and delivery. Below is how I come to my conclusion.
Before I get into the program results, I think it should be recognized that the launch of the campaign was a success for CBS and social media in and of itself. While it seems like a straightforward concept, the execution of this program is very difficult. To start, each show is its own brand. It has its own management and its own talent, and they all have agreements with limitations on what they will do. Additionally, the shows have different brand “personalities” (comedy, drama, reality). And some shows were new, and probably happy for any marketing support, while many others have been established for years. CBS received participation from all shows which is a significant accomplishment and means the program was properly supported by senior management.
To evaluate the results I examined the Facebook and Twitter pages for all of the shows in the morning early in the week and then again right after the week.
• The CBS shows have about 115 million fans and 1 million followers – 2 and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory and How I met Your Mother Account for half of the activity.
• Overall the programs were able to general about 500,000 Facebook fans and 50,000 Twitter followers in a 5 day period. Annualized at this rate CBS would drive 35 million new fans and 3 million new followers for its shows.
• The Facebook “Talking about this” metric increased about 25% during the week from about 1.2% to 1.5% of Fans, and when you look at that in relation to 115 million fans the increase is significant. In addition, most early finding show that large brands have a “Talking about this percentage around 1%, so 1.5% is an achievement. If CBS was on this list of top Facebook brands (http://bit.ly/tuRqd6) they would be first.
Of course, the C- executives will be asking if the Social Sweeps Week helped drive overall show ratings and thus ad dollars. Unfortunately, I cannot fully answer that question without more data from CBS. But even without that data, as television evolves, shows will have to find ways to engage with its fans, and it appears that Social Sweeps Week is a good start.