Online and social media in TV

Embarrassing Bodies Live, Downton Abbey and BBC Three's Free Speech are all showing how social media can talk to their audience in new ways. For programme makers, the challenge is to give audiences what they want and when they want it.

Online and social media content is a must have tool for enhancing your production. Audiences expect and demand it, but are programme makers giving them what they want? Panellists Barry Pilling, founding partner at Telegraph Hill, Jody Smith, multiplatform commissioning editor at Channel 4, Karla Geci, director of strategic partner development at Facebook, and Claire McArdle, executive producer, multiplatform at Maverick Television, discuss how to lead your production teams to deliver a 360 experience for your viewers, using innovative and interactive add ons to engage and bring in brand new audiences, beyond the traditional TV reach. 

"The highest engaging pages are the ones where the tone from the programme is carried over into the page - you'll get so much more out of the audience if you're speaking in character."  - Karla Geci

The masterclass, recorded live at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, looks at how social media and online can be used to enhance, enrich and increasingly create programming.

Criticism has been levelled at executives and commissioners that many aren't confident enough to mix traditional TV production teams with online production teams. Focusing on online success stories, the panel examine if it is possible to shift this perception, taking risks while nurturing the relationship. The panel discuss ways that productions can lead from the top, trusting the ability of their teams to use popular social platforms in a professional production space as confidently as they do every day in their personal lives. 

The panel stress the importance of collaborative production where marketing and editorial merge to bring greater success. Using examples from programmes such as Embarrassing BodiesDownton Abbey and BBC Three live debate show Free Speech, the panel agree that all promotion needs to be tonally right, so teams need to manage how, when and whether to react. They finish by emphasising that while the online content and product is important, ultimately the way productions engage the audience with that product is as important, if not more so, as the product itself and can inform the way programmes are ultimately produced.