If you’ve watched any of the live programming on the Discovery Channel, like “Skywire” (the broadcast of Nik Wallenda walking a tight rope over the Grand Canyon), “Shark After Dark Live,” and “American Choppers After Dark,” you know that viewers are encouraged to tweet their questions and opinions to the show to be shown on the air.
It’s a strategy that has had success. During the first night of Shark Week last month, Deadline.com reported that “on Facebook, Shark Week generated 3.4 million total interactions and #SharkWeek was the top hashtag on the platform.” And over on Twitter, #Megalodon and #SharkWeek were both trending topics. This audience involvement is a big part of these programs, and social media has been the vehicle that has helped make that a reality.
The social media elements integrated into these programs are the product of well thought out campaigns planned by a Digital & Social Media team, which includes Amaury Blondet, Discovery Communications’ Digital Media Manager. Amaury manages the digital strategies (traffic growth, engagement, promotion, and more) for all digital platforms for several of the Discovery Channel’s brands and for all Animal Planet brands in the Latin American, Brazilian, and U.S. Hispanic markets.
“I think everyone would agree that live shows get the most out of social media, because people want to be a part of the conversation and the ‘live experience,'” says Amaury. “You may even say that social media is becoming as important a live event as the live event itself, because you can record a show for later but the conversation can’t be recorded.”
Amaury and his colleague, Digital Producer Melany Valderrama, will give a presentation called “Digital and Social Media in Our Analog Life” tomorrow, Tuesday, September 10, at 5:30 p.m. in the Entertainment Business Auditorium. They’ll discuss how they’ve used social media to promote their own shows on the Discovery Channel and will showcase other industry examples of how digital media has revolutionized television. All students are welcome to attend.
Photo: Tiffany Brown/AP Images for Discovery Channel