Gigya’s CEO Dave Yovanno was recently published in Mashable, talking about how entertainment companies are adding social technologies like Facebook Connect, Sign in with Twitter, MySpaceID, Yahoo Open Strategy and others to their own sites to drive greater word of mouth.
Here’s an excerpt:
Now that most social networks are supporting functionality on third party sites — via Facebook Connect, Sign in with Twitter, Yahoo! Open Strategy, MySpaceID, and other similar technologies — entertainment companies are experimenting with a variety of approaches.
While movie promotions on Facebook, top sports moments on YouTube, and MySpace music pages remain key fixtures, many entertainment companies are also now actively focused on how to apply social strategies to their own sites to deepen relationships with fans and become more relevant. Here are four ways on-site social features are benefiting both fans and the entertainment industry today.
1. Making TV Participatory
TV has historically been a “lean back” form of entertainment -– just sit back on your couch and let your eyes and ears take it in. Reality TV shows like American Idol broke new ground by making TV participatory -– fans can take action and influence the outcomes — and social technologies are now helping to make TV a “lean forward” experience.
In the most recent season of Dancing with the Stars, ABC made the voting process social. Fans could use Gigya’s Social Login to sign-in to abc.com with a Facebook or Twitter account to cast a vote for their favorite couple, and then donate their status to help support that pair. For example: “Vote to keep Louie Vito and Chelsea Hightower dancing on ABC!”
In the realm of real-time engagement, another example comes from MTV, which enabled live chat for previously aired episodes of the popular show 16 and Pregnant on MTV.com, where viewers could discuss the often controversial content with other fans.
Benefit for fans: Viewers are empowered to not only vote, but get out the vote among friends. Voting with a Facebook or Twitter identity makes voting a personal, rather than anonymous, experience. For 16 and Pregnant, teens have a live forum for sharing thoughts and experiences.
Benefit for TV networks: Fans are highly engaged with the show online, and the shows gain significant exposure on social networks from donated status updates. Traffic is generated back to the show online and off. Offering users a choice of networks for participation appears to boost engagement. For example, data from Gigya shows that for a single episode of 16 and Pregnant, tens of thousands of messages were sent by chat users to their social networks with the following distribution: 40% to Yahoo, 29% MySpace, 24% Facebook, and 7% Twitter.
In fact, last night, ABC premiered this season’s Dancing with the Stars, the second year in a row where fans can not only vote for their favorite couple online, but donate their status to share their vote with their social networks and drive more votes among friends. One viewer tweeted “@NicoleScherzy & Derek Hough dancing on ABC! Nicole fans vote vote vote”
Other entertainment companies to check out include Playlist.com, Tunewiki, and ESPN (who has made it easy to share fantasy sports teams, World Cup faves and more).
As social begins to pervade every site and experience on the web, expect the entertainment companies, via social technologies and a passionate fan base, to lead the way.
By Kevin White