by Madhav Mohan

How Sony Leveraged Social Media to Gain Audience Attention

Apr 22, 20154 mins
AnalyticsBusinessCollaboration Software

Sony Entertainment Television India launched a social media command center to do a sentimental analysis of the audience and craft highly relevant content to delight the viewers.

Want to bring up the results of a recent hashtag campaign or the feedback of your customers and fans with the tap of your finger? Social Media Command Center is the answer! Real-time feeds of social activity can transform every business. And Sony was quick to take advantage of it.

Consider this: It’s 5:00 pm, time to head home, eat food and watch your favourite television serial which is in tune with your expectations. You post on any social platform about the show. With company’s social media command center, your view and sentiments are observed and if it is not in-line with your expectation, the show may have certain changes to bring the sensibility of the viewers.  

Before this project went live at Sony Entertainment, the marketing and programming teams used small scale tools to capture the impression of the audience and post on Facebook and Twitter, which was not standardized across all channels of the organization. They were not effective because the conversations were not aggregated from all the social platforms and also the impression was not qualitative with respect to capturing the sentiments across and not finding the real influencers.

“We wanted to touch base the television viewers and understand their sentiments, views and trends. We were looking for a better methodology and tools with expertise in social understanding,” Ajay Kumar Meher, SVP-IT and Post Production, Sony Entertainment Television India, says.

The project was initiated and proposed to the management in September 2014. The implementation started in November 2014 and completed in January 2015.

At the command center, there are eight television screens. Multiple activities can be shown on the TV sets. For instance, one screen could show the tweets, the other could be twitter influencers, and one can drill down to a post level and get a sentimental analysis. “You can create a cumulative of the eight screens into one single screen or break them into smaller screens.”

Then, the data analyzers do a brainstorming session where they look into trends of all their brands, competition stand and make sense of it. The analyzers also give objective or actionable things to each and every aspect with respect to sales, marketing, and programming.

“For example, a negative comment about any channel or show can create a negative impact on any social platform and can trigger a conversation. A real-time monitoring on such conversation can help in positive management. That’s the prime benefit of a command center,” says Ajay Kumar Meher. 

According to Meher, by seeing a Klout Score, the team can see how a person is consuming social media and whether he is an influencer. Data analyzers will then get the influencer in the monitored social conversation to manage it differently.   

Additionally, blog conversations are measured across a gamut of topics by the monitor and shows how hot they are!  Also, a detailed sentiment analysis of key topics is run by the company.

Besides, a trending discussion on social media helps Sony Entertainment to put a show in the right context, so that the reach of the programme improves. “For example, Swach Bharat is a popular discussion today, capturing the attention of people. Subsequently, we incorporated the idea of cleanliness on our show– Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma,” Meher says.

This would also enable channel marketing and research teams to monitor and manage the social media conversations in real time, respond to and engage with the viewers, effectively and efficiently, Ajay says.  

As much as the project may seem interesting and easy, it did pose challenges. Ajay says, though the SMCC project was cost-effective, it was difficult explaining and putting forward the benefits to all the stake holders.

But, Sony Entertainment gained feet after implementing this project. “We have reaped handsome dividends with the command center because the response time is quick and good. One gets information on a real time basis,” Meher says.   

The command center even coordinates with other departments in the company: Customer service, public relations, sales, marketing, and others. Meher also says that the Command Center has helped the company become proactive because it can now spot crisis in advance and then take an informed call.

Well, a social media command center has just opened the door of opportunities for the organization and helped it discover the true power of social media. This is undeniably cool.