How theAudience Built A Social Following For The Daily Share

Daily Share Seed SocialIf racking up Twitter and Facebook followers were easy, there wouldn’t be so many scammers promising to sell them. But there are ways to create authentic audiences: paid amplification not through a tech platform, but through influencers.

Turner-owned cable news network HLN worked with social media agency theAudience to build an engaged audience for the launch of its social media-focused TV show, “The Daily Share.”

“We were thinking about a news product that would do social first, then move onto the digital space, then onto the television,” said Lila King, senior director of product strategy and partnerships at HLN.

In the four months before the show’s launch, theAudience generated 655 million impressions, 330 million reach and 80 million video views for the show. “The Daily Share’s” media presence spans Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr.

Founded in 2011 by Sean Parker, Ari Emanuel and Oliver Luckett (who serves as CEO), theAudience generates followers and engagements organically by paying influencers who distribute content to their followers.

For “The Daily Share,” 100 pieces of content went out through influencers across six platforms. The influencers included musical couple Us The Duo and Vine star Brittany Furlan.

Us The Duo, for example, covered holiday songs for a “12 Days of Christmas” feature on “The Daily Share’s” social platforms. Longer versions of the video appeared on Facebook and shorter versions went on Vine.

TheAudience works hard to “craft content for particular platforms and make it spreadable,” King said. That means tailoring content to each platform. Instagram posed the biggest challenge.

“Early on, we were posting the same social images to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” King remembered. “We learned pretty quickly that they didn’t translate at all to Instagram. We reassessed and shifted our strategy to celebrate the visual culture on Instagram.”

The agency occasionally does paid amplification for clients. “We use paid media to amplify content, but we try to be as smart and efficient as we can to get that audience,” said Grant Zanini, VP of entertainment for theAudience. “We might do it to hit a certain demographic for the content we’re creating.”

“We used a paid push to get things off the ground, but as we learn the patterns ourselves, we’re able to sustain growth through organic engagement,” King said.

The Platform Conundrum

Because theAudience relies on organic engagement, it’s affected by the changing algorithms on platforms like Facebook. Sometimes that can be positive.

“Facebook has put a huge emphasis on native video in their platform,” said Tim Sovay, SVP of entertainment and brands. “We are seeing five to eight times better performance with organic and paid with Facebook native video vs. YouTube embed or outside embed.”

Other times, it can be negative.

“A lot of our partners are feeling really burned by Facebook right now and uneasy about their recommendations,” Sovay said. “They’ve spent millions of dollars building audiences, with pages and fan acquisition, and they’re seeing their organic reach move to zero.” The effect is most pronounced in certain categories, like automotive and CPG.

Even influencers’ pages have been affected. “For quite a while we saw the exact opposite with individual pages and influencers,” Sovay said. “They’ve always had the highest organic reach. Everyone wants to be like Katy Perry or their favorite star, so it’s been through the roof. But we’ve seen them tick down over the past couple of months.”

Multiplatform Monetization

Creating a multichannel audience could be a boon to advertisers, but King cautions that it’s still early days. “Thinking about how to connect an experience across social, digital and TV is at the heart of what we’re doing right now.”

T-Mobile advertises on “The Daily Share” with an “integration across the full experience of the show,” King said. More multiplatform sponsorships will hopefully follow.

“We’ve thought about how we could package this to advertisers,” King said. “There’s a lot of work happening now ahead of the Turner upfronts this spring, and you’ll see things then.”

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