Social Media case study: How do Sky use it?
Formed back in 1989, and merging with British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990, Sky is a fast growing Satellite company that provides television, broadband and communication services to over 20 million customers.
Sky is most commonly known for good old fashion satellite TV. Now however, Sky is taking advantage of the ever changing ways in which we communicate, providing broadband to nearly 5 million customers in the UK. With this constant demand for the highest quality media connections, how are Sky using social media to connect with their customers?
24% of people are using social media to find TV recommendations and 12% are turning on their TVs purely because of something they’ve seen on social media. Sky therefore have to ensure that they are exposing themselves in every aspect of all the relevant social media channels.
The Internet has created a platform for individuals to multi-task when watching Television, so what better way to advertise programming than by using social media as an almost separate interactive TV guide. Sky have done exactly that, creating separate Sky Channel Twitter accounts which tweets programme times and trailers. This is an almost perfect example of how broadcasters can use social media to their advantage. People are inevitably going to stumble upon tweets that are related to the programmes they are interested in, often discovered through the universal use of a hashtag.
Not only is social media a good place to advertise programming, but, as mentioned previously, it is also where people are talking about the programmes they watch and is a form of programme recommendation. The more that people discuss a programme, the more others are likely to follow suit and watch it themselves. 25% of 18-24 year olds said, “It makes me feel part of a larger conversation.” This suggests that people will watch what’s being talked about and will actively seek out what other people are watching. If Sky tell you that a programme is going to be great you might well believe that they have an obligation to say that (they aren't going to say it's bad!), but if your friend says the same thing you are likely to take their word and join in the viewing.
But it’s not just the usual Twitter and Facebook that Sky are using to track what people are talking about. With the introduction of On Demand TV, Sky can determine what people are choosing to catch up on when out and about, and consequently, can actively suggest programmes for you. With sport and news being the most watched subjects on the go, social media goes hand-in-hand with being just as instant and accessible.
With instant feedback on social media Sky can truly measure where they are making their money. Television has grown from what was a few basic channels, to an all-round entertainment hub where individuals can pause and record live TV. TV and internet have combined allowing audiences to surf the World Wide Web whilst they watch. By using social media to interact with Sky TV, we are becoming a nation of critiques and ‘pro-sumers’ but more importantly, Sky can interact with us at the moment of viewing!