Integrating social media into a live broadcast

Drawing by wilgengebroed used under CC BY-NC

With Social Media more popular than traditional television, an increasing amount of content producers decide to somehow integrate social media into their productions. You can see an increasing amount of social media integration in morning shows, news shows, election-night broadcasts, live sport broadcasts and live entertainment shows. Certainly, the focus of a lot of people has shifted on-line and it's important for television - whether it's traditional or webcasted - to capture the running commentary happening on the web.

Pushing TV on Social Media

There are many roads for this kind of integration. First, one can "push" TV onto Social Media. There are many tools available for this - from big-budget solutions like IPLink from EVS, a slightly-less-big-budget like the social media integration in NewTek's 3Play or completely web-based solutions like Tellyo and Grabyo. It's important to "be first" in this model: the first clip to get to the people spreads the furthest. If that clip is a cellphone video from a viewer or a participant, you - as a producer - have the most to loose. If, however, that video is posted by the official social media profile of the production, you can gain reach and the opportunity to include your on-screen advertising.

Social Media in your production

Another way is to put social media on television and allow your viewers to participate in the broadcast. With more and more viewers using a phone or a tablet, multitasking between a TV screen and participating in social media it makes sense to encourage sharing their television experience on the second screen. It may not be enough to simply provide a watermarked hashtag on your screen - you give some air time to them as well.

A great way to do that is to use on-screen graphics to display their posts in various forms. There are many big-budget solutions for this, but what should a low- or medium-budget producer do? This is where my latest product comes in: Autograf Social plug-in. It's an economical solution, working on an open source graphics engine with the possibility to be operated entirely by the graphics operator. Not only is it economical, but it's also versatile by allowing it to display messages from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram with the option to extend it to other networks when needed.

Autograf Social key features

If you would like to know more about Autograf Social plug-in, please contact me at [email protected] and I will give you a free demo. I will be also posting a video tour of the Autograf Social plug-in soon, so stay posted.