Next TV: Facebook Exec Gives TV ‘B+’ On Tapping Potential of Platform

TV Brands’ Marketing Improving, But Room to Grow 3/21/2013 2:46 PM Eastern

New York – In grading TV brands’ efforts using Facebook to market their shows, Howard T. Stein, head of entertainment & global partnerships at Facebook, gives the industry a “B-B+.”

“It’s getting better. I think that a lot of the cable providers and cable networks are using Facebook because we’ve got reach,” Stein said at the Next TV Summit held here Thursday in partnership with B&C/Multichannel News. “I think there’s room to grow. I think it’s all about deciding how you want to leverage the platform, about putting out good content that people want to engage with to tell them that your show is on-air.”

In a keynote interview moderated by Multichannel News editor in chief Mark Robichaux, Stein said that every TV format deserves its own social strategy, but pointed to a successful Facebook campaign for the first season of TNT’s Dallas that created a fan page in the voice of the iconic character J.R. Ewing, which was successful both in engaging fans of the original 1980s series and acquiring new ones.

While television’s marketing efforts with Facebook have room for improvement, Stein says TV producers and networks have a disproportionate advantage over consumer products, for example, because “you guys are the best storytellers in the world.”

“People are rabidly passionate about your content,” he said, noting the huge number of hours that people still spend watching televisioneach week. “I don’t think we believe we’re going to outpace television over time but we do believe Facebook is a place where people will engage and discover that content first and ultimately drive to your show on air.”

Stein also stressed the importance of building relationships over time; that viewers are more likely to tune into a show or download an app if they’ve had an extended experience with the brand.

“Facebook is a platform where a bunch of interactions over time grow trust,” he said.