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Lessons from Saturday Night Live’s

Digital Word of Mouth Strategies

Matt Allen Sarah Hofstetter 360i
Twitter: @mattla31 Twitter: @Pezmeister1
The plan for today

• Social media & digital word of mouth education

• Saturday Night Live case study

• Best practices so you can do it too! Proprietary & Confidential 2

360i: Social media advisors to leading brands



TRAVEL Proprietary & Confidential 3

Holistic social media practice

Listen &

Report & Educate you &

optimize your team

Execute with
SM best

Build platforms Proprietary & Confidential 4

Conversations in social media are…

Disorganized Vibrant Energetic Insightful Monetizable Proprietary & Confidential 5

Social marketing strategy must revolve around
consumer behavior

Internet As Focus Group Customized Experiences Old Playbooks Obsolete

Strategy & execution require uncommon integration Proprietary & Confidential 6

Winning over even just one customer can have
a huge ripple effect in social media Proprietary & Confidential 7

The Importance of word of mouth, and blogs as
pivotal online influencers

Of consumer purchase decisions are primarily

67% influenced by word of mouth

68% Of blog readers visit their most trusted blogs


300% Growth in monthly blog readership in the past

four years

56% Of social media users feel a stronger connection with

companies when they can interact with them in a
social media environment

Sources: McKinsey, AdAge, Jupiter Research and Cone, eMarketer Proprietary & Confidential 8
Don’t fall into this trap! Proprietary & Confidential 9

…or this one
Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

BSO Approach Strategic Approach

Set benchmarks
for success

Evaluate Strategize

Measure &

Results: Results:
• Something to • Engage target audience
show the boss • Achieve KPIs Proprietary & Confidential 10

If we want to succeed in social media, then we
need to…

Be Present Listen Up Participate &
Optimize Proprietary & Confidential 11

Case Study: Saturday Night Live
Digital Word of Mouth (DWOMSM)

NBC Digital Entertainment │Who We Are
Online & Mobile Destination for NBC Programming
Home of super-fan communities including Heroes, Dunder-Mifflin
Infinity (the Office), Biggest Loser and more…
The promotional arm for the TV Network


− NBC’s online video player − Winner of Four Webby − has the highest
offered the FIRST full- Awards & Twenty market-share of visits of
episode streaming with Commendations all network broadcast
closed-captioned and sites.
will be the FIRST to offer − Two-Time Emmy Award
user viewing parties as Winner, with Eight − has the highest
part of the streaming Nominations time spent/user
experience − Led all networks with Six − MyNBC: A thriving social
− NBC is the first network Wins and Eleven network for the NBC
to offer high-quality, Nominations for the super-fan with more than
downloadable video of inaugural TV Guide 450,000 active members
your favorite TV shows Online Video Awards Proprietary & Confidential 13

Audience Development │ Tactics NBC On-Air Digital Toss:

• On-Air:
• Digital promos
• In-show integrations Publicity:
• Digital tosses
• Snipes
• Print & Radio
• Publicity
• Out of Home (NBC Everywhere)
• NBCU Cross-Promotional Support


• Mobile
• Online
• Promotion & Partnerships
• Media
• Search
• Digital PR, Syndication, Widgets Proprietary & Confidential 14

Widgets │ Types We Use


(Embeddable Video Player) Proprietary & Confidential 15

Widgets  Deployment Strategy

• Digital Media
• NBC Publicity
• Distribution via 360i
• Viral Propagation
• Facebook Applications Proprietary & Confidential 16

Audience Development │ Measuring Success
Viral syndication drives site traffic

Blogs MySpace
Message Boards Other Websites Proprietary & Confidential 17

When looking at social marketing, there are so
many platforms; but so little time…. Proprietary & Confidential 18

Let’s evaluate social marketing
through a strategic lens


Does it leverage
our social media

Does it follows
Does it meet our
social media best

Does it provides
value to the
consumer? Proprietary & Confidential 19

What are our objectives?

Preferred Site Traffic Advocacy


Objectives Arsenal

Rules Value Proprietary & Confidential 20

NBC’s incredible social media arsenal

Objectives Arsenal

Rules Value Proprietary & Confidential 21

Rules of the social media road

Listen to Understand & Empower your When using the

audience & acclimate to fans to express brand voice, be
cultivate each of your their opinions consistent
relationships environments about your brand

Make as much of Recognize you’re Always be

your content in an always-on authentic &
portable & environment transparent
Objectives Arsenal

Rules Value Proprietary & Confidential 22

Ensure effective value exchange

Conversation Access Utility

Entertainment Social currency

Objectives Arsenal

Rules Value Proprietary & Confidential 23

SNL Video Case Study Proprietary & Confidential 24

Strategy Overview

Find Engage Nurture/Fuel Synchronize Proprietary & Confidential 25

Personalized outreach & strong relationships
result in high visibility coverage Proprietary & Confidential 26

Rapid, relevant outreach delivers coverage
every Sunday morning March 8
April 4
Jan. 10 Feb. 7 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Seth Rogen
Neil Patrick Harris Bradley Cooper

6/1 6/15 6/29 7/13 7/27 8/10

Feb. 14 March 15
Jan. 31
Alec Balwdin Tracy Morgan May 9
Steve Martin
Justin Timberlake Proprietary & Confidential 27
DWOM drove 77% interactions and 63% daily uniques of
NBC video player for SNL Proprietary & Confidential 28

Popularity in social media dominates PageShare
on Google as well

Aug ’06 Pre-SEO Oct ’06 After SEO Apr ’08 After SEO + DWOM did not rank in the

first natural search page
Blog Posts
Linking back to Proprietary & Confidential 29

Did this program measure up against the
strategic lens?

Does it leverage
our social media

Does it follows
Does it meet our
social media best

Does it provides
value to the
consumer? Proprietary & Confidential 30

Can DWOMSM work for you? Some best practices:

• Always be transparent
• Customers don’t want transparency; they demand it. And it’s good for your
brand, too
• Never spam
• Don’t post comments on blogs, seeds message boards or forums, or blasts
press releases
• Authenticity is key
• Authenticity lets you take advantage of your brand strength and commitment
to listening to your customers
• Don’t incentivize online influencers through payment or pressures them to
write positive posts
• Give them something to talk about
• Figure out what will resonate best with online influencers – and their readers
• If no assets exist – create them! Proprietary & Confidential 31

Guidelines of social marketing best practices

• Establish your goals up front

• Listen to your audience
• Lay out your social marketing footprint
• Populate, converse, engage and share
• Adapt the execution to the platform
• Measure! Proprietary & Confidential 32

Thank you!

Matt Allen Sarah Hofstetter

Senior Exec Director of Marketing VP, Emerging Media & Client Strategy 360i
Twitter: @mattla31 Twitter: @Pezmeister Proprietary & Confidential 33