For years, social platforms have been trying to capitalize on the link between live TV viewing and social engagement – or ‘second-screening’ as it’s become known.
According to research, more than 90% of people now have their smartphone on hand while watching TV, and are particularly engaged with their devices, and specifically, social media apps, during live events. Logically, then, it would make sense for social platforms to merge the two functions. Twitter has tried to stream real-time tweets along with sporting broadcasts as part of its various rights deals, while Facebook has attempted the same with different approaches to Facebook activity appearing on the same screen as TV shows.
They haven’t worked – and despite live-streams continually seeing significantly higher engagement rates than regular videos, no platform has been able to successfully merge the community and engagement elements of social apps with live event viewing.
Except for gaming platform Twitch.
Twitch has been specifically built around its community elements, and regularly sees huge levels of interaction and engagement within gaming live-streams.
User behavior on Twitch is entirely aligned around real-time interaction and engagement during the main broadcast, and as such, Twitch users seem more accustomed to interacting as the video plays. Which is why this week’s announcement of a new deal to air Premier League matches on Twitch is significant.
As per Deadline:
“Amazon is planning to stream live Premier League fixtures for free on Twitch in the UK as it aims to give fans the chance to interact with each other while games are being played.”
That could be the start of a major new shift for Twitch, because while the platform is dedicated to gaming, FIFA 20 and NBA 2K are hugely popular titles among game streamers on the site. That also likely means that a lot of Twitch users are crossover fans of those (and other) sports, and with the added engagement and community behaviors on the platform, it could be that Twitch ends up being the platform that’s finally able to merge the benefits of both, and maximize the engagement around live events on a single, unified platform.
That could have significant benefits for advertisers, and might even make Twitch a more popular site among sporting fans in general, as opposed to the noted crossover audience. If the best conversation is happening on Twitch, more fans will come across.
Facebook actually released a new app recently, trying to tap into the same trend. With sporting fans unable to attend live events due to COVID-19, Facebook released ‘Venue‘, which merges real-time viewing with community commentary.
Twitch, again, may be better suited to such, and if Twitch can facilitate more interaction around live sports, as it does with video games, that could be the start of a whole new trend, with Twitch’s younger audience leading the way into the next stage of at-home sports engagement.
And that’s not the only front where Twitch is seeing higher activity – this week, Bloomberg reported that the platform is also becoming a key focus for musicians as they seek to maintain connection with their fans.
As per Bloomberg:
“In May, people spent almost 27 million hours watching live music and other performing arts on Twitch, according to StreamElements, more than five times January’s total. And music is now one of the top 15 genres on the site.”
Twitch has the audience engagement, it has younger users already engaging. And now, it’s finding more use cases for such, which could make Twitch a more relevant platform for advertisers in the near future.
It may not be as big a consideration as YouTube or Facebook, or even Twitter in terms of reaching a wider audience. But it should be on your radar. Twitch currently serves around 37.5 million monthly active viewers, and is projected to see steady increases moving forward.
Twitch has seen a massive surge in interest during COVID-19, and it’s increasingly where younger audiences are hanging out.
It’ll be worth monitoring the data on its coming Premier League streams to see how audiences respond.
All Sober’s explosive Facebook growth
Image courtesy All Sober
Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.
When we look at the data on emerging brands building a community through social media, the numbers show just how difficult it is to achieve growth and authentic engagement. In the past few years, most brands have found that social media marketing is an uphill climb.
According to a study from DigitalMarketingCommunity.com, the median engagement rate on Facebook for all industries is just 0.06%. However, there are exceptions. When we came upon the new addiction recovery platform All Sober, a site that officially launched in May, we were impressed by its social marketing strategy. We saw a growing, and more importantly, engaged community that was rallying behind a new startup. That initial impression was cemented further when we calculated its engagement. It was hovering just under 10% for the week—166 times the median percentage.
A deeper dive showed that this was not an anomaly, nor was it the result of bots or fake engagement. This was a true community buzzing around a common passion, which anyone familiar with the digital marketing space will tell you is becoming increasingly rare. Add to that the fact that All Sober’s platform and apps launched less than six months ago, and it became crystal clear that it had tapped into something very special to achieve this level of explosive growth.
Considering how difficult it can be for new brands to stand out on social media (especially Facebook), we wanted to answer an important question: What is All Sober doing that so many others are not? The answer is surprisingly simple.
What sets All Sober apart is its uncanny ability to elevate human stories and interactions to truly celebrate a very specific audience. Attention is a critical commodity in digital strategy, and the way All Sober has earned this level of lean-in and community participation is by honoring the accomplishments of people in recovery and putting a human face to the achievement of sobriety. For as long as people impacted by addiction have sought out help, the greatest strength of the community has been a strong sense of shared experience.
All Sober taps into that spirit and honors the successes of everyone on the platform. Its Facebook page has become a place for people to celebrate their “soberversaries,” cheering them on and inspiring the community to understand recovery is possible.
All Sober’s success is apparent, especially when compared to other, more established names in the space.
For example, on Sept. 9, All Sober had a post go viral entirely on its own—no ad budget was placed behind the content, and it was driven exclusively by the community. Four days later, the post had garnered 718,000 reactions, 45,500 comments and 16.6 million impressions—organically.
Naturally, this had an impact on the page’s overall engagement for the week. Despite having a fraction of the size of Psychology Today’s Facebook following (7.4 million likes), All Sober (31,000 likes) produced more than triple the engagement of this mental health juggernaut. And while one might think that this is an anomaly caused by a single viral post, All Sober’s outpacing of industry leaders such as Shatterproof (112,000 likes) and In The Rooms (154,000 likes) has been a constant since February 2022.
The difference-maker is coming in the form of positive content marketing and strategic amplification. Here’s what that looks like in practice.
Whether it’s a month of sobriety or 25 years, there is a sense of hopeful celebration that makes these social platforms a place for participants to engage and chime in with their own victories, stories and tips. This inspirational platform has drawn in massive numbers of people who participate every day on the Facebook page, and it is the driving force behind All Sober’s peerless Facebook engagement rate.
All Sober, like any new platform, amplifies content in the interest of gaining new, targeted, quality followers for the brand. But what makes its engagement numbers so remarkable is that none of the content itself is boosted. The organic participation makes All Sober a true innovator in the way recovery and sobriety is discussed online.
“It’s fair to say that most brands, to one degree or another, rely on advertising to help their message stand out,” said John Oates, president of JPO Digital, which works with All Sober’s social media team to grow the brand. “But the normal KPIs with All Sober are starkly better than most other brands that we’ve seen, and I think that is a testament to the quality of the content we’re able to use and the story that the brand is telling.”
“I feel like many brands neglect the value of true storytelling, of really drilling down on what value you can deliver to the people who are viewing your content. All Sober has leaned into that beautifully, and we’ve been able to build a fever-pitch following as a result.”
All Sober’s success on Facebook has inspired the organization to replicate that success on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, where it can continue to grow large followings with positive messages of shared hope and inspiration.
All Sober was born after its founders, Paul Gayter and Flora Nicholas, experienced the anguish of addiction firsthand.
“Our loved one’s addiction led us to experience the problems that hundreds of millions of Americans faced daily throughout the addiction-recovery life cycle: searching all over the internet for help and information in times of crisis, for recovery group support, for treatment options, for sober communities and sober life information, and for resources to help them get jobs, among other things,” Nicholas shared.
“During our recovery journey, we recognized that there were major problems at every stage of the addiction and recovery life cycle—that existing solutions for people in need were fragmented, highly specialized, not available on the scale that the problem demands, or nonexistent.”
As a result, Nicholas and Gayter dedicated their lives to changing the narrative and improving the process for people seeking recovery and getting the help they need to navigate addiction.
“The only way of alleviating the constant search for solutions was to bring together everything that people need and house it all in one platform. That inspired us to create All Sober,” Nicholas added. “And while we have many iterations left to implement, I’m proud to say that we built just that—a one-stop shop for addiction treatment , recovery and sober life.”
All Sober is spearheading a movement intended to make sustaining and maintaining sobriety accessible to the people who are impacted by the global epidemic of addiction. Gayter, Nicholas and the leadership team understand better than most what people go through and the types of resources they need for sustained success. Those personal experiences are the inspiration behind building this community and platform around hope, sharing resources, and positive engagement.
All Sober’s unprecedented social media success is a testament to its ability to tap into the inspiring stories of people who proudly celebrate their sobriety, while offering a forum and a wealth of resources for the hundreds of millions of Americans touched by drug and alcohol addiction.
By ending the stigmas associated with drug and alcohol addiction and embracing the community that understands just how common this disease is, All Sober has found a way to achieve enviable engagement numbers via a welcoming and open forum offering hope to those who need it.
All Sober’s explosive Facebook growth
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