Best practice for using social media in TV and radio was the theme for the first of our Social Media Week events, ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’, at Gateley LLP on Monday 24 September.

First up was Simon Poole from Somethin’ Else, producer of Radio 5 Live’s Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review, who spoke about the increasing importance of social networks in enhancing the radio show and keeping momentum going in the days between episodes. He explained how Facebook in particular has become ‘a crucial part of a radio producer’s tool box’, giving him valuable insights into audience demographics and enabling him to tailor the show to listeners’ tastes and even create new features for the weekly podcast and online-only content based on social media feedback.

Picking up where Simon left off, our own Tayler Cresswell talked about the role community plays for two very different, well-loved shows for which Liberty842 manages social media feeds: BBC Radio 4’s The Archers and Channel 4’s Chatty Man. She told guests that engagement goes far beyond simply monitoring feedback and allows media companies to ‘get in among your audience and be part of the conversation’, tackling negative comments while making the most of talent and fan networks to increase awareness, generate excitement and encourage loyalty.

Gateley LLP Media Partner, Lisa Logan, gave an overview of the legal issues that social media producers should be aware of, highlighting some of the most common pitfalls and areas of risk. Citing recent examples where social media posts had become the subject of legal action, she demonstrated the importance of ensuring that advertising, privacy and copyright guidelines are followed.

On hand to help make sense of the huge amount of data available from online activity, Station10’s David Ellis rounded up the session by telling guests that insight is critical to proving the value of social media for brands. If the magical glow of social media has dimmed a little over the past six months, thanks largely to the shaky Facebook IPO, then Ellis believes we should consider it good news and welcome a more rational approach where data is used to maximum effect to understand where effort and expenditure are best placed.

Thanks to everyone who came along to the event. You can stay in touch with the speakers by following @SimonPoole, @Liberty842, @Tayler, @GateleyLLP and @Station10_UK.