How Mediaset tapped into social video to boost engagement

It’s no surprise that sharing videos on social platforms is a crucial part of a brand’s strategy and to drive growth, increase traffic, and build awareness. But when you’re a major media company, how can you make the most of your content, whether it’s archival or new, original properties? 

In our webinar Unite your video strategy across digital, Andrea Girolami, Gruppo Mediaset’s Digital Content Development Manager, gets in the weeds on how Italy’s media giant uses video on social platforms and infuses new life to high-value, archival content to spread its reach and boost audience engagement on social media platforms:

Push out bite-sized clips of original content to promote

Mediaset makes the most of digital and social media platforms by pushing out social videos from its original TV content on both its website and social media pages. Using Wochit, they create social videos for platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 

This has helped Mediaset successfully boost its social video presence, and increase traffic and awareness. “They serve as an advertisement to promote our content,” says Girolami.

For Mediaset’s streaming platform Mediaset Infinity, swiftly pushing out bite-sized clips from popular shows did a number of things: Through followers’ reactions to posts, it deepened engagement and kept the conversation going.

Plus, many clips were spawned from a single killer, successful clip. Case in point: by folding in tweets from fans in the summary and highlights of an episode from the popular series “Love Is in the Air,” they fueled further discussion on social media.

Tap into nostalgia to engage a new audience 

To date, the Facebook page for Play Cult, which is the first original channel developed and built inside the Mediaset Infinity streaming platform, has over 350,000 fans. Play Cult’s Instagram feed currently boasts over 50,000 followers.

What makes the Play Cult channel different is that it’s dedicated to Mediaset’s TV archive—from the ’80s through the 2000s. As it had very strong TV properties, Mediaset decided to tap into collective nostalgia and use the best moments of TV history to build a new property—Play Cult. “Because we had a lot of content to choose from, we’re able to produce a lot of videos,” says Girolami.

Size matters 

After experimenting with different sizes on social media platforms, which is best? Portrait or square? Mediaset found that portrait (4:5) performs better than square (1:1) on Facebook. The number of views on Play Cult’s rocketed 147%, the number of reactions increased by 69%, and the number of comments on posts shot up 107%.

However, on its Instagram feed, the reverse was true, and square outperformed portrait format. 

By formatting its Instagram posts with a square size over portrait size, views increased by 24%, reactions got a 25% boost, and comments shot up by 66%.

Wochit fielded its own research and found that among publishers, 16:9 screen ratio continues to reign supreme. A mere 37% of publishers create and push out videos with vertical dimensions.

Mediaset is at the forefront of experimentation. And as Play Cult’s main goal is to drive traffic and boost awareness, spending the time to experiment and dial in on what works best for their audience was the key to their success. 


As they say, the sun rises and sets on our smartphones. As the majority of viewers consume content these days on their phones when creating media, Mediaset always keeps the smartphone in mind. 

Mediaset will lean toward its analytics and constantly experiment with different sizes and platforms to discover which performs best.

Spend time looking for that perfect video 

When searching for that perfect video to share on social platforms, Mediaset uses three criteria: 

  1. Footage-centric. If it’s something you can’t say or show with words, then it’s best to use a video to capture a moment or share a message.
  2. Show, don’t tell. The perfect social video doesn’t need captions or words to explain what’s going on.
  3. Use music. Because music is a universal language, it has wide appeal and can be an ideal piece of content. Plus, music clips are quite easy to edit and great for push distribution.

For example, one of Mediaset’s music clips got 4 million 3-second views, 1.5 million 15-second videos, and nearly 800,000 1-minute views. It reached 7.1 million people.

The future is vertical

The future might look different depending on where you live, explains Girolami. “A game-changer is the unbundling of editorial projects,” says Girolami. In other words, content isn’t created purely for mainstream distribution for a general audience. He adds:

“Instead, it’s going vertical and offering content based on specific demographics and segments. Vertical projects can be based on content—newsletters, social properties, editorial properties, segments, and targets.”

As social videos will continue to be a key piece to the growth of platforms, the key to keep experimenting, exploring, and leaning into data to hone in on strategies to drive expansion.

If you want to learn more about social video creation and how to unite your video strategy across digital, check out the full webinar:

 

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