‘Social media is an invaluable tool for our industry’: Kieran Simpson on adapting to audience preferences

Kieran Simpson

“Social media also allows us to foster deeper connections… that go beyond traditional broadcasting.”

Kieran Simpson, head of digital at The Project, Roving Enterprises/Paramount, has told Mediaweek that social media is an invaluable tool for the industry to stay relevant and top-of-mind with the public.

Simpson took home the win for Social Media Specialist at Mediaweek‘s 2024 Next of the Best Awards.

Mediaweek caught up with Simpson to speak about what it takes to stand out on social media in the industry, his proudest moment working at Paramount/Roving Enterprises and what the future looks like for social media. 

The awards have been judged by an all-star line-up, what does it mean to you to be recognised by this group?

To have my work acknowledged by the very people I admire and look to for inspiration is both humbling and motivating. This recognition isn’t just a personal achievement; it’s a testament to the power of collaboration and the incredible team I have the privilege of working with at The Project.

We work hard to ensure our audience can trust our content, while continually entertaining them at the same time.

What does it take to stand out on social media in this industry?

Standing out on social media, especially in our industry, requires a deep understanding of your audience and a willingness to adapt. It’s crucial to remember that it’s not about your personal preferences but about catering to what resonates with your viewers.

As short-form content like TikTok and Reels continue to dominate, it’s up to teams like ours to ensure that even the best long-form content, like our TV shows, gets the attention it deserves. This means getting creative and adapting that content to fit these new formats.

The traditional media landscape might be shifting, but shows like The Project are proving that success on social media is achievable. Our record growth is a testament to the power of collaboration between our editorial and social teams. By working together to finesse content and deliver what our audience truly cares about, we’re able to make the show sing on social media and have more eyeballs on us than ever.

What do you think the future looks like for social media in the industry?

Social media is an invaluable tool for our industry to stay relevant and top-of-mind with the public. TV brands evoke a sense of trust that’s hard to replicate elsewhere However, to maintain this connection, we must adapt to audience preferences and understand how they consume content.

While attention spans may seem shorter, high-quality and engaging content will always captivate audiences, regardless of length or format. We must continue to surprise and delight audiences with unexpected formats and stories.

Linear broadcast will always have its place, but building brand extensions beyond advertising revenue is becoming increasingly crucial. Audiences are savvy and can easily distinguish ads from organic content on social media. They expect a different experience on these platforms compared to traditional broadcasting.

Social media also allows us to foster deeper connections with our audience and create communities that go beyond traditional broadcasting.

What’s your proudest moment working in social media at Paramount?

Witnessing the remarkable growth of The Project online and our evolving understanding of our audience is a source of daily pride for me. The fact that our social media presence is now deeply intertwined with the show, influencing content decisions based on audience feedback, is truly incredible.

My achievement is a testament to the time and effort our team has invested in building trust between Network 10 and the team at The Project. 10’s confidence in our vision and approach has been instrumental in achieving this remarkable growth.

Being Next of The Best – what can the industry expect next from you?

Being named Next of the Best is an incredible motivator. It fuels my passion for understanding audiences and creating strategies that drive meaningful engagement, whether through new formats or a complete reimagining of existing approaches. Seeing those positive results is always a thrill.

However, what truly excites me is empowering others. Sharing knowledge and seeing my team members succeed with the skills I’ve helped them develop is incredibly rewarding.

So, you can expect to see me continuing to explore new ways to connect with audiences, analyse data, and refine strategies. But above all, I’ll be focused on mentoring and empowering those around me to achieve their full potential. And continuing to produce some podcasts on the side.

Top image: Kieran Simpson

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