microphone, conference hall

Q&A With Turner Classic Movies’ Steve Denker

By: Sophie Maerowitz

November 3, 2017

In their day-to-day, The Social Shake-Up’s top speakers run everything from social media marketing to 30,000 foot-view marketing plans. We checked in with Steve Denker, a two-time Social Shake-Up speaker and the senior director of marketing for Turner Classic Movies, to find out what he’s been working on in social, below.

Turner Classic Movies, FilmStruck, Senior Director Marketing, Steve Denker

Steve Denker, Senior Director of Marketing, Turner Classic Movies and FilmStruck

Social Shake-Up: What’s your role at Turner Classic Movies? 
Denker: At Turner Classic Movies (TCM), I’m responsible for marketing strategy, planning, allocation and campaign management across paid and owned channels.

Social Shake-Up: What does your day-to-day work look like?
Denker: No two days are ever the same. They vary between executing campaigns and programming tentpoles, managing social media initiatives and working with partners to increase our brand value. I strive to provide fans that love classic, indie, art house and foreign films a memorable experience that they want to talk about and share online.

Between my boss Pola Changnon, a visionary who inspires me every day, and an amazing team of dedicated marketing professionals that stay focused on our initiatives, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish for our brands.

Social Shake-Up: What are your top predictions for social media and digital communications?
Denker: Video, specifically social video, will play a key role in content strategy. Social video will be produced with behavior, consumption and action in mind, as opposed to simply editing and posting content intended for other uses.

Better social listening tools will improve brand positioning and strategy, thereby creating efficiencies in spend and ROI.

And as social analytics continue to improve, we know more about our fans than ever before. Content personalization, including what fans want to consume, when they want it and how it will be delivered will continue to get better. Look for large personalization strides across all screens large and small, at home and on the road, and in images and video.

Social Shake-Up: What does Turner have on the horizon?
Denker: At TCM we’re always thinking of ways to improve fans’ experience. This could include new viewing and social engagement technologies. FilmStruck is the streaming home for independent, art house and foreign films, and fans share that [they feel] there is no service like it anywhere every day on social media. We will continue to share the FilmStruck story in 2018 across targeted media platforms, events and destinations. Content is curated by our staff of smart, dedicated and passionate film fans.

Social Shake-Up: What’s your top tip for measuring success/ROI on social?
Denker: Align social media goals with business goals at the onset of strategic planning. Social is no longer a stand-alone marketing tactic, it’s a core component of marketing strategy and critical to most brand destinations.

Social Shake-Up: What’s your biggest social media lesson learned this year?
Denker: Social video must be produced and shared with specific campaign goals in mind. With every video created, first consider the target audience, distribution platform, messaging and desired outcome. Then create memorable spots.

Social Shake-Up: What are some of your favorite recent social media campaigns, and what made them great?
Denker: At TCM we recently launched a series of social videos encouraging users to attend a screening of The Princess Bride for our TCM Big Screen Classics series. The videos used several best practices of social engagement, including length and pace, relevant humor, lists and categories, memorable movie quotes and favorite scenes. The timing of these spots, down to the hour, across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter was extremely methodical, and the targeting by key terms and locations was tested and proven. The viewing and sharing results exceeded all ticket presale and attendance expectations.

At FilmStruck, we began utilizing long-form clips of iconic film scenes paired with clever and engaging copy throughout social media platforms. Video length is timed to satisfy fan appetite while leaving them hungry to watch the whole film. It’s a nice organic transition into a free trial. The context speaks to cinephiles and the passion they have for indie, art house and foreign films. We’ve seen increased engagement in the form of shares, comments and free FilmStruck trials.

At The Social Shake-Up