Riding the open social graph


zeebox is an innovative start-up with social media built into the very heart of the product, business model and user experience.

The free zeebox app brings the power of the web and social networks to live TV, making it a more immersive and social experience than ever before.

To zeebox, social is not about collecting followers and likes (their numbers are just the tip of the social iceberg) – it’s about multiplying and deepening engagements and extending the zeebox experience.

Because they leverage the power of existing social networks to fuel their own, zeebox is one of our Social Heroes.

On the Web: zeebox.com/uk/
On Twitter: @zeebox
On Facebook: facebook.com/zeeboxtv


Max Bleyleben, Co-Founder, on the social product

Social networks are an integral part of the zeebox product. People log in to zeebox using either Twitter or Facebook. That imports their social graph so they can see what their friends are watching and invite their friends to join them.

In a way, zeebox is itself a new kind of social network. But instead of competing with existing channels, we harness their power. One example: the zeebox app taps into the ‘open social graph’ functions of Twitter and Facebook to access user’s friends and followers, then leads them back to zeebox.

On celebrity power

We also have something called Star Watch. We track over 1,000 celebrities in the UK and when they tweet about a program, we know they’re watching and add their tweets to the twitter stream in the zeebox iPad or iPhone app and the program page on the web.

So when you fire up zeebox, you not only see your friends and people you follow on Facebook, you also see what celebrities are saying about the show. We also have celebrities tweeting from within zeebox which adds a whole new dimension.

On lead generation

If you think about it, Twitter is a great lead generator but, for TV shows, there’s nowhere for that lead to go. No destination. When a celebrity tweets from within the zeebox app, it attaches a link to a unique program page on the web. So followers have a show-specific destination to click through to. It closes the lead-gen loop in Twitter. And it generates a LOT of traffic for us.

On the web, the zeebox show page lives forever – so there are hundreds of thousands of pages and they rank really well on Google because they have fresh, relevant content about each program.

On social innovation

We were the first company to use the ‘watch’ verb in the new Facebook. So if you change channels from within zeebox, it’s posted to your Facebook timeline, pulling people back to zeebox. This drives a huge amount of traffic – about a quarter of people who see these posts click through to check it out.

So we’re using both Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to zeebox and uptake of the app.

We don’t invest a lot in our public Facebook and Twitter presences – but it’s all integrated. Most of our users have come from traffic that comes out of zeebox, then brings people back in.

Next we’ll be adding Twitter Buzz and Sentiment features so people can get an idea of how a program is being received.

#Social Success Lessons

  • Think of ways to integrate social into your product, not just your marketing
  • Ask people to sign in to your content using Twitter or Facebook
  • Use the open social graph to extend your reach
  • Think beyond followers or friends
  • Watch how the social innovators leverage their customers’ social graphs

Read about more of our Social Heroes.

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