Utilizing Social TV

Multiscreen media isn’t a new concept, I’ve been twitter ranting during football games for years, and advertisers have long known that consumers no longer limit themselves to one screen. Smartphones and tablets make it even easier to stay wired in at all times, so Social TV was a natural evolution. In a recent poll, over 62% of respondents admitted to browsing social media while watching television, not after, and of that 62%, 25% say they discuss what they are watching.

Marketers are finally jumping on these consumers by offering Social TV – programing that supports social interaction within the context of television. They’ve realized now that the idea is not to compete with social media (because who can compete with a constant stream of the latest cat video) but to exploit this consumer habit. Facebook and Google+ are both favored among the Social TV strategies, but Twitter is by far the most popular. More shows are offering “live tweet” programming where viewers can respond to posed questions or follow the chatter with hashtags and even see their tweet on screen.

Social media not only helps to improve program ratings, but the effectiveness of TV ad sales, media buys and even audience measurement as well. The integration of social media into ads encourage viewers to interact with the spot rather than sit as a passive couch potato. This extends the brand story beyond television and into social media where the viewer can further investigate a product or brand and share it within their chosen medium.

As Business Insiders noted, with thousands participating with Social TV, it “can be like having a thousands-strong focus group at your finger tips.” Marketers see instant feedback which can streamline placement and target insight which both will optimize advertisements. Facebook, Twitter, all of the social media platforms, are here to stay and with the sourcing of Social TV the television market is about to become a lot more engaging.

Sources: Ericsson, August 2012

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