What’s the buzz on Social TV?

by Mariesa Negosanti

Many social media users have heard the term “What’s the buzz on Twitter?” or even used it themselves when describing the latest trends. Similarly, “What’s on TV?” is also a universal phrase. Combine the two technologies of Twitter and television and you get, quite simply, Social TV.

Social TV has become a buzzword in the industry, referring to technologies surrounding television that promote communication and social interaction related to program content. The approach to incorporating social media with TV programming varies from network to network, and even show to show.

There are essentially two main types of TV targeting you can do on Twitter: TV ad targeting and TV conversation targeting. TV ad targeting allows you to start a conversation through the commercials you air on TV, raising awareness to your fan base. Then, you can continue the same conversation on Twitter and actually engage with fans directly.

As the most tweeted about series of all time, Pretty Little Liars is a great example of a show that does this well. All of their commercials and promos leading up to the show include a main hashtag that they want the fans to use. From there, fans explode into theories, predictions, and desires of what they think will happen in the next episode.

With the second type of TV targeting, TV conversation targeting, you can deliver Tweets to people talking about a TV show. Twitter can identify people that have tweeted about or engaged with specific shows, that way actors and and networks can engage with their audience in real time.

According to Twitter Inc., 70% of Tweets about TV are viewed during the broadcast window. Pretty Little Liars takes advantage of this by incorporating hashtags into their live broadcasts. When something big is discovered, they will have a hashtag appear on the screen so that viewers can follow what their fellow fans are thinking. In turn, it creates more buzz and excitement around the show.

Most networks today are using this Social TV to create and promote TV-related hashtags that fans use to discuss shows they love. While the use of Social TV is obviously beneficial for the many networks using these tools, it’s also beneficial to marketers who are now able to connect relevant messages to TV-related conversations. With the immense success that Twitter has in the TV-world, perhaps we should keep our eyes out for live hashtags on the big screens, too.

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