When you’re watching a TV show, do you find yourself drifting to Twitter to see what other people are saying about the show? Or to vent about a plot line or reality show contestant? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. A recent study found that 62 percent of respondents browse social media while watching TV. One of the most talked about shows on Twitter is The Voice, with another recent study showing that it received 5.3 million mentions on Twitter in a period of just 4 months.
As we become increasingly accustomed to paying attention to two screens at once, marketeers are finding new ways to draw you into their social media web while you’re watching TV. With popular apps like GetGlue, which make watching TV a social experience, it’s no surprise that marketeers are constantly looking for ways to pull the social media attention in their direction. So how do they do this?
One of the most basic ways marketeers can draw the audience into their social media world is to suggest hashtags. Twitter hashtags are a great way to reach a wider audience on Twitter, or to find people interested in the same things as you.
When you’re watching a TV show, you’ll often see hashtags flash across the screen that can become a meeting point for all viewers on Twitter. Checking out the hashtag becomes an easy way to see if people are loving, hating and commenting on the same things you are. For the marketeer, it becomes a great way to create a bit of buzz for themselves, and in some cases become a trending topic.
Jimmy Fallon is one TV show host that has taken this concept to great heights. Jimmy Fallon’s Hashtag Game allows the viewer to participate in a more direct way using nothing more than Twitter. Every night, Fallon chooses a bizarre hashtag, and his viewers take to Twitter in droves. Fallon then reads out his favourite tweets on the show. Often, Fallon’s hashtags end up as trending topics, proving that it’s not just about getting viewers to participate in a more hands-on way, it also creates buzz for the show itself through the trending topic.
Some advertisers are going for more than just opinions and content crowdsourced on Twitter. With services like Vine and Instagram, some advertisers are getting their consumers to create their ads for them. It’s not surprising that a startup would think of doing this — with Airbnb crowdsourcing their first TV ad from Vine users.
TV Shows With Web Spin-Offs
One way we’re seeing the TV industry incorporate the Internet and social media is by encouraging viewers to click on their site, not just to see more exclusive clips, but to see an entire mini-TV show that is somehow tied in to their main offering. Top Chef Masters on Bravo TV, for example, is a cooking competition for professional chefs. On the Bravo website, you can keep up with an on-going contest between their Sous-Chefs.
The way Bravo TV tries to get you clicking on their website is by making the results of the sous-chef competition have direct impact on the main show. The sous-chef that wins is actually winning immunity for their master chef, while the bottom sous-chefs are earning their master chefs some sort of obstacle.
Voting Through Social Media
America’s Next Top Model has also taken to using social media as a way to impact the actual outcome of the show. Viewers can send in comments, videos and more to let the contestants know what they think of their photos in each challenge. But it doesn’t end there. Usually, three judges give their feedback and influence the decision on which model goes home each week. With the new setup, contestants also have a social media score. This means that viewers have a direct influence on the outcome of the show, and can make all the difference between who stays on the show, and who goes home.
— ANTM (@CW_ANTM) August 10, 2013
There are many creative marketing campaigns on Twitter. Here are 5 truly innovative ones worth reading about.
Can you think of other ways advertisers and TV show producers are breaking the fourth wall and bringing their audience into the mix through social media? Do you think we’re trying to do too much at once, and should only be focusing on one screen at a time? Is it possible to really appreciate a TV show with one eye on the Twitter screen? Let us know what you think in the comments.