So, you’re huddled up on the couch and ready for your night’s television entertainment…remote control in one hand…and your mobile phone or laptop in the other. The way we consume media has changed drastically; and people are feeling more compelled to not only share their feelings about what they watch on TV with the person sitting beside them; but also with their entire online community of friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. The integration of our engagement with the television and social networks is highly overlooked; and there are many ways we are missing opportunities to create high impact with our customers.
I speak from experience as a die hard fan of the XFactor and (shamefully) the Irish Apprentice; and it is now just as important for me to have my community handy while watching these programs should I feel the need to complain about Danni Minogue’s hair style or Bill Cullen’s overuse of the word “liathroidi.” By the looks of things, Twitter is the network where most conversation is taking place; but several friends also express their thoughts on Facebook come the end of a program.
So how do I find other people talking about XFactor, the Apprentice, or other TV programs?
Well, everyone’s talking about them…so that’s easy enough; but when it comes to Twitter, the use of Hashtags is extremely important if we want our “tweets” to appear to a wider audience of people, who may or may not already follow you.
Simply visit Search.Twitter.com and search for #apprentice or #xfactor. (Or search these Hashtags in your mobile phone application). Searching for a Television program using one of the hashtag allows you to find every other person that has added this tag to their Post and easily view a live stream of comments and a world of commentary that enhances your television viewing experience.
Create your own Hashtag for topics that you feel strongly about. Consider the amount of people who love “the Breffmeister” on the Apprentice. His silly comments that have made him famous now have a number of Twitter users also using Hashtags such as #breffmania and #breffnywatch to encourage other users to share their thoughts on him. Similarly, you’ll find plenty of people tweeting about #Jedward or even #JedwardtoGo during the Xfactor.
Follow those users that have interesting or funny things to say. You’ll also find that you meet the same people tweeting during the programs as you did the week before; and your ongoing interaction is likely to lead you to become followers of one another. Here’s where I feel there is a place for brands in this engagement. Consider how DrinkAware.ie (www.twitter.com/drinkaware_ie) were tweeting live during last week’s Apprentice, where there was any reference to their brand. Any program sponsors or those with ads during the breaks should find an opportunity to make a relevant comment about the program that their target audience values.
So what does this mean for marketers going forward?
Well we must not ignore how our offline media plans must be closely integrated with our online activity. A lot of us are doing this already; but perhaps there is room for further integration when you consider how your social media Content should align with the content of a particular television program or ad appearing during a program.
Additionally, I think we need to encourage our client’s brands to start engaging with content that may not be directly relevant to our product; but rather is extremely relevant to our target audience. Hey, I really like the XFactor so if I meet a brand in Facebook or Twitter that also takes the time to discuss this program; this will only strengthen my relationship with the brand.
Overall, we need to think outside the box…and that means thinking outside our TV boxes; and considering the engagement our audience is having with a television program online or on their mobile phone. I hope to see more brands having the “liathroidi” to tell me what they think of Mr. Bill; or at least engaging with the things that are relevant to their target audience.