There are a number of things in the social space I’m looking forward to in 2012. One of them is the further integration of old and new media, particularly in the burgeoning field of Social TV
. I remember when it was applauded by MIT as one of the top emerging technologies. Two years later, we’ve seen it move rapidly to the front of industry conversation.
Last year, Gavin Purcell from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, explained on a SXSW panel how Social TV can work, and work well. The online world is incredibly diverse in terms of its users, and the range of platform choices we increasingly have. Oprah Winfrey, Ricki Lake and other tech-savvy stars have used as many tools as possible to identify their target audience, which helps tremendously with content. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a part of the new media team of bloggers for Ricki Lake, who is launching her show this fall on a Social TV platform).
|Image Courtesy of the Lorange Institute
Make no mistake: Social TV is here to stay, and will continue to evolve as companies figure out how to measure activity, and appeal to a wide variety of demographics. The launch of apple’s much buzzed about television, or iTV, will only increase the chatter, and accelerate innovation. As Alicia Elder wrote eloquently wrote last December, when it comes to Social TV, it’s about sharing and discovery. Here are a few things people should remember, and practice, to make sure their approach fits in with this “sharing and discovery” model:
(1) Connect Shows With All Aspects of Social Media
– This is crucial. Twitter is great not only for feedback, but to find groups that may identify with your message. The best way to do this is through the use of hashtags
. And don’t be afraid to think bigger…imagine using Foursquare
for a road trip you send two fans on to promote your show; GooglePlus
for a live, on-air opening of a business on the block; or Pinterest
as you chat with fashion designers about their new collections, and so on. Facebook, Chime.in
. Use all of it. Whatever platform is hot, you need to have a presence on it. Leave no stone unturned.
(2) Communicate with Online Fans and Supporters – Why set up a social entity if you are not going to talk with the people who support your operation and identify with your values? This is about finding ways to reach the true advocates, the people who believe in your brand. When they see that there is a concerted effort to listen to them, they become your staunch defenders. “Digital listening” is essential.
(3) Bring Your Audience into the Decision-Making Process
– If there is a pilot show in the works, or topic you want addressed, it is smart to ask for advice. You’re essentially giving your audience “part ownership” of the content. When someone sees a person they respect asking for help in social media, there is almost an immediate response. When filmmaker Kim Sherell
and journalist Betty Nguyen
engage their audience this way, I see nothing but positive results.
Simply put, there will be an explosion of excitement and anticipation as Social TV evolves. Success in the arena will depend heavily on creative content, and (direct) creative engagement with your audience.