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Focusing on the Small(er) Screen

April 1, 2011

The use of social media combined with TV is becoming increasingly more prevalent. A new survey by Harris Interactive shows that US adults are turning to social media more than ever to discuss and comment about programs they’ve recently watched. The survey also shows that 31% of adults interact using social media while watching a program, and we can expect this trend to continue as TV viewers increasingly engage in big-screen TV viewing with a small screen in hand (tablet, smartphone, netbook…)

TV networks have begun taking a more proactive approach in combining social media with traditional television as well. CBS plans to launch “Tweet Week” beginning April 3rd which will have its stars Tweet and take questions during their respective shows. Besides scripted programs it will also be used by NCAA tournament commentators to interact with viewers.

As more people choose to turn to social media to discuss media they consume, it is important for brands to create avenues to direct such chatter. CBS is using Twitter as the social media channel to spark conversation that is not only moderated by CBS but provides the community with a sense of ownership for the TV shows they watch.

This tactic of using celebrities/public figures to engage with the public on social media can be beneficial to brands that invest in entertainment or new product launches that people will generate buzz about.  Incorporating social media with another medium provides an opportunity for a brand to interact with their community while simultaneously spreading awareness around a particular launch.

This can work with a person or representative behind a brand to engage as well. For example, following a new fashion line launch, its designer can interact online via Twitter or Facebook regarding the launch or a food brand can use its top chef to discuss the new culinary offering.

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