I remember experiencing SocialGuide for the first time several years ago (back when it was a TV guide powered by Twitter). Its concept made so much sense and I actually used it quite often to discover popular shows on TV.
I seem to be expressing this more and more (said with a big sigh). When I started working in the social media marketing space in 2007, it was about having a direct and two-way connection with a brand’s customers. Dare I drop the word “authentic?”
Yet today, we see far too many examples where a brand’s social presence is merely a dumping ground for innocuous and superficial content. And many in the industry are becoming disheartened and increasingly speaking out.
Social media is at a cross-roads and it’s important to remind ourselves, as digital marketing professionals, that we’re the ones who are letting this happen. I totally dig Hubspot’s response to the Digiday post. It’s a timely reminder that each of us is still in the driver’s seat. And there remains a great deal of hope and promise for social media marketing.
But as part of getting it back on the rails, we need data and insights. And I’m so proud of the piece my colleagues Brad Blake and Noah King published in AdAge today. They underscore an important tenant of social media: Quality over quantity – and they use data to show how Facebook’s much criticized News Feed algorithm changes may actually be a good thing.
Advertising can be meaningful. And it’s not too late for our social networks. As brands and agencies, we've gotta take a harder look at what we're publishing to people's personal newsfeeds. Social media marketing is so much more than merely “increasing engagement.” It’s about instant human connection.
Photo: TVnext 2013 Voiceover Record on April 5, 2013
When the course ended, I got private coaching from Jordan Rich (who is absolutely awesome BTW) and have been working with him over the past couple of months on a demo – Actually two demos. One for commercials and another one for narrations. I’d love to know what you think…
I do have to say that although I’m immersed in the advertising industry everyday as part of my marketing career, after having gone through class and coaching, I have a new appreciation for the voiceover business. (As an aside, definitely watchIn A World if you haven’t yet. ;-)
NBC’s head of research, Alan Wurtzel, had some blunt words about Twitter’s claims to drive TV tune-in. “it just isn’t true,” he told the Financial Times earlier this week.
Twitter’s response? During the company’s earning’s call yesterday, CEO Dick Costolo said this citing a number of research studies proving it to be true.
So who’s right? Perhaps both. There’s no doubt that TV shows drive Twitter conversation AND, at the same time, helps to drive tune-in – It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. To what degree? That’s the question that ultimately needs to be figured out.
I contributed a couple of comments to a recent ClickZ post about Target’s second screen stunt with TBS’s Cougar Town.
To expand a bit more, while I think it’s a really good thing for brands to try and find ways to break through TV audiences’ increasing distraction, I continue to wonder what it’ll take for third-party second screen apps to actually scale…to matter to mass audiences.
Outside of Twitter, second screen "social TV" apps have failed to attract mass repeat users. Remember Philo, Miso, GetGlue, and IntoNow? They’re gone now. And similar apps like Viggle and Zeebox aren’t exactly making waves lately.
Research tells us that most of our second screen multitasking has nothing to do with the TV shows we're watching. But when it does, we're primarily using Twitter (and other mainstream social media) to connect and express with others in real-time.
This is why we’ll continue to see specialized second screen apps pivot, fold, or sell-out as the industry has matures around Twitter (and potentially Facebook) as the de facto app that mainstream audiences use while watching television.
The exceptions to this are second screen apps that are purposefully built for inherently interactive TV shows (i.e. NBC’s Million Second Quiz). I still think there’s a strong use case for these genres of television. TBS’s Cougar Town isn't quite the Home Shopping Network — Most people who tune-in to that show aren't exactly in the mindset to buy a brand's product placements on the spot. They're simply trying to unwind by (hopefully) being entertained by a semi-mindless sitcom.
This season of American Idol has turbo charged its contestant lower-thirds with 3 ways to connect with the talent -- on Twitter, Instagram, and........Google+.
On one hand this is a smart move knowing that different viewers have different social networks of preference. On the other hand, it begs the question of whether or not we're cluttering our TV screens to appear highly social. I was struck by one of the contestants on-air comments to the effect that he's still figuring out Instagram yet FOX is pimping his handle just the same.
Not sure where this will go but one thing is quite evident: Google is clearly trying to get a piece of the social TV pie with its search-based voting integration and prime lower-third real-estate.
Within 24 hours, my DVR’d TV shows (as well as live TV) were available to watch on my iPad using the brand new (and super slick) Xfinity TV iOS app – as long as I’m within my home WiFi network. The exception to that (rule) is probably my favorite feature which is the ability to “take to go” recorded shows by downloading them to your mobile device.
Recorded playback works similar to a standard DVR – you can, essentially, fast forward and rewind and thus advance past commercials if you so choose (just like a regular DVR).
As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s these kinds of features which adds tremendous value to one’s existing cable subscription and, ultimately, I believe will lead to even more TV consumption as television content becomes more and more portable and accessible. That was the promise of “TV everywhere” years ago and its vision is rapidly coming to fruition.
Anyway, here's what I wrote in its original form before all this news hit...
Here are 5 things in the social TV landscape that I think will either be a big #hit or a big #miss in 2014.
Second Screen Apps #miss: Lots of consolidation has been happening with social TV companies, the biggest of which was in the analytics sector in late 2012 and 2013 (SocialGuide, Bluefin Labs, Trendrr). Second screen TV apps will be a #miss this year as many will pivot, fold, or sell-out as the industry has matured around Twitter as the de facto app that mainstream audiences use while watching television. The one exception is second screen apps that are purposefully built for inherently interactive TV shows (i.e. NBC’s Million Second Quiz).
Snapchat #hit: As younger audiences flock to Snapchat, it's the perfect platform for fans to connect and get "bite sized" pieces of content from their favorite TV series in between episode airings. HBO's Girls is already paving the way for many more shows with teen and young adult followings to innovate on Snapchat as the breakout social TV #hit of 2014.
Brands + RTM #miss: Many brands continue to think that preying on big TV events in social media by live tweeting innocuous witticisms is an effective real-time marketing strategy. Without relevance and value, this is nothing more than pollution of the social TV backchannel. Yet we’ll unfortunately see more of this #miss in 2014. Brands that have restraint and are smart about when and how to engage in real-time are the ones who will be a #hit this year.
OTT Original Series #hit: With recognition at the 2013 Emmys and this year’s Golden Globe awards, Netflix Original Series have been recognized as being on par with the best of network and cable television. This momentum will lead to notable developments in the TV everywhere space, perhaps even tipping HBO to offer its HBO GO library as a stand-alone subscription service.
Aereo #hit and #miss: With the Supreme Court set to hear (and rule on) the Aereo case, its outcome has many consequences which makes it both a #hit and a #miss. But I’d argue that ultimately this is a bit #hit for the future of television as it’s yet another (positive) disruption in the marketplace (like OTT Original Series) that accelerates innovation in favor of consumers.
With the social TV space continuing to evolve so quickly, I cannot wait to see what next week (let alone next year) has in store...