By now, you’ve probably noticed the “tell us what you think on twitter or facebook” messages that seem to be running all over your television screens. This is the most basic level of “social TV,” an attempt by networks to increase audience loyalty and engagement by creating places for fans to hang out.
A number of startups are working both with and against television networks to take the social TV experience to the next level. Companies such as GetGlue, Loyalize and Miso are working on audience participation platforms that include polls, quizzes, games, and loyalty points.
As a brand, it’s important to remember what these companies actually do. These companies aren’t content producers. They piggy-back off of existing content and create a secondary market for that content using quizzes, games and social capital.
So when you’re engaging with these companies as a brand, it’s important to consider the opportunities of the secondary market, which are different from the opportunities in traditional television advertising.
The most important innovation is in collecting viewer information.
Social TV companies are collecting an incredible amount of data about when people watch shows, who they communicate with while they’re watching, what they communicate, and how long they stay engaged afterwards.
In the “old days”, the Nielsen rating system was a good indicator of your audience’s viewing behavior and habits. However, Smartphones, tablets and computers have changed the way people watch televised content. People are no longer bound to only a physical television set to watch tv.
This secondary market engages its users in an entirely different way. So rating and analyzing this market requires a different system altogether.
Now, social TV initiatives track the behavior of every single engaged user. A smart brand will take advantage of their analytics to understand what different demographics are looking for.
By understanding not only what viewers best respond to in a program but also where viewers live, brands can improve their product placement initiatives. Brands can now touch their viewers through all digital channels. So stretch your digital fingers and start socializing with your viewers.