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The Second Screen phenomenon – marketing and social TV

Written by: Thomas Praus November 17, 2011  

Not long ago, many people thought TV was going to die. Too much of a one-way-communication, so much competition from games, apps, and internet video content were reasons to believe that the big TV and entertainment companies were on a similar way like the music industry: Bound in old structures and thinking, unable to adapt to the changes coming with the social evolution of technology.

Today, in all European countries we see a rise in TV consumption and experience the fascinating “Second Screen” phenomenon which describes the simultaneous use of the internet while watching TV. Big TV events flood Twitter and Facebook with updates on the content, be it “X factor” in the UK, “Germany’s next topmodel”, the football worldcup or the last episode of “Lost”. TV at this point serves the need of a society to have some common subjects and events to be consistent and together, which is rather a contradiction to the common thesis of a fragmented society due to personalization and myriads of media consumption possibilities.

So, TV is stronger than ever because of the many ways to consume the content, with different devices and services. If you want to know more about the rise of tablet use in TV consumption and the correlation between device and engagement, we recommend you read the Q3 report by technology and analysis firm Ooyala and here you can watch an interesting and entertaining speech by Christy Tanner from tvguide.com from the Mashable Media Summit 2011.

This is also great for marketing, especially from a social perspective. With popular TV content come stories and celebrities, signals and pieces of identity placed in millions of minds and conversations. Conversations that take place online and which are perfect to plug in with creative ideas and campaigns. This is especially true for TV content producers (read some advice and examples at Mashable) but also for advertisers and marketers. There were never so many chances to create true transmedial storytelling and integrated social campaigns. So what can you do? Here are some random ideas:

* Find tv content that fits your brand and your target group and try to shape campaign ideas around popular content

* Plug into online conversations and sum up opinions, link to interesting and popular blogposts and tweets

* Comment on stories and present visual summaries on your own digital channels

* If you advertise around popular tv shows, run online activities that have something to do with that show so you can drive fans from that show to your content

* Cooperate with a tv show and try to present exclusive content online or make use of the characters online

* Make use and cooperate with one of the many tv checkin services like GetGlue or Miso.

* Prolonge and extend content online, let users retell and shape the story, run contents to find entertaining alternative ways of telling the story

* Give the fans of your brand the chance to interact with their stars with your help because you can make a connection

What kind of examples do you know where campaigns made smart use of TV content, transmedial storytelling and social media?