For those who are not familiar, live tweeting is when television viewers share their TV viewing experiences with others via Twitter. People use live tweeting to find other people who have similar interests that are watching the same television show as them and communicate their opinions and thoughts on the show as it is airing in real time. TV shows have always been a popular source of conversation, but now people can have the conversation while they are actually viewing the show. They can have the experience of watching TV with other people without being physically together.
Social TV has turned watching TV into an interactive experience. TV programs and networks encourage viewers to tweet along with the show, use a certain hashtag, and some even display the tweets on the screen during the show. Live tweeting can connect people to their friends, celebrities, content creators, and all of the other fans of the show.
An initial analysis of social TV done by Neilsen revealed three main findings, “First, there’s a broad age and gender distribution across programming. Second, there are significant differences in the age and gender profiles of Tweeters across programming types. Most importantly, Twitter enables TV networks and advertisers to reach audiences beyond their core demographics." These findings prove that it is not only teenagers and young adults that are participating in live tweeting; there is a wide range of ages and genders that are sharing their opinions with the social media world as they watch an episode of their favorite show.
Advertisers can use live tweeting as another platform to connect with their consumers on a new level. Companies can determine what programs their consumers/target audience are viewing and while the show is airing, they can sponsor tweets, offer discounts and coupons, and interact with their consumers. Live tweeting allows advertisers to accompany their traditional TV advertisements and engage in conversation with their consumers. Television viewers that are on Twitter at the time of an episode will be exposed to even more of the brand’s messaging and promotions.
Some basic tips for brands that are looking to participate in live tweeting with sponsored tweets include:
(1) Participate in real-time events
(2) Add interesting visuals whenever possible
(3) Incorporate vines or other videos
(4) Tweet with links and hashtags receive more engagement ]
(5) Occasionally ask followers to retweet
(6) Shorter tweets are more engaging
(7) Be real, witty, and transparent
Smart phones and tablets allow us to act on any impulse at any time. We have limitless information available to us with the touch of a finger or a click of a button. We can look up the answer to any question and purchase any product we want immediately. So for example, if a user is on Twitter live tweeting an episode of The Bachelor on ABC, and Victoria’s Secret sends out a sponsored tweet using The Bachelor hashtag with a special promotion or deal, anyone who is interested can immediately go to the site through the tweet and take advantage of the sale. Advertisers looking to reach a certain type of audience can include themselves in the Twitter conversations while people are tweeting and watching a specific show.
By targeting the right audiences for their advertisements, marketers are able to deliver messaging to people that will actually be interested in their product and will be the most receptive to the ad. Advertisers need to keep up with the change in broadcast media by being responsive and staying relevant to their customers. The more that a person is aware of a brand; the more likely they are to purchase that brand over another. Using social TV to market a product or brand is a great way for advertisers to infiltrate the consumer’s viewing experience with brand content and connect with their consumers.