By Lewis Shields, Flagship, for PepperDigital
Picture this: a Tuesday night in, your favourite cooking show on TV, cell phone beside you and laptop on your knees. Your attention switches between catching up on Facebook, sending texts and learning a great new recipe for bouillabaisse.
The recipe impresses and you decide to serve it at Friday’s dinner party. Meanwhile, up pops a wine recommendation (Muscadet – 2009) on Facebook for that very same recipe from a drinks retailer you Liked two months ago when they had a fan drive competition. The message is powerful because it is timely and relevant – two core propositions for social media success – and will certainly resonate if you’re in search of a new wine to serve with your bouillabaisse.
One of the key digital trends predicted for 2012 is the increase of second screen engagement marketing – and it’s not just for the millennials. Watching TV is now little done as a standalone activity with research from Nielsen showing that 86% of people are using their mobile devices at the same time, with 30% of consumers actually looking up something related to the show they’re watching.
As social media accounts for the majority of time spent online, it’s only logical to assume that while your customers are catching up on their soaps, sports and sitcoms, they’ll also have one eye on the social sphere.
TV shows in the UK have already cottoned on to the fact that viewers are taking to social forums to discuss them. It’s now common for the relevant # to be displayed during a show to help viewers tap into online conversations. Similarly, many blogs and online publications have taken to live tweeting and blogging during shows (the recently finished UK XFactor being a particular favourite) to provide commentary, which in turn increases the number of viewers talking about a show online.
Tapping into these conversations allows brands to communicate with their audiences whilst they’re in ‘lifestyle mode’; when they’re enjoying their downtime and aren’t necessarily looking to purchase at that moment. This is a dangerous territory for brands to infiltrate as just one irrelevant sales message has the capacity to result in unfollows and negative perceptions. However, if done correctly it can build emotional ties with consumers that will provide real long term loyalty benefits.
Brands looking to tap into this trend need to keep social etiquette very much front of mind and focus on loyalty and like-mindedness by following the rules:
- Do not interject with irrelevant details
- Do not shout
- Do not sell
- Add value
- Be relevant
By monitoring online conversations brands can quite easily identify the types of shows their consumers are watching. This can inform a content calendar allowing brands to engage with relevant information during the show. This can be taken to the next level by brands developing more official relationships with TV shows to create co-branded apps that can host and facilitate content and discussions.
Real-time social media engagement, tying in with the lifestyles and interests of consumers is a powerful marketing force that will no doubt turn 2012 into a TV show/social media pairing ‘appstraviganza’. Companies are already beginning to tune in to second screen engagement marketing, with the likes of eBay working on an app which will sync with TV shows allowing users to purchase products on screen.
Second screen marketing is certainly one to watch in the coming year, with the likes of the London Olympics, as well as the many reality talent shows expected to lead the way. However, although this trend seems a natural fit for many B2C brands, it will be interesting to see how this trend filters into the B2B market as business adjust to the changing nature of customer communications.