Most of us already know how to share our whereabouts, interests and random thoughts through Facebook and Twitter, but have you started checking-in to your favorite television shows yet (you can earn stickers!)? Have you logged in to a channel’s website to chat with talent and other fans live throughout an episode? Have you joined the hashtag conversation and had your tweet aired in real time?
All of this is now possible, as TV goes social. Most networks and cable channels have finally accepted the fact that we are all multitasking, which means we are on our laptops while we are watching TV. The smart ones have learned to capitalize on this. Social TV check-in sites such as www.Miso.com and www.GetGlue.com allow networks to create pages on their sites for popular shows where fans can “check-in” (as you would on Foursquare) and share what they are watching with their friends. GetGlue will send you a bunch of stickers when you reach a certain plateau; Miso will unlock exclusive content for you. Overall, it’s a good deal for everyone.
If you’re not into letting people know that you watch The Bachelor every Monday, you can still participate in the revolution by becoming one of the millions of viewers who log on to sites like WE tv’s Sync or NBC Live to chat with other fans as your program of choice airs. These dual-screen applications are being utilized by networks to increase engagement, drive fans to their websites and social platforms and keep viewers from changing the channel during commercial breaks. Being able to sell ad space on them is an additional perk as well.
Lastly, for those of us wanting our 15 minutes of Twitter fame, more and more shows are soliciting tweets from their audience during episodes, which they then showcase live on-air. Having been in the control room pulling tweets myself, I can tell you it’s not an easy task, but it’s a proven driver for gaining brand followers.
So, the next time you sit on the couch with your laptop and remote, think about the fun ways you can bridge the gap between your TV and your computer. It’s the next big thing and you don’t want to be left behind, after all…