How television channels are using Social Media?

Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and YouTube have been extremely helpful for online promotion of brands, but television channels were never excited about their usage until a year back.

Today, the impact of social media on the conventional forms of media has been to such an extent that even television channels are making their presence felt on web. Television channels are using the power of social media to increase the popularity of the shows.

Social Media is changing the way audience engage with everything from televisions to phones. People are often found multitasking on digital devices while in front of a television set and sharing with their friends. Social media provides new platforms that enable TV networks to grow audiences, build brand equity and establish cross-platform loyalty programs. Moreover, TV networks and content providers can use new social-platforms to drive tune-in and engagement and begin to quantify the value of second screen advertising dollars.

People were glued to internet and social media websites following this year’s Earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan in March. NBC, for example, last year launched a network loyalty program in which social media plays a vital role. It is a platform to interact and discuss NBC shows. The viewers can watch videos, chat online with other parallel users and also join in various discussions online.

Now, if we take another example in the Indian context, reality shows have become a source of entertainment as well as news to people. MTV Roadies, which has got more than 14 lakh fans on its Facebook page, posts news about the show, contestants, videos, discussions and polls regularly.

Apart from entertainment players like MTV, Channel V who have integrated polls, contests, event promotions several news channels have caught up. The leading English news channel NDTV has created an entire social media outlook for itself called NDTVSOCIAL. To create engagement, whenever a reporter is featured on TV, their name and URL is flashed on a ribbon, in contrast to only name previously. So, reporters are creating their own personal brands through blogs, twitter etc. Also, celebrities on social media have become a trend now and we can see that every other day, a new celebrity joins Facebook or Twitter. Priyanka Chopra, Karan Johar, Amitabh Bachchan are a few examples of celebrities who are regular on twitter.

Social Media has acquired an irreplaceable stand for itself in the field of online marketing in many aspects. Not much time has elapsed since CNN adopted the iReport strategy but over the span of 3 years, this has surely allowed the viewers to have first-hand participation in terms of news reporting, discussions and interacting with people across the globe. You Tube is one such platform that CNN resorted to when it came to generating presidential debates or even covering the mishap at the Indian Hotel for the terrorist siege along with Twitter and Flickr.

If we take the entertainment channels/production houses, a lot of these are going the social media way. Various TV series have their Facebook pages, twitter handles to keep people updated on the latest happenings in the show and engage them in discussions. Take for example, the famous Indian series CID. It has a dedicated Facebook Page which has daily updates on the show as well as there are posts which people can engage in discussions on. Another channel, UTV Bindaas recently updated its microsite Bindaas Buddies, an online community where students from different colleges share tips, reviews and engage in various discussions. So, we can see how TV channels are now targeting its audience. UTV Bindaas’s Emotional Attyachar has been widely promoted through Facebook similarly. Star Movies regularly engages its audience by holding contests on its Facebook Page around new movie releases and put up free movie tickets and other prizes.

Over the period, TV networks are using these channels to provide an extended platform for capturing content through social media thereby encouraging the readers and viewers to put forward their opinions through the social media tools. As a result social media has now become strategically very important for such platforms and has been an integral part of any television programme.

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