I have no doubt that in recent months you have been watching your favorite TV show and noticed in the right hand corner of the screen a hashtag making its way in and out of the show. There are generally two types of reactions to the hashtag — viewers either ignore it or engage with it. With such high numbers of the population actively engaging in social media, the move to make every aspect of our lives connected, in real time, has made its way to our television sets.
I sort of feel like my grandmother when I ask questions like, “Is this a thing kids are doing now?” but it’s a legitimate question. I know cable networks are pushing for engagement (as I just stated that’s obvious by the flashing hashtags at the bottom of our TV screens), but are viewers really responding? The answer, for now, seems to be yes. Fans seem to be enjoying being a part of their favorite shows ‘community and conversation. Television networks are aware of the influence social media has on our culture and they are using it to their advantage to build relationships, drive viewership and personalize their brand. Even commercials are featuring hashtags of name brands — it’s unavoidable. Social media has officially become part of every aspect of our lives.
So back to the question at hand, “Is social TV really a thing now?” The simple answer is yes. Social TV is indeed trending and until social media influence slows down, I wouldn’t expect social TV to go anywhere. So settle into your couch, tune into your favorite show, get your smartphones or laptops out and get ready to tweet because it’s going to be an interesting conversation…an online, real time conversation.