Social Media Becomes a News Source
During the 2012 Olympic Games, the six-hour delay in event coverage didn’t stop Americans from knowing the latest and greatest event standings and results. During the Olympics, more than 150 million tweets were broadcast on the international stage that is Twitter. And even before NBC’s Games webpage or apps could spread the news, the world already knew. How so? Social media.
We’re seeing it more and more: news breaking on Twitter or Facebook before it ever interrupts prime time television. And, boy, do we like it.
Are you just now noticing the hashtags that have become as commonplace as network logos on the bottom of your flatscreen? You are not alone. The trend of social TV has gained enormous traction in 2012, and will only continue to grow as the number of people watching TV and accessing mobile devices simultaneously continues to rise.
An example? During the August 28th finale of the ABC Family show “Pretty Little Liars,” more than 1.6 million tweets came in using the promoted hashtag during the hour-long episode. And, if you break that down, that’s more than 450 tweets per second.
Thinking outside the box…literally
We love brands using conventional channels in different ways. Take Peugeot, for example. The French car company’s Pinterest boards take the highly visual nature of the ever-popular social media site, and use it to their advantage in a way few, if any other, brands have. Don’t be confined by the seeming parameters of a social channel. Like Peugeot, you can find a way to MacGyver in some flair to your social properties.
Give people data, even when they don’t realize it. Would you like to know a brief history of trucks? There’s an infographic for that. How about a kitchen cheat sheet that shows all metric conversions, cooking methods, refrigeration organization and more? Give people the information you want to tell in a new, fun way that is highly shareable. Not only will you position your brand as an expert in, well, something, but you could have the next viral infographic, worthy of a “Like”.
Automatic Social Media Activated Discounts
However proud we may be of the awesome dinner deal we’re about to score, presenting a crumpled up coupon to the server at the end of a meal can really put a damper on a romantic evening. Credit card company American Express found a way to avoid this little buzz-kill using social media. They recently launched Twitter and Foursquare integrations that enable cardholders to sync their cards with social accounts in order to redeem in-store discounts and offers with a simple tweet or check-in. For example, an AmEx cardholder who syncs their card with Twitter can re-tweet a special offer hashtag (say for $5 off dinner at Tom+Chee) and the discount will automatically be applied to their synced card. So, you can say goodbye to those pesky printouts, coupons and promo codes and hello to easy savings.