Every time a new technology ascends we imagine it will mean the death knell for whichever technology was king of the hill.
But is this always the case? And will social media mean the death of television?
Let’s take a look back first, I suppose we could start with the gramophone, people worried then that this would mean the end of live music. But as we have found out, live music is not so easily killed off, and in fact it could be said that the gramophone and it’s descendants have promoted live music!
Television and in particular MTV may have killed off some radio stars but they certainly did not mean the end for the radio itself, nor did it mean that every music star had to be attractive to be successful, Susan Boyle is one of many proofs of that!
But of course some technologies have been made redundant by others, who do you know that still uses magnetic tapes or floppy discs to back up their data?
So is social media strangling TV? And if it is what does that mean for businesses?
In my view social media is having the same effect on TV as gramophones did on music. It allows larger groups of people to share the experience. This sharing enhances a lot of viewing experiences, as the mother of an eleven year old girl I have no choice but to watch Britain’s Got Talent and I find it is so much more fun when I can read the comments that range from the enthusiastic to the down-right sarcastic!
Of course this is not the only way social media helps television, people often recommend programmes through their twitter or Facebook accounts, and there are now sites like GetGlue and Miso which encourage this kind of sharing and build recommendations for you based on the programmes you already watch and like.
But what does all this mean for your social media marketing?
Should you start posting about your business at 8.30 on a Saturday night, and if you are advertising on TV should you stop bothering because everyone you want to be watching your advert has their head down and is tapping away?
When it comes to TV adverts they are actually more likely to be effective when a show that people want to experience with social media is on, this is because people are watching it live so cannot fast forward through the adverts, in fact I distinctly remember posts saying that the Yeo Valley Rappers should win the XFactor – that’s the kind of buzz marketers dream of!
If you can tie promotion of your company into whichever programme is causing a social media buzz all well and good, but remember people are using social media socially at this time … So posting numerous messages designed to promote you business won’t make you more popular.
It might be worth posting links to your blog or to other interesting articles as there will be people watching under duress that want nothing more than to let at least one eye escape to their iPad and a good article! But on the whole this is a time for you to be social and engage with people on a purely human level, share who you are and enjoy who they are. if they do become customers the fact that you are serving people you enjoy interacting with socially will enhance your enjoyment of your business!