It’s Alive: Marketing Your Small Business Through Live Tweeting-Nazar Kamangar/bridge consulting blogs
In the last five years the American public has largely moved away from watching live TV, thanks to the meteoric rise of the DVR. I’m certainly among those numbers; as a freelance writer I keep nontraditional working hours. Like 42% of Americans, I often record my favorite shows to watch them around my busy schedule. I rarely watch anything live, except for big events like the Super Bowl and the Oscars, because I like to be in tune with the cultural zeitgeist.
But over the past several months, savvy networks have begun encouraging social media interaction with their programming in order to encourage the audience to start watching live television once more. With the current prevalence of Twitter (people are even tweeting from space these days), pop culture aficionados can easily be part of a global conversation, and no one wants to be late to the party. Live competition shows like Dancing With The Stars proudly emblazon their hashtag (#dwts) in the corner of the screen, and post real-time reaction tweets from viewers during interview segments on the show. Other shows, including NBC’s smash hit The Voice employ social media correspondents who report throughout the show on what performances are trending in the Twittersphere. By creating and promoting their own hashtags, programmers are fostering a sense of excitement and turning every episode into event television.
With this new shift towards passionate people engaging in social media during live programming, it’s easy for businesses to engage with customers. It’s just a matter of finding popular shows that tie in with your business, monitoring tweets, and reaching out to people who are interested in this common ground. For example, the food bloggers behind Cardamom and Contrast (@CardamomBlog) tweeted their lukewarm reaction to the new show “Around The World In 80 Plates” using the Bravo-approved hashtag #80plates. Food and beverage container company Takeya USA (@TakeyaUSA) had clearly been monitoring the network-sanctioned hashtag, as the food content of the show dovetailed nicely with their line of products. They reached out and engaged with the people behind Cardamom and Contrast and agreed with their assessment, by mentioning an alternate route the show could have taken.
If you own a small business, and you’re having a difficult time knowing where to begin when it comes to engaging with potential customers, live tweeting is a great place to get your feet wet. Do what you would do at a cocktail party if you want to join an interesting group of people; stand to the side, observe and listen, and find a way to ingratiate yourself into the conversation by saying something interesting and relatable. With over 140 million users, you’re bound to find people on Twitter having conversations you want to be a part of. All you have to do is reach out and be relevant.