TV executives have discovered the power of Twitter. At first, they used it to just to send promotional messages to fans. Then they found it was a useful tool to gauge viewer reactions and interest in a show. Now, they’re using Twitter to make people a part of the show and that’s where The X-Factor comes in.
Simon Cowell’s American Idol look-alike series is about to break new ground by giving viewers the option of voting by Twitter. Cowell, once a Twitter scoffer, now takes the social media site very seriously. An article in the New York Times states that Cowell not only reads the Twitter comments about his show, he also acts upon the feedback immediately in order to satisfy the biggest audience. With the new, Twitter voting system, Tweeters will have more power over the show than ever.
The article states that The X-Factor tie-in didn’t cost Cowell’s company a cent. It’s Twitter’s belief that the additional press for them is worth the cost of any maintenance on their end. It’s a good bet. With Twitter handles popping up on screen and online for every show on television, resistance is futile.
In a similar vein, GetGlue just added a Conversations tab to their pages which updates in real time. When you check in to a show, the tab presents you with a way of writing a continuous stream of comments and it also returns a filtered list of comments from Twitter. “So you can stay on top of on what is going on Twitter without leaving GetGlue,” says the company blog. Smart.
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Twitter is the perfect TV companion app because it allows you to tell the world what you’re thinking the moment that you think it. Forget writing a six paragraph review on your blog, make your point by posting to Twitter every five minutes throughout the run of an episode. (And if you think no one really does that, let me introduce you to my friends.) In this instance, micro-blogging refers only to the length of each line, not the overall submission.
The tricky part of all of this is turning a one-way stream into a two-way conversation. Despite attempts to make it so, communicating back and forth on Twitter isn’t easy. GetGlue hopes that their new system will make it so, but it has a ways to go. Right now most people are still posting one-off, unrelated messages but it’s a new concept, so give it time.
From a marketing perspective, it’s all about putting the brand name in front of as many people as possible, and for that, Twitter is king.