The Social TV Battle- Apples VS Oranges

Social TV, Twitter and Facebook Social TV, Facebook TV, Twitter TV

Facebook versus Twitter: The news of the Social TV battle has been abuzz with debate, conjecture and analysis across the board. On a recent interview, I was asked “Who do you think is going to be the long term winner between the two?” “Who will lead in gaining TV Ad spend share?”

The question represents a rather myopic view of emerging TV. There is no one winner between the two big platforms- and neither offers one specific holy grail for Social TV. The truth is that both will see their fair share of TV advertising spend if initiatives are developed with deference to audience behaviors. Facebook and Twitter are differing platforms with differing advantages and disadvantages when it comes to socialization and interactivity in correlation to entertainment viewing. Their potential and utilization by audiences will always be different as should be their development goals for the TV space.

The past few months have seen many articles in circulation that pose the debate over who has more TV chatter or propose diverse claims regarding one platform’s merits versus the other. Similarly, the two organizations themselves have evangelized based on developments and metrics that seem to mirror one another. It is an example of very in-the-box thinking that is occurring. Twitter is not Facebook. Facebook is not Twitter. Comparing the two is like trying to compare apples versus oranges. They should be viewed as separate means to sometimes similar and sometimes differing ends.

The how/where/when/why of audiences in regards to social media is a study in human nature and sociology that is highly subjective. The core of any research however, shows that in today’s digital world each and every individual utilizes differing formats/venues of communication for differing purposes. This is the reason why many Facebook users are also on twitter and vice versa. Both are used as social tools and both are used in differing ways. Usage is not standard nor uniform across any platform and so treating multiscreen endeavors as something that can be equally measured, analyzed, developed or contrasted is off-base and dangerous.

Less dangerous, but equally unexciting is the fact that the platforms are both trying to provide the same values to the television industry as the “conversational peripheral” for TV chatter. On this topic, Facebook needs to step outside their current scope and rethink. The goal should be less focused on developing easier routes to conversation such as adding hashtag functionality and more focused on developing novel functionalities based on the strengths of the platform. Currently, striving to act in a similar manner as Twitter solely scratches the surface of how to better drive attraction, engagement, and retention of viewers with zero distinction.

Facebook has tremendous potential to be used for deep television/multiscreen related content and advertising experiences. The ability to explore transmedia and branded entertainment initiatives, new ways to drive and steer mechanisms of TV interactivity and the ability to integrate real time user generated content in novel ways have limitless potential. These three functionalities can become intensive engagement experiences and take advantage of Facebook’s unique aspects.

For chatter- Facebook is weak. It doesn’t allow the rapid-fire back and forth endemic conversations like Twitter does. It also does not allow expansion to external audiences outside of ones own network. This is countered however with the fact that Twitter doesn’t have nearly the same capability to present rich (and shareable) portals that beg for interaction. Facebook needs to develop their unique differentiators across differing metrics and they need to develop and evangelize some of their amazing potential for TV in a novel way. This should be driven by a better understanding of their value proposition to both audiences and the industry.

It’s time to start looking outside of the box when it comes to Social TV- There are amazing integrations to be found across platforms, but we have to acknowledge that differing conversational venues will be utilized differently and thusly need to foster potential based on their differing strengths.


Emerging TV Think Tank Addresses Social TV And Multiscreen Industry

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As the battle for most robust social TV peripheral platform rages on between Facebook and Twitter and more innovators continue to both launch and leave the market, the TV industry is still throwing darts trying to decipher what multiscreen endeavors for both content and advertising will actually be efficacious. The below announces the launch of our Think Tank which seeks to address the landscape from a new perspective- What actually influences audience behavior, engagement and motivation across both individuals and groups. The announcement is below.

Our News:

Emerging Insider Communications, a boutique public relations and marketing firm is proud to launch the emerging TV industry’s first comprehensive multi-discipline Think Tank to address disruptions, innovations and new methodologies across television, advertising, and the entertainment content landscape.

Emerging Insider is bringing together a range of professionals across non-traditional disciplines including media psychologists and research sociologists to pair with their media and brand strategists in order to further understand and position new endeavors, multiscreen methodologies, advertising innovations and smart TV technologies.

The firm believes that as the television and video content marketplace continues to evolve and intersect with the digital landscape, a number of broad spanning crucial initiatives need far greater levels of understanding when it comes to deep psychological and sociological data and understanding. With a slew of innovations, methods and startups that entered and left the market rapidly, the belief is that a greater basis for understanding audience engagement across television, social media and digital devices is the key to evangelizing new products and engaging viewers.

Emerging Insider will be bringing on renown Media Psychologist Dr. Pamela Rutledge as a consultant to study and advise upon viewer behavior, analyze user experience and to help to develop novel strategies for engagement. The team also consists of several sociology and anthropology consultants with backgrounds in media to provide deeper understandings of group behaviors and interactions on a holistic level.

Zachary Weiner, CEO, of Emerging Insider Communications stated “What we’ve seen are a lot of organizations with amazing products and services, but little understanding of how to drive their models forward. A portion of the disconnect found in TV and other media sectors is due to fundamental flaws in the understanding of novel psychology and sociology behind audience behaviors, levels of engagement and motivation. Our goal is to assist our clients and the industry at large in developing products and initiatives that capitalize on robust insights to better position innovations in the market. A think tank of diverse practice areas to facilitate greater knowledge is needed across the board.”

The group took the initiative to bring forth this variety of professionals across multiple disciplines to enhance and build on what has been limited data and restrictive research. They believe it’s a way to stop throwing darts and focusing on business drive initiatives and start developing audience driven initiatives with a strong foundation of efficacy based on deeper understanding.

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