The growth of social over the years has brought about a variety of platforms, meaning a variety of channels through which networks can produce promotional content. In her piece, "Twitter Is for Reacting, Tumblr Is for Discussing," Jess Scanlon explains the importance of just that: utilizing these platforms in different ways for maximum effect. Scanlon discusses how Twitter and Tumblr are key in different stages of the social consumption of TV. Reactions occur real-time on Twitter but last days later as they move onto Tumblr for longer conversations - like a ripple effect of content generated in reaction to the show.
A recent piece of industry news demonstrates the use of these various channels to create a reality show entirely online and the possible future of television. Andrew Wallenstein and AJ Marechal write in Variety about the renewal of @SummerBreak. Debuting entirely on social media, last season's show was a groundbreaking and successful experiment that merged social and reality television completely. Produced by the Chermin group, BBDO and AT&T, the show ran real-time, meaning that reactions on social media could change the course of the series of five-minute YouTube episodes. @SummerBreak also created powerful and enriching content across social platforms that captivated and increased viewership.
While moving the entire experience of television to social media is in the somewhat-distant future, there are three lessons I recommend you implement to gain from the revolutionary reality program's command of content and Scanlon's research on social reactions across platforms.
*Reacting on Twitter, conversing on Tumblr - Know which platforms are active throughout the consumption of your program and stimulate them accordingly by...
*Acting like a fan - Create a constant stream of content through all social channels, consistently, in the voice of your target. You can better reach this target by...
*Adapting to fan reactions - While the majority of reality programs aren't produced in real-time, think of your social followers as a focus group and alter programs and future programs accordingly
By following these action items, you will increase your command of the ever-strengthening relationship between social media and reality television and create more enriching viewer experiences.