The Rise of the Second Screen
Watching television with a smartphone or tablet device is quite simply one of the most popular leisure activities of the mobile era.
In turn, everyone is trying to find ways to capitalise on these prevailing consumer behaviours of real-time interaction in social media. This type of interaction with your mobile device is referred to as "the second screen" or "the companion device." It has become not just a global marvel and hot topic of discussion all over social media blogs, but a competitive development for the mobile app industry and a target-rich environment for marketers.
It's a race to see who can create the top app, the most favourable second-screen experience and determine which app complements on-air content the best. And let's be honest, it's hard to argue that there is any social media mobile app out there that really stands a grand chance next to Twitter.
Second screen isn't really a new activity, but more an evolution of the old ways of interacting with television. We have always sought out the views and opinions of others about television shows, whether over the phone or water cooler. Moreover, even before mobile or laptops, we found pleasure in using desktops with our daily dose of television, but it's the extensive audience, immediacy and simplicity that is really helping Twitter to dominate the second screen mobile era.
People are now logging onto Twitter to see not only what their friends, but what the rest of the world thinks about what’s happening on television. TV shows, events, breaking news – everything that is happening in the world and being broadcast now comes with its own set of instant reviews, debates, insights and conversations.
With one simple search we can identify trends in the way people think and determine how many people, globally, are engaging and thinking the same way you might be.
Social media monitoring tools work to identify and collate this very information for companies and brands alike. By monitoring Twitter, they can provide a wealth of knowledge and insights around brand perception as it forms and changes at the television screen.
Let's consider the Twitter app and how it works for brands, in particular, how it worked to help Oreo “win” the marketing Superbowl this year.
The third Quarter saw a power outage extinguish some of the floodlights at the Superdome for 34 minutes. With the strategic forethought to have a 15-person social media team at the ready to respond to any and every relevant happening at the event, Oreo was quick on their toes when they created and tweeted an ad about the blackout.
The tweet read “Power Out? No problem” and was accompanied by an image and clever copy - “You can still dunk in the dark.” The image went viral, receiving around 15,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook.
Oreo has been praised for their meticulous preparation, creative strategy and speedy reaction, and will no doubt be used as a shining example, reflecting the leverage of Twitter and the second screen in general, for years to come.
Leverage of Twitter to this level of impact is not as easy as it sounds. It is about timing, relevance and creativity. Twitter is well aware of consumers’ habits in using their platform as the second screen channel of choice, as well as the dependence that some brands have on it as a marketing tool. At the Superbowl alone Twitter racked up millions of dollars of free advertising as half of the advertisers using hashtags in their ads.
For many shows and advertisers during these shows, Twitter hashtags are married to the success of interaction with them. Great news for Twitter, but what are companies like Facebook going to do to compete with that?
It’s official, Twitter owns the hashtag – but given the pace of evolution in the sector we should probably add ‘for the time being.’
image: second screen/shutterstock