How Watching TV Can Help Your Business

Discovery Channel Shark Week

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week 2013 premiered August 4, 2013.

By: Courtney Klepsch

Can watching television really help your business? While it may seem farfetched, a business owner could probably learn a thing or two from broadcast television and their social marketing tactics. Tune in to what broadcast marketers are doing to start the conversation for their viewers and how you could do the same for your customers.

Remember in the good ol’ days when you watched television? You had to watch your show on the day and time it was scheduled, suffer through commercials and then wait and chat with your friends about the show the next day? It seems so long ago! With the roll out of digital video recording devices, viewers were given the power to tune in to their favorite show at their leisure AND skip the commercials. While the networks probably didn’t appreciate DVRs as much as the rest of us, it changed the way television was viewed.

While networks tried to figure out how to work around DVRs, the social media world was born, including the infamous hashtag (#), which made watching your show on the day and time it was scheduled, cool again. But, instead of waiting for next day to chat about it at the water cooler, viewers use hashtags provided by the show, newscast or even commercial to chat about it on social media outlets real-time.

Get People Talking

Right now, I’m tuned in to Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. For each episode I’ve seen thus far, I’ve noticed their use of hashtags. Each show has a specific hashtag. If I want to engage in conversation about something I’ve seen during Shark Week, I can simply log on to Twitter and either do a search for #sharkweek to see all the tweets surrounding that topic, or I can tweet something of my own and include the hashtag #sharkweek . By doing the latter, my tweet will end up in the #sharkweek feed.

Commercials are also using hashtags effectively. Instead of providing a call to action to ‘like’ their brand page on Facebook or visit their website, some advertisers are simply providing specific hashtags to help set their brand apart offline and initiate the conversation online.

As a business owner or marketer, use hashtags to get people talking about your products or services. Whenever you post something on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest, incorporate hashtags. It’s really as easy as picking a phrase (no spaces) and then adding the hashtag in front of it.

Let’s say I own a business for unique socks and am having a sale on polka dot socks. Not only should I use a hashtag like #polkadotsocksale in my posts but I should also think about including it in my other marketing materials: web page, flyer, brochure, etc…

# + marketingmessage = #getpeopletalkingaboutyourbusiness

Show Some Flair!

Another show that uses hashtags to get the conversation started effectively is one of my favorites, So You Think Can Dance. This show promotes several hashtags throughout the dancers’ performances to help facilitate online conversations. In addition, all of the dancers are connecting with viewers online using their social media accounts, which adds even more personality to the show. By showing their personality online and offline, the connection with the viewer is strengthened AND remembered.

You can do the same with your business. If it makes sense for your company, set yourself apart by using hashtags to give your products or services some personality. With so many businesses from which to choose, you are likely to be remembered if you use relevant yet catchy phrases.

So, the next time you sit down to watch your favorite show, take note of how social media tactics are being used to initiate the conversation with viewers. If it makes sense to apply similar methods for your business, try it out. You may gain some new loyal fans.

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