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Television in Social Media

March 20, 2013

I rarely watch television shows on the set days and times they air so interacting with others about TV shows that I’m Netflixing from four seasons ago is a little difficult. I have used the #Conan once or twice in my life, usually as I repeat something funny that he said but that is about as far as my interactions go. However, I do believe that I am the exception to the rule. I enjoy watching Tosh.O episodes where he asks people to do stuff and film it because so many people do in the hopes of getting their clips on his show. I spent a week with UNM students in Copper Mountain Colorado over winter break and while we were there we submitted a video to a comedian asking for people watching to cover up a sports game on a TV that was currently airing. My Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts blow up whenever The Bachelorette is on and my friends go crazy during Dr. Who marathons.

The idea of TV interactions carrying to social media makes perfect sense to me. It is a way in which people can talk about what is going on in their minds in real time. They can share funny clips from shows, try to participate in shows, or express excitement or annoyance with the outcome. Social media is just another way to connect fans, and everyone likes hanging out with people who are interested in the same things as them.

I think the difference between TV interactions in social media and “salesmanship” is that people really care about the product. People talk about television over social media because they have a vested interest in the show that they are talking about. Selling a product is more difficult because people may not have that emotional attachment. The same is true for organizations in social media. For an organization to prosper and for people to want to use their status update to promote it, people have to feel attached. For some organizations, such as Charity Water, this can be easy because they can pull on the heart strings of the community. For other organizations it can be more difficult to drum up emotion. To gain emotional attachment organizations must treat themselves not as a product but rather as an opportunity. If they have the resources they can offer prizes or recognition for spreading the word of their organization. If they don’t they must make very witty, short, and informative posts and videos so that people learn about them quickly and immediately care and want to share the word.

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