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How to tap into social TV to build a winning social strategy

The Drum Social is a weekly column from The Drum’s social media executive Amy Houston covering the latest social media trends, strategies and insights. Follow Amy @AmyCLHouston and join in the conversation #TheDrumSocial

How can you build social TV into your strategy?

Social media has completely revolutionized the way we watch TV, and both mediums are more intertwined now than ever before. The Drum’s social media executive Amy Houston dives into how we can incorporate this into future strategies.

How many of us will watch our favorite show on one screen and be on Twitter on another? I’m definitely guilty. Logically that means there is a huge opportunity for social media managers to build social TV into their strategy. So how can we approach this and what are the benefits?

So-called ‘social shows’ (think along the lines of Love Island or Ru Paul’s Drag Race) provide massive opportunities to social media managers to engage in conversations online, especially now that we are spending more time in front of screens. Staying genuine, but being reactive, is one of the most important parts of a social media manager's role in my opinion and the combination of traditional TV and channels such as Twitter or Instagram is a fantastic place for this.

Social channels are increasingly becoming more reliant on video formats, with creators leaning into longer formats and embracing the new audio trend. Tutorials, Q&As and live streams are not new concepts but how we interact with them, and ultimately maximize their potential, is changing quickly. The move towards more immersive content is exciting and provides lots of opportunities.

With any social media strategy, it’s important to determine what your goals are and where you believe there is potential to tap into new audiences. Approaching platforms in a purposeful and thought-out way will always stand you in good stead.

So what advances have been made on each platform when it comes to social TV and how can social media managers embrace them?

YouTube currently has 2+ billion users worldwide, and according to the platform they reach more people in the US, on mobile alone, than any TV network. The video platform can be used as an excellent tool to get across product information and as of last year it was testing shoppable product tags in videos. The combination of social, TV, and broader e-commerce opportunities could be a real winning combination for many brands.

It’s not just millennials and gen-z folk that are embracing social TV – family time has most definitely evolved. #Family on TikTok has over 67 billion views and the video platform is on track to reach a billion users this year. TikTok on your telly means more dancing, more lip-syncing, and more opportunities for social media managers to maximize reach. The recent partnership with Samsung is one of the most exciting developments in the social TV landscape, with the app now available to exclusively download on many Samsung Smart TVs in the UK.

According to Samsung: ”The new app has been specifically created for a home-viewing experience, allowing people to view the ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds, as well as the majority of the most liked and viewed content on TikTok. This content has been organized into 12 categories covering everything from gaming and comedy to food and animals.”

Instagram TV (IGTV) is another channel with huge potential for brands when considering adopting social TV into their strategy. Producing a TV show typically is laborious and costly, with IGTV there is great potential to create a regular series focusing on topics relevant to your core audience. Be consistent with it and keep your audience coming back for more.

It will be interesting to see how the collaboration between traditional TV and social media channels continues to flourish and provide new opportunities for social media managers. As always we would love to include The Drum's social media community so join in the conversation using #TheDrumSocial.

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