Filling the second screen: If you’re not, someone is

Posted by Albers Communications on January 22, 2013 |

We all have friends who sleep with their smart phones under their pillows. Even I’m guilty of doing one last Facebook-check before plugging mine in for the night. So of course those devices are next to us when we’re sitting on the couch, too. It’s not enough that we’re watching television; we seem to be constantly multi-tasking…even when we are supposed to be unwinding and relaxing.

Now that I have a tablet, I’m one of many TV viewers whose attention is divided between the main screen and a second one. Bluefin Labs, a company monitoring social media conversation about TV, suggests in just 2012 alone, social television grew more than 350%!

Already, the networks are paying attention. USA Network showed 10% increase in viewership by making an interactive mystery game available for iPad and PC before the series premiere of Psych. CBS is already offering extras through its app for viewers of CSI, NCIS and Hawaii 5-0. Now it’s unveiling plans for Super Bowl XLVII next month, offering everything from additional camera angles to a live half-time stream.

But we can take advantage, too. Earlier this month, Albers’ client Signal 88 Security was featured on the finale episode of A&E’s Be the Boss. Leading up to the episode, Facebook and Twitter were used to target potential audience members — providing teasers before the show and inviting people to tune in. One of the ways viewers interacted during the episode included “checking in” on GetGlue, one of the top 5 TV viewing apps to watch, according to CNN Money. Additionally, Albers live-tweeted on behalf of Signal 88 Security during the hour-long event — interacting with viewers through the hashtag #BeTheBoss. But the conversation didn’t stop there; we also took advantage of a Huffington Post article about the episode as well as the episode’s online viewing opportunities to create buzz following the original airdate by sharing them on social media platforms.

I realize it’s not possible for everyone to have their hour of fame on national television like Signal 88 Security. Even five seconds is unrealistic for some. So, the best advice is to be present where people are surfing. Make sure you have a Facebook and Twitter presence — and that you’re using it. Consider blogging, if you haven’t already. In short, make sure you’re offering interesting, timely or entertaining content — content worth filling that second screen.




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