Just one year ago, twitter seemed to be an emerging way to connect t.v. viewers together. I seem to remember seeing the twitter feed on the CNN New Year's Eve show with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin. This year, they had a constant rolling feed of tweets, they mentioned it a few times on air and actually answered one or two questions at the end. I was monitoring the actual feed on twitter and they had enough tweets to make the trending topics list. This means that more people were tweeting with their hashtag than almost anything else on twitter last night.
Here's where they failed: instead of running the actual twitter feed, they picked out about 5 tweets every 15 minutes and just recycled them. It was an epic missed opportunity! Here you have new tweets coming in by the second - and you recycle the same ones over and over. You know that everyone who was tweeting was doing it because they wanted to see their tweet on t.v. Most of them were positive, too. If CNN had chosen to run all of the tweets except the negative ones, that would have been an improvement. In this day of transparency, however, people expect to see the good, the bad and the ugly. If you have the guts to show 5 tweets out of 100 of people who are being negative, it increases the positive sentiment that your viewers will have.
I am guessing most people weren't watching the t.v. and the twitter feed for the entire broadcast because only a few other people tweeted about the recycling of tweets. So, as it turns out, most people didn't notice what I noticed. What if they had run the actual feed? More people would have seen their tweet on air and their sentiment for CNN would have increased. CNN didn't understand that the reason they should have been doing it was not to show a few people talking about how much they were looking forward to seeing Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on t.v., but to make the people tweeting feel important and part of something bigger than themselves.
Make your social media strategy about your customer, not about you.
Here's an interesting TED talk. MIT researcher Deb Roy starts out talking about how he wired his house with videocameras to catch 90,000 hours of video to understand how his infant son learned language. Then, he translates that experiment into the connection between millions of people watching the same thing on t.v. and having a conversation about it online.