Social Media, Newspapers, and TV

It’s interesting that the traditional media, namely television & newspapers, who are not as profitable as they once were due to the Internet, have taken different approaches regarding social media.

Newspapers, the soon to be all but extinct media, have heavily pushed their online presence to give life to their struggling brands. Journalists are using blogs to copy find stories, while the papers are synced with Twitter to publish their headlines in the hopes that they are RT (ReTweeted) out to the masses. Despite this attempt, newspapers will be on life support within a few short years.

Television on the other hand isn’t fully intertwined with social media yet. While you can find almost every show on TV (minus HBO programming and a few others) online, either via Hulu or the network’s website, social media seems to be an afterthought. Yes, there is the required “share” button near the video, and some sites allow or encourage discussion of their programs below or alongside the video. But is that all? With social media as pervasive as it has become over the past few years in our lives, how has it not been integrated into program content? While statistics show that more and more people are spending more time on Facebook, Twitter, writing a blog, and especially checking their mobile devices — do we see our favorite characters on [NBC’s] The Office or [CBS’s] How I Met Your Mother check their Facebook profile ever?

Couldn’t they make these programs more interactive with the audience? I do have to give credit to How I Met Your Mother for integrating a Super Bowl ad with Neil Patrick Harris playing his character Barney Stinson – encouraging the audience to call a number, blurring the lines of real life and scripted TV. But beyond that, where is the creativity? Where is the use of social media reaching out to fans – current or potential?

Some shows are doing this. I’m currently following Twitter accounts relating to Glee, White Collar, and the Olympics, but those are just a few shows of many I like and follow, and they rarely tweet. With the tons of programming that goes on week after week, the lost outreach opportunities through social media conversations are many. People are talking about your programming. Why not be involved – either by listening or participating, or god forbid both?

I call upon the TV & cable networks to put on their thinking caps, get creative, and think out of the box. Or, hire me, and let’s do something different. 😉