Why your sofa is the new social media battleground

In the battle for domination in the online world, a few savvy brands are looking to fight it out in the offline space – and they’re bring the fight to your living room.

Anyone who’s been on Twitter for any amount of time will know that if you want to get the latest mediabyte on anything of interest, that’s the place to go. News updates flow through the Twitter stream at exponential speeds. In fact, if it doesn’t break on Twitter, it’s probably not worth knowing. What’s interesting is that as much as Twitter is news source, it’s also a tool for insight into human behaviour. Take for example, the Tweet While Watching phenomenon aka The Second Screen. Fans of blockbuster TV shows or movies watch and tweet at the same time, sharing their opinion about what’s happening on the screen with a myriad of people who are doing the same. In fact, shows like House, Game Of Thrones and Alcatraz have their own Twitter hashtags, visible on screen as a result of this behaviour.

As an aside, it’s interesting to note that Klout has produced a top ten list of the most influential TV shows on Twitter based on this behaviour. Another stat worth noting, is from Nielsen that reports that 71% of in-home mobile use happens while watching TV.

Enter then GetGlue, an app that allows people to check in to the TV shows they’re watching (much like Foursquare) and share what they’re watching with the community – and the extended community of Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn. It’s now a repository for reviews, the latest gossip and guides to all your favourite shows. It has a massive active community and they’re global. Best of all, gaming has been built into it, with virtual rewards for checking in. Fans (being the type of obsessive folks that they are) rush to check in for the latest episodes so they can claim their sticker. And of course brands (Such as Sony, NBC and MTV) have caught onto this by releasing limited edition stickers for certain shows, some with real life rewards attached to them. In short, it’s a sure way to guarantee that the real fans, the ones with influence within their circle are watching the show. GetGlue also does books, movies, music and to a lesser extent, games.

Of course, gamers too now have their very own version of GetGlue called Raptr. Raptr tracks your game check-ins, suggesting other games, bringing you the latest news, reviews and previews (from the community which is more than twelve million strong) and sharing your achievements. Similarly, Raptr allows for marketing by the game developers from within the platform but more importantly, it allows those developers to get a temperature check on how their releases are doing. Yes, you can link your gaming profile to your Raptr account for live updating but you can also check in manually or from your smartphone.

These are just two of the more popular platforms out there. There are many more besides but the aim is the same: unite people with a common interest into forming a community. And as any brand knows where you have commonality of interest in a commercial product, there’s an opportunity to communicate in a targeted and specific way to the key opinion leaders within that group and get them to be your ears, eyes and voice. The trick is to add value and for now it’s easy to do so, since the communities are relatively still young. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how many brands decide to get involved through association in exploiting these social marketing platforms.

The smart money says the wheels are already turning.

The question is: have you geared up yet?

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