Learn Something from TV: Generating Round-the-Clock Interaction for Your Business

by Michelle Salater on December 5, 2011


If you’ve ever bruised your hip getting on the sofa as you hurried to catch the start of your favorite TV show, you know how powerful television can be (and how great it is to have a DVR). These days, TV shows aren’t just on the small screen once a week—TV show websites, blogs, forums, and social media let fans stay connected and engaged 24 / 7.

So how can you use the lessons of smash hits like Mad Men and True Blood to take your business to the next level? Start with these tips.

Be Consistent and Timely

In early December, most people aren’t thinking about New Year’s Resolutions yet, but they’ve gotten over their Thanksgiving turkey comas. In order to keep your online audience engaged, make your posts, status updates, and tweets as relevant to current events as possible.

That doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute to write online marketing materials. Instead, aim for consistency: plan ahead and pay attention to dates and your audience’s probable mood. Getting material ready ahead of time lets you stay consistent about posting even if you get swamped.

If a major news story breaks that you’d like to comment on, of course, don’t hesitate to bump or tweak a scheduled post to comment on current events.

Aim for Interaction

The website for Mad Men offers visitors several opportunities to interact with materials not directly related to the show. They can look at 1960s fashions, explore cocktail recipes, “get to know” the show’s actors, and take quizzes about which character they’re most like. Try similar moves with your online audience:

  • Post a quiz that lets them sell themselves on one of your products or services.
  • Ask direct questions on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. When people reply, be sure to respond to them!
  • Post pictures and videos, where appropriate. Images are more captivating and stimulating than text alone, and are more likely to elicit interaction from your audience.

Don’t Oversell

Sure, your ultimate aim may be to turn your online audience into clients, but resist selling at every turn. One of the major goals of social media is to build relationships with clients and potential clients.

If you’ve built trust with your audience (by entertaining them, demonstrating that you care about their opinions, and keeping them informed), they’ll be more likely to take your word about products and services (offered by you or an affiliate) that you do pitch.

Reward Them!

Even if you aren’t explicitly giving away freebies or discounts, you need to give your followers a reason to sign up and stick around. That reason could be insightful observations about current events, amusing anecdotes, entertaining quizzes or surveys, or (of course) bonus and discount offers.

And our parents said we couldn’t learn anything from TV!

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