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What is social TV, and how can you make it work for your brand?

How many of us will watch our favourite show on one screen while scrolling on another? We’re all usually operating on a minimum of 2 screens in the evening. If you chuck in a tablet into the mix, many of us are on 3! There is a massive opportunity for brands to make the leap and combine them by building social TV into their strategy. So how can you approach this, and what are the benefits?

There’s a new category opening up in TV called ‘social shows’. Think along the lines of Love Island, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, XX Country’s Next Top Model, Dancing with the Stars… You know the genre — the ones that everyone you know actually makes sure they watch live as it airs (I know… retro vibes!) These shows present brand new possibilities for brands to engage in real-time conversations online, especially as we spend more time in front of multiple screens than ever before.

Social channels are increasingly focusing on video content, with creators leaning into longer formats and embracing the new audio-visual trend. Tutorials, Q&As and live streams are not new concepts but how we interact with them is changing quickly. The move towards more immersive content is exciting and provides lots of opportunities — combining social media, TV, and broader e-commerce opportunities could be a winning combination for many brands.

It’s not just Millennials and Gen Z that are embracing social TV – family time is back on the agenda after the recent lockdowns. #Family has over 67 billion views on TikTok, and this video platform is thought to have surpassed a billion monthly users this year. The recent partnership with Samsung is one of the most exciting developments in the social TV landscape, with the app now available to exclusively download on many Samsung Smart TVs. TikTok on your TV means more dancing, more lip-syncing, and more opportunities for brands to reach an audience actively minded to embrace the new format. 

Instagram TV (IGTV) is another channel with huge potential for brands when considering adopting social TV into their strategy. Producing a TV show used to be laborious and costly, but armed with nothing but your smartphone and IGTV, you can create a regular series focusing on topics relevant to your audience. Be consistent and have fun — your audience will eagerly come back for more!

It will be interesting to see how the relationship between traditional TV and social media continues to integrate, innovate and flourish. It’s early days, but the potential for brands that can successfully move into this space as an early adopter is exciting. Reach out to us to discuss how to establish your brand as a first mover!