The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that television producers are successfully engaging viewers in program-related second screen activities. In the past, viewers played a passive role when it came to watching television programs. They had to know the right time for their favorite programs and watch them without having any active input in what was presented. However, this has changed in the modern society where emerging technologies have empowered viewers. Television producers are finding it increasingly important to use second screen activities to engage their viewers as a way of allowing them to participate actively in the programs presented to them (Campbell et al. 245).
It allows them to understand what is presented well by asking relevant question in a social platform that brings together hundreds of thousands of other viewers. Such questions would be answered by fellow viewers or the media company representatives not only to avoid misunderstanding but also inform the viewer that he is valued as a client. Producers are now in a better position to understand specific needs of their viewers when presenting different programs because of this direct engagement.
How Television Producers Engage Viewers
Television producers have struggled for a long time to understand the specific needs of their audience but with limited success (Himanshu 6). The scholar notes that these producers were sometimes forced to go to the streets and interview viewers to understand their views about products delivered to them. The process was as tedious as it was inefficient. The number of people who could be interviewed per given period was limited, and in most of the cases, the clients would be insincere in their responses. Most of them would give positive remarks just to please the interviewer. It meant that the information collected through such tedious and expensive process was inaccurate and unreliable.
This problem has been solved with the emergence of modern communication technologies. The following are some of the strategies that producers are using to engage viewers.
Twitter has become a major phenomenon in the field of mass communication. There has been an argument that social media is a threat to survival of mass media (Rickel 4). However, leading mass media companies are finding ways of integrating social media into their programs for a greater success. Leading news broadcasters such as Cable News Network and British Broadcasting Corporation are currently using Twitter to engage their viewers. Once a program is started, such as primetime news, viewers are invited to a Twitter handle where they can leave their comments about the program.
Viewers are allowed to add their input by shading more light about the program or simply stating their feeling towards information presented to them. The Twitter handle also allows the viewers to engage themselves in the provided platform about the television program. As people give their varied views, television producers get more insights about their program and how their viewers think of it. It enables them to understand areas that may need changes when bringing the program in future.
The emerging technologies have created mobile apps that viewers can now use in second screen activities. These mobile apps can perform numerous tasks based on the interests of the user. For instance, viewers can go online to get further information about a television program as a way of better understanding it. If it is a movie, the viewer may wish to know if it is based on a real-life event in the past and what motivated the producers to develop it. This creates and empowered viewer. He will be interested in understanding how the producer recreated the events in the movie, making him a loyal viewer. These apps also benefit advertisers.
During television programs, adverts are always very common. Viewer who finds such as advert relevant can go online using their tablets or Smartphone to get further information about the product. This has improved the impact of mass media marketing (Proulx and Shepatin 112).
Facebook is another important social media platform through which television producers can engage their viewers as part of second-screen media experience (Hajli 54). Most of the leading television companies have their official Facebook page with millions of followers around the world. When they have a news item, they bring it for a debate on Facebook. Viewers are allowed to make personal contributions about the news item or a television program. This enables television producers to understand their views and how they vary based on demographical factors. The information gathered through this platform is very critical in enhancing the ability of the producers to know the expectations of viewers and how to diversify the products to ensure that the varying needs are successfully met.
The discussion above shows that second screen media experience has become very important not only to the viewers but also to television producers. To the viewers, the experience enables them to use their devices to understand information presented in the television programs in a more comprehensive manner. To the television producers, they get to understand views of their customers and measures that can be taken to improve the content of their message in future.
Campbell, Richard, Christopher Martin, Bettina Fabos, and Jimmie Reeves. Media Essentials: A Brief Introduction. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Print.
Hajli, Nick. Handbook of Research on Integrating Social Media into Strategic Marketing. New York: Cengage, 2015. Print.
Himanshu, Sareen 2014, Why Second-Screen Media Experiences Need to Be Social. 2015. Web.
Proulx, Mike, and Stacey Shepatin. Social TV: How Marketers Can Reach and Engage Audiences by Connecting Television to the Web, Social Media, and Mobile. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.
Rickel, Josh 2014, 5 Signs that the Second Screen Enhances TV for Viewers, Producers, and Advertisers. 2015. Web.