The Twitter phenomenon has achieved Oprah-like popularity and, like every social media innovation that dominates public interest, the world’s biggest brands are now strategizing over the most effective means of leveraging their tweets. Today alone, the tweet-o-sphere is a cacophony of brand messages designed to engage consumers, share an experience and ultimately drive sales. But one question remains: Is that the most effective means for brands to harness Twitter? Maybe, but regardless, there remain other opportunities for brands to utilize Twitter as a complementary tactic for amplifying the experience of other more immersive social media platforms.
For our company, View2Gether.com, we saw a very compelling opportunity to take the innate DNA of Twitter and weave into our social viewing platform. Our model is simple: We create white-labeled online lounges for users to gather, view, share and engage in video content in real time. Whether that’s a Motley Crue video from the late-90s, or a clip of Tiger draining a 60-foot putt to win the U.S. Open, View2Gether.com believes that the conversation surrounding a given piece of content can be just as engaging and entertaining as the content itself.
With the idea of a “conversation” surrounding video in mind, our team naturally gravitated to Twitter as a means of enhancing the overall experience. The result is a Twitter-enabled chat feature woven into the platform that allows users to share precise moments of video content via tweets. Using Tiger’s Open winning putt as our example, anyone viewing the clip within the lounge environment can activate the Twitter-chat feature by sending a tweet that reads, “Did you see Tiger’s putt?” That Tweet instantaneously—and with no additional sign in—is sent with a URL that links back to that exact moment in the video. In essence, the process is simple, but the result is an undeniably powerful method for seamlessly sharing content without any barrier of login from platform to platform.
Once a piece of video from a View2Gether.com lounge has entered the tweet-o-sphere, the real fun begins. Beyond just clicking to view Tiger’s putt, anyone following the Tiger tweet has the choice to either join the lounge in progress, catching up to other users who are watching video, chatting, searching and even previewing and selecting more videos. The value here that by layering in the Twitter functionality, we’re creating a more immersive experience overall and driving user-generated traffic. Once your users begin socializing your content for you, you’ve unlocked the power of social media—users with a vested interest in your brand that openly share the elements they feel authentically connected to with friends and family.
There’s no question that Twitter is evolving the way people communicate online, and on some levels offline as well. For all those brands who’s Tweets don’t carry the same celeb cache as an Ashton or an Oprah, the challenge falls upon the brand to find a way to harness it a manner that keeps the conversation going and focused on their product or service. For those entertainment and media brands that provide original content, we’ve introduced but one solution. Time will tell what the next iteration will be, but it’s clear that thinking of Twitter as complementary rather than stand alone may be just the creative nudge digital innovators need to see even more potential in all those tweets.
Chris Adams is president and CEO of View2Gether.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.