social media integrations of 2012

QR Codes in Advertising, Facebook and Beyond

It is pretty safe to say that I have integrated social media into my life.  Social media permeates my work, my home, my family, and my social interactions. Even if I decide to take time offline, I still know the ways that I could be incorporating social media marketing into everything I do.

Being that I spend my days using social networking for business and personally, then reading about new technology and tools, I have put together a little list of things I would like to see. It’s not a case of full on social media predictions or a report of how Gary Vaynerchuck, Chris Brogan and Others think social media will change in 2012, but rather, improvements that IMHO, are really needed (AKA make my life a whole lot easier!).

Real Time TV Watching Pleasure: Social makes it Special

Like many Americans, I watch TV with my devices. For instance, I find tweeting while watching my “guilty pleasures” such as #ANTM or #Project Runway to be great fun. Even if I am sitting by myself, I can share my opinion and enjoy the show with other real live people.  Apparently, I am not alone with this at all.  Nielsen reports that 70% of the population uses tablets and 68% use their Smartphone while watching TV. The next highest point of use is while “lying in bed.” Considering these are mobile devices; the rate of use at home is significantly higher than “running errands” or “commuting.”  I know in my house, the iPad is not mobile, but “lazy” as in, I-need-to-check-the-internet-but -without- getting-out-of –bed.

chart showing situational usage of devices

Not all of #usDragons actually watch real TV with commercials and everything.  I do find, however, that a certain amount of TV time does provide additional insights into the social media zeitgeist.  What I have noticed in the past year is that even if one is not personally engaged, there is no avoiding the role social media plays in our society.

  • From TV to Facebook Page: More and more I am noticing that major brands forgot to mention their websites at all; they send people directly to Facebook pages. In 2012, we will see the continuation of prime time television commercials directing viewers to social channels.
  • From TV to Twitter Conversations: TV shows that have the hashtag permanently showing during viewing so you can join the conversation while viewing.  Every Friday, the hit Discovery Channel show Gold Rush has a #GoldRush hashtag sitting in the corner. Yes, I have checked the tweet stream to see if everyone else wants to see Dakota Fred fail (they do).
  • Social Media News Credibility:  This is more of a given now. When CNN reports of Tweets and bloggers are experts on TV shows; it’s time to just accept social as real media.

Traditional Media Versus Social Media; The War is Over

Seeing social media firmly entrenching itself into the standard everyday life of TV watching has, more than ever, cemented my understanding that  there is no shutting down this Pandora’s box.   As our society accepts the role of social media in traditional media, it stops being a case of traditional media versus social media, but a continuation of this massive lifestyle integration.

I have my dreams of advanced social media integration:

Integrating QR Codes for Television Advertising:

I have often wondered, sometimes out loud, why TV advertisers don’t integrate QR codes. It seems to me that a QR code would be the easiest way of directing relevant traffic to a landing page and really being able to measure the impact of TV ads. So simple that I found it hard to believe that no one else was doing so and was convinced that perhaps an iPhone / iPad QR reader app could not read off a TV. Right before the New Year, I saw a QR code on a GoDaddy commercial (follow the link to a sweet post that tells you about the whole user experience).  I suppose if I had bothered to do a bit of research, then I would have found out that back in early 2009, companies like Kayak had “a huge QR code in one of their new TV ads promoting a mobile app. It’s so large you could scan it from the couch.”

I can see this catching on even though it has not seemed to yet. Imagine lying in bed, watching TV and a commercial comes on for something you desire or are interested in. How easy would it be to reach for the phone laying next me on the night table, aim it at the QR code and have that take me directly to a page customized to appeal to the TV audience. Gosh, imagine how personalized the user experience could be: different tracking codes built-in to different pages depending on what show was on in what time slot. What if there was an app that just read the code and the delivered your email address to the vendor and they could not only have instant email capture, but be able to remind you that you were interested in looking up further information. Think of how that could revolutionize things like fundraising or even extended stories and news coverage.

Creating the Perfect QR Code for Calendar Integration:

Speaking of ways that I wish my TV and phone could integrate, I wish dates and reminders could be added to my calendar by a simple “point and shoot.”

Again, I wonder if QR codes could not be created in some way so it went to a calendar program of choice. I don’t know how many times I have been watching something and a preview comes on for a show and while I’ll want to watch, I’ll never remember the date or the time. How cool would it be if I could send a reminder to my phone to watch program or even know what day a movie is opening or concert tickets go on sale.  As information overload becomes more of a societal issue, people will demand tools that make things easier by filtering out the information they don’t want and giving them the ability to choose what they do want.

These are only my first two suggestions for integrating social media, check out Social Media Integrations Part Two where I discuss integrations on Facebook. Be sure to let me know how you think that social media could be better integrated in the comments below!

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