Tuesday, June 20, 2017

That Wild and Wooly World of Social Media

It's kind of funny.   I remember about 25 years ago when e-mail was all the rage.   People would ask me all the time.

"When are you going to get yourself an AOL account?"

Oddly, I was resistant to this technology at the time, thinking it was going to be a flash in the pan.  Suddenly, I had turned into my dad when we would pressure him about getting a color TV.

Eventually, I would relent and know that I "got mail."   Today in 2017, I actually have four different e-mail addresses for a variety of businesses I am involved in.

And, amazingly, I am now all in.   And continually amazed by the power of social media.  Not only is it so prevalent, but it's all quite illustrative of just how fragmented our media consumption is these days.

Hey, back in my youngster days, I was one of those geeks who followed the Nielsen ratings for all my favorite TV shows on the...gasp...three major television networks.   I can recall that a show that reached 30 million viewers each week would likely be cancelled because they garnered less than 30 percent of the total audience.

Contrast that to something I just read about the premiere of the "Twin Peaks" reboot on Showtime.   They put out a press release on the ratings of its premiere episode.   500,000 folks.   Wow.   Gee, another 29,500,000 more and they would still get cancelled by ABC if it was 1981.

Of course, it's all about reaching folks in the different portals.   ABC's "Designated Survivor" got renewed for a second season largely because its delayed viewing via DVR or streaming is the highest of any prime time show.  

The social media portals are now the way to go for content and entertainment. And I learned this from first-hand experience.   I'm part of a potential TV project and we are trying to decide which video direction makes the most sense for our audience.   We decided to try and get a following even before we knew where it was going.  So I very quickly developed a Facebook and Twitter page for the show.

Luckily, most of our regular cast already have strong social media followings from their past career exploits.  One "forward" or "retweet" from them exposes us to about 100,000 potential customers.   So, we recently did a social media shoot of some interviews with the actors as we ramp up promotion.   As a complete aside to that day's festivities, we did a quick photo with the actors and I posted it that night at 6PM Pacific.  By 8PM Pacific, it already had 1,500 hits on Facebook alone.   When I looked at the stats overall, our little production, with zero episodes in the can to that date, has an awareness of over 20,000 people.  Okay, that's not at the "Twin Peaks" Showtime level, but you have to start some place.

This is how it goes in 2017.   And, to think that I didn't even want to sign on to AOL in the first place.   By the way, I still have that original AOL address for old times sake.   And, ultimately, my father was happy that we got that color TV.

Dinner last night:  Leftover barbecued baby back ribs.

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