Meningitis storylines were recently featured on two TV shows: Hollyoaks and Secret Millionaire. Here are some insights into the benefits of joining in conversations with people who are watching the TV and using a mobile device (dual screening).
Whether you’re a commercial or non-profit organisation, getting on the TV is something you want to achieve. Reach a huge audience in a short space of time.
But at the Meningitis Trust we have found that being on TV doesn’t always make a measurable difference. For instance, after our Chief Executive was interviewed on a mainstream morning chat show there were absolutely no spikes in web traffic or calls to our helpline.
Now being on TV isn’t enough
So we’ve changed our attitude. Rather than patting ourselves on the back after the success of getting onto the TV, it’s now just the beginning for us.
We’re no-longer passive and expect people to be so amazed by what we do that they search us out to help. We’ve moved to being proactive and targeting the people who are dual screening – people who are watching TV and discussing the programme using Twitter or Facebook on their mobile phone or tablet.
In a recent Neilson report, 64% of tablet users said they simultaneously use a tablet while watching TV at least ‘several times a week’.
Dual screening is changing how people are watching and engaging with TV programmes. TV is now a two way conversation.
So how do you join in conversations?
During any TV show, if you monitor comments on Twitter, you’re connected to someone’s inner thoughts. Very few people really edit their Tweets before sharing them with the millions of people on twitter. Tweets during a TV show are very much ‘this is how I feel, right now’.
During the week-long meningitis storyline on Hollyoaks, people were very open when sharing their thoughts and emotions:
“Oh no what's wrong with ash she just collapsed #Hollyoaks”
“i swear you only get meningitis when your a baby?! @Hollyoaks”
“Ash's condition hits close to home. Happened to my daddy #Hollyoaks.”
“@MeningitisTrust I can't watch hollyoaks too close to home after my baby girls meningitis :(“
This provides a perfect opportunity to reach out. In some ways you can answer questions and concerns even before Google has been typed into a browser.
So we had Tweets and content ready like this:
You can see how the story developed on Twitter and Facebook here > http://storify.com/meningitistrust/hollyoaks-ash-gets-meningitis
During Hollyoaks we received an extra 3,000 web visits and over 250 new Twitter followers over a three night period. And with Secret Millionaire, in three hours we won 244 new followers and had and web traffic was up 19%.
If you need proof that dual screening is happening, on the day of Secret Millionaire mobile use was up 34% compared to normal traffic levels. And people accessing the site via iPads was up 55%.
Brand recall isn’t guaranteed to improve
Interestingly, most of us think that being on TV is going to be great for our brand awareness. Well, not according to Google. During Secret Millionaire, Meningitis Trust was mentioned in the show at least five times. However, Google searches on ‘Meningitis Trust’ were up by just 3%, while ‘meningitis symptoms’ was up 66%. So the reality is, if you get on the TV and people get onto Google, the searcher could quite easily go to a competitor for subject information.
The use of mobile devices while watching TV offers new ways of having conversations with people in their home. The organisation and viewer can create and share an experience that’s a new layer to the TV programme – most importantly for us, you have the opportunity to give deeper understanding about what the viewer is watching.
By engaging people who are dual screening, you have the opportunity to tap into their consciousness and answer questions and queries before they’ve been thought of.