When TVs first came out, they gave us the revolutionary ability to experience something that we weren’t able encounter in-person.  Broadcasts today bring us virtually everywhere from daily happenings in own neighborhoods to sporting events and political happenings around the world.  It seemed as though the only way we consumed up-to-the minute activity was by way of TV…but times they are a changin’.

As we know, social media platforms today enable “pedestrian journalists” to create breaking news by way of Twitter and Facebook for example faster than the TV stations can fire up the news van.  We consume our news through different digital mediums today and just as we were once conditioned to turn on the 5:00pm news for breaking stories, we are now conditioned to access real-time updates by way of our mobile devices with the simple touch of a finger …literally.

Just as color TV changed our viewing experience, it makes sense that the introduction –and now evolution – of social media is also taking our viewing experience into more interactive and engaged levels.  Wikipedia defines social television as “a general term for technology that supports communication and social interaction in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content.”  Whether you were one of the first to vote via text for American Idol contestants or have just started noticing hashtags and keywords on the screen during news programs, you are experiencing “social TV!”

You can also actively participate in social TV by searching various hashtags on Twitter for the topics being discussed on the program or even following the twitter handles—aka “usernames”—of the personalities on TV (more often than not, handles accompany the person’s name when flashed across the bottom of the screen).  Want to be a part of another angle of a social TV experience?  Watch the live coverage on TV and tweet with people that are actually on-site at the event for an enhanced level of connectedness!  Hay There Social Media has dubbed this strategic “Live” tweeting activity by real social media users in partnership with a broadcast as the work of a “Tweet Team.”

You can experience the activity of the Tweet Team on June 25th at the Target Fireworks in Detroit with Local 4.  The Big Event Station is as connected as ever and engaging viewers by way of social media is no exception.  The Hay There Social Media team is pleased to be working with Local 4 to share behind the scenes views, updates and additional insight that night for a connected social TV experience for their viewers by their viewers.

TV broadcasts continue to bring millions of people unparalleled access to events and are a significant medium for our news and entertainment consumption.   We can expect the integration of social media to continue to define and enhance our social TV experience one tweet at a time.

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