Social Media & TV: Good Marriage or Just Dating?

Social Media & TV Good Marriage or Just DatingCan social media and television make a good marriage?

Many analysts believe they make a fine couple, but there are some caveats, according to a new eMarketer report, “Social TV: Marketers’ Enthusiasm Cools a Bit, but Experimentation Continues.”

“These TV-related conversations are fragmenting across platforms. Twitter, which has gotten the most attention for its TV tie-ins, is experiencing renewed competition from Facebook, for example,” according to eMarketer.

“Facebook has put more effort into surfacing trending topics, which often relate to TV. The social service has also emphasized metrics showing the amount of discussion about TV shows on Facebook,” the story continued.

The central idea is to show how marketers and programmers can better tap into interactions, even if they “are not directly about TV, but happen to be occurring while the TV is on.”

In other words — maybe not marriage, but definitely dating?

Facebook wants to work with TV networks and producers. As a result, the company has increased the size of the team tasked with buiding these partnerships. One result? A new feature on NBC’s “TODAY” show that showcases what’s trending on Facebook.

But wait, there’s more! (As they say on TV).

“Another product enhancement that has implications for social TV is a content recognition feature that can detect what music a Facebook user is listening to or what show he or she is watching,” says eMarketer. “The user must opt in to the feature when composing a status update. For TV shows, Facebook can automatically generate a thumbnail image of the show, information on what episode is being watched, as well as provide a link to the show’s Facebook page.”

eMarketer notes that one essential area in which Facebook trails is in the introduction of ad tie-ins that take real-time advantage of TV interactions. That’s one thing Twitter is on top of at the moment.