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Live tweeting...what is it?

live tweeting

Twitter is a fairly recent communicative phenomenon.  Dubbed ‘microblogging’, Twitter allows users to ‘tweet’ 140 characters of whatever they want to those who follow them. However, Twitter is quickly becoming a great social network for ‘live’ happenings. It has already proved itself useful for news outlets, and is quickly becoming a first port of call for event organisers.

Quickly emerging is the idea of ‘live tweeting’. Live tweeting is strongly associated with media content - both advertising and TV.  For instance, TV shows like Breaking Bad have a Twitter account that is used both for promoting the show through photos and other content, but is also used to complement the show while it’s on air.   Examples of this include the use of retweets from fans using a specific hashtag either commenting on the show or answering interactive questions posed by the Twitter account.

A New Zealand example of live tweeting is that of Seven Sharp, TVNZ’s 7pm primetime slot live show. Use of Facebook comments and tweets commonly pop up during the show and are meant to somewhat enhance the experience of the show. But does it really enhance the show?   Often, the tweets or Facebook comments that come up on the show aren’t that great. Sure — it’s a nice gimmick, but generally the points made simply reinforce the general opinion and can’t really be construed as critical. Additionally, often the social media interaction isn’t completely live. Although some in-the-moment tweets or comments can make that cut, Seven Sharp’s social media accounts generally send out tweets and post statuses earlier in the day to earmark responses for the show that night.

What about advertising, and live tweeting, though? Coke Romania recently ran an amazing campaign that linked Twitter and a television commercial. As a kind of response to the statistic that 6 out of 10 Romanians eat dinner alone with their TV, Coke encouraged friends to eat together through the use of the hashtag #LetsEatTogether. Those who used the hashtag got to eat with their friends, the possibility of their tweet appearing live on the ad, and also being some of the select few to have their meals cooked by a celebrity chef.  While this last point — the chef cooking surprise meals for a lucky few — makes the campaign a type of competition, is it safe to say that this was a risky campaign, particularly because there is a lot that can go wrong.

For instance, getting the tweets to appear live would take quite a lot of effort, because it would have to be done so quickly. Additionally, to me it’s surprising that there was such a huge response to people wanting their tweets to appear live on TV.

As well as this, the organisation of the competition would be quite difficult. Ultimately, Coke seems to have been lucked in on this one.


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