Harness the power of online conversation

Opinion

Harness the power of online conversation

A mildly interesting report from Intel landed in my inbox this morning, claiming that with the rise of mobile computing and web-enabled smartphones, live 'event' TV shows such as X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing are taking over social networking mediums such as Twitter.

It seems that more and more of us are taking to the Internet while we watch to discuss, lament and harangue TV shows.

According to Intel, a whopping 45% of Brits have used a social network, usually Facebook or Twitter, to discuss live TV while it airs. Women were found to be the most chatty, with 51% admitting they'd done it, compared to 38% of men.

And 21% of us now say they would cancel a face-to-face social engagement if it meant missing a favourite show.

Now, I may have done this myself a few times, and it can be quite entertaining, but it's not really anything more than that ... is it?
You might well think that, but Intel also found that while the X Factor, for example, generated 11.49 tweets on the subject per second, the pre-election debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg generated a massive 29.09 tweets per second, meaning a far wider conversation was taking place.

During the debates, and to a lesser extent during George Osborne's emergency budget and even yesterday, during Ed Miliband's first speech as Labour leader, people were swapping opinions and generating ideas online through the use of Twitter hashtags.

I am a huge believer in the power of the social network conversation as a business tool, and it's one way we have been attempting to engage ourselves through Twitter here at MicroScope.

If the lesson's of this year's general election teach us anything, it's that these tagged conversations can be made to create business advantage. If channelled in the proper direction they can educate, inform, and even generate sales.

This was first published in September 2010

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