Sleepy Hollow, TV and Twitter

I’ve seen a lot of sci-fi movies and none of them have predicted the hashtag. Star Trek predicted the iPad, Back to the Future will have its self-lacing shoe in 2015, but none of them have imagined a time where the pound sign ( # ) would be called a #hashtag, tweet would be something other than the sound a bird makes, and the amount of it being multiplied be something of relevance.

Twitter, to put it simply, has exploded. It’s described as a social networking site, tool, or app, but we all know it’s more than that. It’s where we go to follow celebrities, post the mundane things that we do every day, and at the present, it has become a gauge of how popular something is becoming.

The best example that I can give you is Ellen’s Oscar selfie. It had the most retweets ever which showed how many people were actually watching the show. It also worked as a chain, a continuous reaction from Twitter users that become Oscar viewers who tweet and affect other people.

Aside from being a gauge, Twitter has given power to the people. In Sleepy Hollow’s case, everyone wasn’t feeling Ichabod Crane’s Revolutionary War attire. It was obvious that most of the viewers wanted Crane to change his clothes, maybe wear something more comfortable like jeans and a shirt. But when Twitter spoke, the writers of the Fox hit show listened. They gave us more than just jeans, they made Crane wear skinny jeans! The sight was already too much to bear, but the banter between Leftenant Mills and Crane was cherry on top of the metaphorical ice cream.

“Hell hath frozen over.” Says Abbie.

“One sign of the impending apocalypse is surely skinny jeans.”  Crane responds.

Twitter is also a messaging app, allowing fans and the actors, actresses, writers, and show-runners, tweet and talk to each other during the program. Plainly, it’s the most creative and awesome marketing strategy of all time. The always entertaining and funny reality show The Voice post tweets of the judges every time something humorous or cool happens. Scandal, on the other hand, encourage actors to talk to viewers during the show.

“What has popped up in the last five years is TV viewers have a connection to show runners and actors that is more immediate and transparent,” said Geoffrey Long, who explores transmedia experiences for USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab. “There’s an active dialogue that is no longer heavily one-sided. We’re still in the early stages of how that changes things.”

The social networking site has cultivated carefully the relationship of TV and twitter. The San Francisco company has made a deal with Nielsen to produce ratings based on twitter conversations. It has also struck partnerships with major networks like CBS, NBC, Fox, and ESPN. The advertisers are also realizing the effectiveness of Twitter. Companies like Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Doritos, Honda and H&M have incorporated hashtags in their Super Bowl ad campaigns.

“It’s past experimental for many agencies. It’s proven to drive engagement at scale,” said Mike Margolin, senior vice president of audience strategy for Santa Monica-based RPA, Honda’s ad agency.

So the big men have spoken. It’s not a fad, it’s not an experimental gimmick. Better get used to it people, because Twitter is here to stay. #nevergonnagiveyouup

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