And so it goes, once you think you’ve caught up on all the new tech terms there are to know, here comes a new one: “second screen”. This is the new term for the practice of using your smartphone or tablet while watching TV at the same time. I know – we can all practically hear our grandmothers’ warnings about burning our eyeballs from staring at so many screens. But recent user studies show that more and more people are not content with just one source of media input at a time, with more people opting to use social media or apps while relaxing in front of the tube. So what does this mean for your small business? Does the “second screen” industry mean making modifications to how you go after your audience online? Turns out, it does. Here’s how:
- Know which screen initiates which behaviors
TV ads tend to trigger less direct, immediate engagement than online ads, social media, and mobile apps. If your business is planning to advertise on multiple screen fronts, make sure that you’re playing to the type of engagement you’re likely to get on each different channel. TV or radio ads are most effective when they instigate a desire in the viewer to go out and learn more. Get your audience interested in your company, service or product, rather than trying to give a direct call to action. If they want to know more, you can rest assured they will follow up by seeking you out online via that mobile device or tablet that, chances are, they have right in their hand as they’re seeing your TV ad. Your online and mobile outreach is the place to prod for more direct engagement.
- Go “two screen” with your market
Let’s say, for example, that you have a music related app, and that is your business. During televised events that are relevant to your audience – like, say, the Grammys – let people know that you’ll be live tweeting the event from your company’s Twitter page, and encourage them to join you. A rapidly growing number of TV viewers engage with Twitter about TV shows or events with as much attentiveness as they pay to the show itself. Staying present on users’ “second screen” as their watching TV is a way to build your audience, expand your brand, and increase engagement.
- Amend your mobile sites and apps accordingly
With studies strongly supporting the trend toward mobile users using their devices will simultaneously looking at another screen, usually their computer or TV, it’s important that your mobile presence take this diminished attention into consideration. If you can, stay away from super wordy, content heavy apps and sites in favor of presenting links and pages in clear, concise, easily navigable ways. The easier it is for users to engage with your mobile presence without the full use of their attention, the more likely they are to choose your business as the occupant of their second screen.