Good Morning America (GMA) has revolutionized the television experience.
This morning, the talk show unveiled the Social Square, a groundbreaking new digital studio that provides real-time, interactive conversations via social media. Described as the “nerve center” for GMA, the Social Square is outfitted with the latest technology and a variety of social media platforms to connect the anchors, guests, viewers, and fans throughout each morning’s broadcast.
Social Square is a virtual Times Square that is “all about engaging directly with our viewers from beginning to end,” said GMA Senior Executive Producer Tom Cibrowski. With all due respect, Mr. Cibrowski, it is so much more than that. Highlights of the #socialsquare include:
So much technology! But how will it all be used? GMA has a few ideas: they invite fans to send good morning messages on G+ Hangouts (which might be shown on the iconic ABC jumbotron in the heart of Times Square), send an Instagram video to their favorite artist who is appearing on the show, or tweet a response to an audience poll—with the #socialsquare, there are countless ways to get involved!
— Twitter for News (@TwitterForNews) March 10, 2014
Although Good Morning America is certainly not the first television show to utilize social media as a connection tool—remember, Jimmy Fallon is an old pro at social media marketing, ESPN frequently uses social media for fan polls, and countless other television programs live tweet their shows—GMA is the first to integrate social media so proactively into their programming. Gone are the days of pre-planned video segments—the way of the future is real-time, interactive television.
Of course, live social media engagement adds another layer of difficulty to a television broadcast. Trust me when I say GMA didn’t just dream up the Social Square on a whim—it took careful planning and execution. Preparations must be made for live monitoring of social posts (surely GMA doesn’t want a vulgarity flashing across the screen!) and a quick-witted Social Media Manager is necessary for replying to fans and optimizing engagement… but with a sturdy infrastructure and well executed strategy, live social media television can be done.
— Jessica Reese (@JMarieReese) March 10, 2014
As the pioneer talk show to integrate social media into their morning broadcasts, GMA is poised to reap the rewards—both in the Nielsen TV ratings and online in their social communities. What do you think of the #socialsquare—how will you participate?
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