The #OrangeRoom – The Today Show’s Social Media Experiment

By Ron Romanski | Small Business

The #OrangeRoom – The Today Show’s Social Media Experiment image iStock 000023346718XSmall 300x1992The #OrangeRoom – The Today Show’s Social Media ExperimentThe Today Show has a new look that goes well beyond a new logo and set – the core of the new brand is the #OrangeRoom, an interactive social media center to bridge the morning show with their viewers.

In an effort to reclaim the #1 morning show spot – Today has embarked on a social media experiment – using best practices to engage their audience into the stories they report.

This experiment has some serious legs – but 2 days into it, I’m left not feeling all too excited with how it has started thus far.  In fact, it feels like just more news reporting, but the story is told via tweets without a reporter on site.

That’s just more of the same and won’t do much to make a dent into the gap between Today and their rival, Good Morning America.

So what is Today missing that you could learn to make your social media experiment work for your business?

Rule #1 about social media, it’s not about you, it’s about them.  The point of social media is to engage your audience into a digital discussion.  The goal is to get them to talk about their opinion on a certain topic by asking them questions.  Carson Daly had a golden opportunity yesterday when discussing the Redskins name controversy by not asking “Should the Redskins change their name?  Tweet us your answer by using the hashtag #OrangeRoom.”

No one cares what you’re doing right now.  Carson’s tweets have consisted of telling us he is working with the #OrangeRoom team and thanking his mom and dad for a gift that’s on the set.  Not to sound harsh, but who cares?  This is the equivalent to posting your lunch or dinner menu on social media.  A better option would be to tweet about topics that are trending, don’t be afraid to share the real time info you’re working on.  Again, don’t forget rule #1.

Pay attention to what people think. If you research #OrangeRoom on Twitter, you’ll find not much of a conversation going on.  What is being tweeted is not exactly praise for this new experiment.  If I wasn’t already a Today Show fan, and was curious about what the #OrangeRoom was about, what has been tweeted wouldn’t really drive me to change the channel.  Social media is like your free gauge on what people think.  Paying attention to what people have to say about you will guide you to your next steps.

The Today Show has a golden opportunity in front of them.  Most businesses don’t have the platform and reach Today has with it’s morning show.  It is very easy to drive people to social media when you’re in their living room.

So, Carson, if you’re reading this, follow these 3 steps if you want to make this a success.  Otherwise the #OrangeRoom may end up an epic #Fail.

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