I spent a half hour on my computer watching cbsnews.com’s new show, “What’s Trending with Shira Lazar,” and I was pretty excited when I realized I “got it!” I watched the show, live tweeted about some segments, didn’t feel left out because I’m not a 24/7 social media geek and I actually learned something.
I thought it would be faster and more cutting-edge than it was, but it let folks like me straddle both worlds, which is exactly the point. It marries the best of CBS news and entertainment with top social media influencers and lends itself to some real opportunities for us, and our clients targeting this demographic.
Shira Lazar is the host of the show, which is streamed live on cbsnews.com, YouTube and Facebook on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. And you get to tweet about everything you’re watching. It’s CBS News’ attempt to jump ahead of the curve into the social media space and create something new – which I think they did. The segments focus on what’s hot, what’s trending, news, celebrities, gossip, just like you’d see on the CBS Early Show and it streams in social media without overwhelming you.
On the left side of the screen is a regular TV screen, which makes you feel like you’re watching your favorite show. On the right side, there’s a column for Twitter and Facebook comments, which stream live. In fact, Shira often tosses to her side-kick, Melissa Jun Rowley, on the couch to read some of these interactive comments aloud. And then you see more comments from the tweets she got; many shout outs about the show. I actually tweeted a couple of times and it was kind of cool to watch the conversation happen in one place, right next to the TV. Talk about efficient.
There are several possible sponsorship opportunities for clients here – and in fact, I’m already making contact with the show’s producers to get more information and lay some groundwork. The sponsorships, which sandwich segments, would be seen by viewers watching the broadcast and tweeting about it, so you get a one-two punch. I also think there’s a great chance we could get some strong digital guests on the “trending” couch
Content wise, Shira and her top influencers talked about top news stories, like whether Facebook pages should’ve been closed down after they called for violent protests on Israel’s borders. They talked celebrities – Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher. They spoke to political consultant Joe Trippi about the impact of digital social media on the 2012 presidential election. It struck me how guest Chelsea Kane (Dancing With The Stars) kept talking about, “young voters like me who live online and want to know the President hears them.” There were lots of tweets about her “young voters” comment and I tweeted back: “Do you really think the President has time to listen to all of us?” It was cool having a conversation with people who raised their eyebrows the same time I did. And you saw their comments appear seconds after mine.
The show also had a sponsored “good” news magazine segment on solar energy and the show ended with Twitter celebrity and rapper Talib Kweli and his take on hip hop artist Common’s visit to the White House, which has raised the hackles of some in the GOP.
Overall, I think this show is something we definitely need to keep our eye on for clients and ourselves. These hosts are the influencers who millions follow and we need to hear what they’re saying. And it’s easy – all you have to do is watch TV, especially if you’re not comfortable yet in the social media world.