Last summer, the Today Show decided to change their Twitter strategy. They had been using Twitter for over a year, but were simply pushing out links to their content. But after the Olympics, they put a real person behind their account, and they started interacting with the community.
Of course, the Twitter community responded – who wouldn’t want to talk to the people behind the nation’s largest and longest running morning news show? I suggested they do a Today Show segment on Twitter, and kind of flipped when they actually responded back and asked what I thought would be interesting to their audience. I mentioned the breaking news stories, Obama’s savvy election strategy, & how Comcast and Dell were offering faster customer service than someone could get if they picked up a phone. Oh, and by the way, I said, I certainly would be an appropriate guest to talk about it on your show!
I never heard from them again on that idea, but we did tweet back and forth a bit every now and then. I pretty much forgot about that conversation until the morning of February 24th, when I got a Twitter Direct Message from @TodayShow:
“Hey, when you have a chance, call me at xxx. Thank you.”
After I picked myself up off the floor from falling off my chair, I called up Ryan, the show producer. He reminded me of our Twitter conversation, and then told me they were doing a segment on Digital Moms.
And I almost couldn’t believe it.
I had just landed a spot on the Today Show because of a Twitter conversation.
It was a perfect story of social media done right. A company on Twitter with a real person behind the profile. A mom with a good story to tell. And both of us on Twitter for all the right reasons – to not only market ourselves, but to build real relationships, add value and be part of the conversation.
I suspect that the Today Show is going to get a lot of new followers and story pitches thanks to this post. And I bet a few other news shows might, also. But here’s my advice: Don’t expect to land on national TV if you spam these shows with your ideas. Remember, again, that there are real people who run TV shows, and real people don’t like spam.