Over the past decade or so, social media has taken the world by storm and has become the most efficient and steadfast communication tool used by over 3.2 billion users worldwide. To add more knowledge into the mix, digital signage has also seen a large amount of growth in the past several years as technology is always evolving and bringing on exciting opportunities within the industry. According to a recent market research report by Grand View Research, “the global digital signage market size was estimated at USD 18.55 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach USD 31.71 billion by 2025”. It’s safe to say that social media and digital signage has grown to be successful in their own right.
Unique advantages come along with each medium, but most can be seen as a mutual benefit; with branding, strategic communication, interactivity, and transparency leading the pack.
- Branding: Whether you run a corporate comm strategy or represent your company at tradeshows and events, social media is a great tool to use for telling your company’s story. With a social wall on display via digital signage, all employees, visitors, customers, and end-users will have the chance to follow along with your social feed and activity. Your brand will be more visible and relevant as social media organically brings more web traffic and awareness to your company overall.
- Strategic Communication: communication strategies can vary depending on what type of business you run or what types of events you are attending. digital signage and social media both allow you to communicate your message consistently so everyone can view content that would otherwise go unseen or receive little attention. social media specifically will bring attention to all user-generated content through hashtags and relevant posts. Bringing this content to a larger platform through digital signage in corporate settings and events will help improve any communication that needs a boost.
- Interactivity: digital signage and social media are both known as convenient and easy tools for communication, but they also allow for engaging experiences through audience participation. Being able to interact with social posts has become a social norm in today’s world and it gives end-users the opportunity to be heard. With digital signage, you can take audience participation and engagement with social media to a whole new level through contests, Q&A polls, user-generated content from hashtags, and more.
- Transparency: Over the past few years the need for transparency among companies has grown exponentially, especially public companies. Social media provides an outlet to communicate one-on-one with your audience. Digital signage serves the same purpose, a medium to communicate everything good and bad happening. When combined, both mediums work together to provide an outlet that allows for a conversation between an organization and its stakeholders; customers, employees, shareholders, and leadership.
In any case, it has been made clear why these two mediums are a match made in Heaven. Now let’s dive into the details of how to bring social media to your digital signage network.
WHERE TO START
As we all know, there is a wide variety of social media channels between Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more, which all exist as separate entities. So, in order to bring all of your social media to one place, you will need to utilize a social media aggregator.
There are plenty of social media aggregators and software platforms on the market today that can bring an engaging social media wall to your digital signage with minimal effort. Luckily there are options that exist for all types of budgets; with companies like Curator and Juicer who offer more cost-effective solutions and flexibility, along with platforms such as Social Wall Pro and TINT that take it a step further by offering more unique features and pricing packages; such as daily, monthly, or annual packages. Some even offer custom options which are tailored around your specific needs.
Various content management software’s (CMS) have built-in social media feeds that can be scheduled through RSS or HTML widgets. These can pull from common social platforms, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. However, these feeds are not customizable and will rarely include filtering capabilities. Another alternative is ScreenFeeed. ScreenFeed has a social media bundle that you can drop into your CMS playlist. These are free or low-cost solutions should your needs be fairly simple and you already have a robust CMS.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
With the variety of social media aggregators on the market, most of the standard solutions will offer a free, web-based platform that allows for curating and management of the social content. Additionally, most of these solutions will include an option for full API access if your company chooses to build a custom design around the social data and content. Some of the enhanced solutions with increased costs consist of gamification features, Q&A polls, sponsorship opportunities, and ROI analytics/report tools. We also recommend finding a solution that allows filtering. Filtering allows you to control the message if it were to become inappropriate for work. We do recommend that people still monitor the network and manually delete inappropriate comments since filters can never work 100% of the time. We also recommend letting the conversation take its path, controlling the message too much can eliminate the transparency benefit your audience desires.
You’d think all would offer customer support, but it doesn’t necessarily come with every solution. So just be sure to keep that in mind in your search. The best thing to do when considering the use of a social media aggregator within a digital signage network is to have a strategy in place. Have a plan for what social channels and posts you want to display, where it will be displayed, and how often you think you’ll truly utilize this tool.
HOW WE CAN HELP
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles such as https://fwdigital.net/custom-content/
Freshwater is both software and hardware agnostic. This allows us to bring a number of options to the table along with a strategy to help you find the best solution for your business.
Contact us at [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you successfully bring social media channels to your digital signage network!
Blog written by Zack Rinvelt, Business Development Manager.