So-called social TV marketing, and social media in general, comes down to the underlying message that word-of-mouth has always been about: "This [insert your favorite TV/movie/song] comes from a friend whose taste you trust."
Though I have lots of friends, they mostly don't have the same taste as I. That's fine with me. What happens next? It leaves me depending on strangers, stumbling onto media and entertainment I might like, or even counting on professional critics.
Social TV buzz has become so loud that some believe it is having a reverse effort. For example, it could be hurting time-shifted viewing. TVGuide.com's Christy Tanner told Advertising Age: "We did a survey of our 10,000-person TV-fan panel last year and what we found is that 20% of them said they are watching more live TV specifically to avoid 'social spoilers.'"
So those people aren't necessarily listening to their friends either.
I can't tell you how many times I've talked to friends who have time-shifted live sporting events -- and worry I might tell them the results. I'm guessing they don't want much social media activity -- at least not before a sporting event.
In 2007, I called my aunt in Oklahoma -- a long-time, long-suffering New York Giants fan -- to throw in my congratulations for the team winning the Super Bowl. I left a message, which almost proved to be trouble.
I didn't know that my aunt had an important commitment -- right smack in the middle of the Super Bowl. So she had time-shifted the game. Fortunately, my uncle came home before she did, heard the my phone message, and properly erased it. She came home to watch the entire joyful game. No one had spoiled it for her.
Would social TV work for her? Had someone texted or tweeted her during the game, things would have gone wrong. More information isn't always better.
Social TV can connect like-minded people with excitement, conversation and activity. Social TV can also quicken the death of a particular piece of entertainment - TV, movies or music -- and perhaps spoil it for many. These days, that's just expected spillage in a digital world. That's show biz.