Aside from the endless political opinions, predictions and just outright hate, Social Media is an important tool for retailers, especially Televised Retailers.

I’m proud to say that I was the first host on QVC (and maybe in the industry) to utilize faxes (no extensive texting or social media then) as a method of interacting with customers during live shows. The Powers That Be were nervous about it but reluctantly agreed. Eventually, they assigned someone to edit them. The first couple of years, I was just handed the live faxes and had to edit and read them live.

This technique was extremely useful during computer and science fiction collectible shows, especially when we had a celebrity guest. People loved being able to interact with their science fiction “heroes,” asking them questions or simply making comments. I always read their name and location along with their question and/or comment. The interaction had a very positive impact on sales in these shows.

Jonathan Frakes was great with viewer phone calls and faxes. He was my guest on one of the most successful Star Trek Shows in QVC history. He even got into reading the faxes. He had a fantastic sense of humor.

Today, all the channels use Facebook, Twitter and texts as part of their marketing strategy for live shows. I don’t think they use it enough, probably because it’s not an easy thing for most hosts. It’s tough enough to host a live show and feature a product in its best possible light. Doing it while you’re trying to read messages from customers is difficult, but not impossible.

Hosts (and management) need training on the effective use of social media. This is particularly true of Evine Live. They don’t seem to use this kind of customer interaction that much. Given their recent financial problems, it is a strategy they should explore and implement as soon as possible. They could even create new show formats that heavily rely on this type of interaction. The creation of new show formats could help pull the channel out of its current slump.

Here’s a very funny clip from the show that Jonathan and I did back in the 1990’s.

TV Shopping Host and Coach, Musician, Author, Teacher.

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