As the popularity of social media grows across every demographic, it’s no surprise that nearly every industry has adopted various networks into their marketing strategy. Dubbed as “social television” or the “second screen,” the entertainment industry has taken note of the more interactive and engaged viewership supported by Twitter’s real-time platform.
In fact, research by Nielsen Neuro indicates that Twitter activity during live airings of primetime shows is directly correlated with how engaged viewers are with the show. Thirty-three percent of viewers reportedly comment on Facebook or Twitter about what they’re watching during a specific show. In essence, realtime TV watching has gone from being a passive hobby to a social event.
Social media also drives tune-in: a ShareThis study of 46 million social media users also found that those who clicked on show-related content were two times more likely to watch that show. This demonstrates that the power of user-generated content is relevant to any industry and that people rely on the recommendations of others even when it comes to deciding what to watch.
Shareable content has allowed viewers to connect to and engage with one another about their favorite shows as they air. The examples below are of shows branding their episodes with a specific hashtag and tweeting throughout the episode to create a live-feed, or even having the cast communicate with fans during the airing. Doing so helps to guide the conversation and generates even more excitement by having the show interact with viewers.
“I didn’t expect to fall in love with him.” #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/YIgC8XIaF2
— The Bachelorette (@BacheloretteABC) July 14, 2015
The season finale of #HTGAWM starts now. #WhoCanYouTrust pic.twitter.com/BIfyBcGfeM — How To Get Away ABC (@HowToGetAwayABC) February 27, 2015
Nashville Twitter bus! In action in 15 minutes! #AskNashville pic.twitter.com/QrFmFl6yVt
— Chris Carmack (@RealCarmack) October 24, 2013
At a bar in NY tweeting with @portiaderossi & @lietzeenut #ScandaIFinale #TGIT pic.twitter.com/bZpsKuoYLp — Tony Goldwyn (@tonygoldwyn) May 15, 2015
Data from Nielson also indicates that the trend crosses all telecasts – from sporting events to award shows and regular series. So what can popular shows learn from the examples set by The Bachelor[ette], Nashville, and others? Tweet, tweet, tweet! Creating a social media identity around your show or episode has not only reinforces ties you have to your existing fans, but also creates countless opportunities to draw in interest from potential viewers.