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TV and Twitter

Take a look at these statistics here, but what do they mean?

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Well, firstly they demonstrate a strong link between TV, the primary screen, and Social Media, the secondary screen. The influence of the two on each other cannot be denied.

Considering this climate, can a production run the risk of not being present on social media? With 83% of people browsing the web while viewing TV, darting in and out of Social Media sites – like Twitter, sharing ideas, participating in global conversations and looking for extra information on the show, it seems that those who do not get involved miss out.

It is interesting that users who Tweet about TV have twice the influence as those who only Tweet about brands. This ‘influence’ can work in many ways. General discussion and comment on a show can induce others to watch it, as it often sparks curiosity and a desire ‘to be involved’. Influence can also be extended as these conversations can, to an extent, be controlled by the account holder. This is because they are in charge of the distribution of content, and what that content is. The account holder is also able to choose what to ‘Retweet’ or ‘Like’, to give the audience a positive or negative reaction to their comments, to carry on the conversation, or to try and put a stop to it.

What’s more, given that 41% of people Tweet about the show they are watching, it seems only common sense for the production to keep abreast of the topics in discussion. The amount of ‘free’ feedback a site like Twitter provides is incalculable because it is continuous and can be, while the interest in the show is maintained (by sharing content), infinite. This suggests that those who do not get involved not only miss out on keeping up to date with trends and extra interaction, but that they are at a disadvantage simply because they cannot reap any of the benefits of being present on Social Media.

The fact that there is a 20% increase in Tweets per minute following the on-air appearance of a hashtag demonstrates that TV has a highly significant influence on Twitter, and that Twitter users are connected to the TV, highlighting the link between the First and Second screen once again.

A perfect example of this is when Victoria aired on ITV. At first the audience was diluted because people were using different hashtags for the same conversation. This meant that Victoria, despite the sheer number of Tweets, was struggling to trend. However, following an announcement at the beginning of the show clarifying the hashtag and the conversation was to be had on (#VictoriaITV), there was a huge rush to use the # and join in; the show consequently secured a top trending spot. When something is ‘trending’, while it may sound trivial, it signifies that that discussion is one of the top ten most popular at that time, and people notice it immediately because it is inescapably present down the side of our screens on Facebook and Twitter.

The question is: given the implications for audience share and engagement, can any programme really afford not to exploit this medium?

Food for thought,
Imogen