Social media can drive television viewership


Internet Address BarHorowitz Associates notes fears of new media eroding the audience for more traditional media choices, but there is now evidence that social media actually builds television viewing, particularly in the younger demographics.

According to Horowitz, almost one fourth of the 18-34 demographic say that their social media experiences led them to begin watching a given program. It shoots up to 30% when 15-17s are measured.

Out of the entire television viewing universe, 14% say social media acts as a reminder to watch certain programs, and the number shoots up to 18% 18-34 and 28% 15-17.

12% enjoy using social media to engage their friends in conversation about a given program, with respective increases of 14% and 20% in the two younger groups.

11% are actively engaged with social media while actually watching a program, and 10% enjoy posting commentary about the programs they watch.

“Harnessing the power of social media and social interactivity with TV is essential in order to keep younger viewers engaged with the live TV experience,” notes Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’ VP of Marketing and Business Development.  “It’s not as easy as it sounds, because social media is inherently organic, about personal empowerment and community-building.  In the social media environment, consumers do not want to feel ‘marketed to’ or manipulated.  A successful social media or interactive strategy must feel genuine, not fabricated.”

RBR-TVBR observation: This underscores a larger point – which we made in another story on this very day – and it’s that broadcasters have got to make effective use of internet assets. This will be a critical component of business going forward.

If all the prognosticators are correct, advertising revenue will be flowing to the internet for some time to come – and there is no reason your station shouldn’t be well-positioned there with a large and loyal audience, waiting to scoop up some of this cash.

On a personal note, I will just tell you that both my wife and I have Gray Television’s NBC WITN Greenville NC bookmarked on our computers, and it is the first place we go if we want instantaneous access to a local weather report.

We were also joking around about the special esteem that the weekend 11PM anchor and weatherman seemed to have for one another, and I was able to look them up on the WITN website. I was astonished to learn that neither had any children, but in the place in their bio where they were asked to list children, they BOTH listed a cat named Pacman.

Further research confirmed that our romantic instincts were correct, that the weatherman actually had proposed to the anchor on the air some time before my little research project, and they are now husband and wife, and still holding down weekends for the station.

And the station is that much more personal to us. Well done, WITN.