How social media and television interact

Geoffrey Precourt

"Social media may have a stronger role in building on-going viewership than in drawing new viewers," Beth Rockwood, svp, market resources, for Discovery Communications, and chair of the Council for Research Excellence's Social Media Committee, told the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) recent Audience Measurement 8.0 conference.

While presenting the findings of a new report from the Council for Research Excellence (CRE), Rockwood revealed the following insights:

  • Social media's impact for TV programs is small relative to traditional marketing and communications, but has the potential to grow quickly.
  • Promotion is still the strongest reason to watch a new program; social media has a discernible, but more limited, role.
  • "Super Connectors" – or 12% of the public – are highly engaged with both TV and social media.
  • Social media's role is at its strongest for programming categories like science fiction, sports and news/talk.
  • Interactions for reality shows registered strongly while viewers were actually watching, whereas comedy scored highly when audience members were not in front of their sets.
  • Mobile device ownership, on-demand and online viewing aligned closely with social media usage.
  • Hispanics are more likely to engage in social/TV interactions about all television genres.