Social TV: TV Networks Embracing Social Media

I am not sure how I enjoyed television before Twitter. Now when I watch a good program, I make sure my cell phone is charged and right next to me. Some of my Twitter followers call me “TV Guide” because they can always tell when a good show is on by what I’m tweeting. Social media has changed how and when people discuss their favorite television shows and added another, more instant measurement tool for networks.

Twitter and Facebook make watching television alone at home social and fun. When an awards show is on and I watch it alone, I can scroll down my timeline and have a conversation about the last performance. People no longer have to wait until they get into the office the next morning to discuss a new show premiere, they can do it as they watch. Unlike talking on the phone, the viewer has more control over the conversation and can
interact with multiple viewers at once. Interaction and engagement is what makes Social TV so great. Viewers can interact with each other talking about their favorite moments and networks can engage their audience.

Larger television networks have jumped on the social media train. They not only have social media accounts, but they create hashtags for their most popular shows. Creating their own hashtags helps increase mentions and also allows them to better monitor the public opinion of shows. Now, television networks do not have to wait for the final viewer numbers to come in, they can see instant fan reactions. An article, “Is Social Media Killing TV?” said that 86% of U.S. mobile users watch television with their mobile device and of that 40% use it for social media purposes. That is a lot of people like me, either endorsing a show or telling others not to watch it. Networks are not just aiming for the highest rating spot anymore, they are also hoping all of those viewers with phones help make them a top trending topic in the United States. Some networks and shows have taken social TV a
step further and allow viewers to tweet or Facebook questions on their live shows.

Social TV is another huge sign that companies need to jump on the social media wave and ride it. You can’t fight the current, just embrace it. Social TV is not the future, it is now!


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