17% use social networks to discover new TV shows


By The Drum Team, Editorial

March 9, 2012 | 2 min read

17% of the public use social networks to discover new TV shows and be alerted to programmes that are currently on and being talked about, a Social TV Trends Report - Part Two by Diffusion PR.

This comes as it was revealed yesterday that Channel 4 is unveiling a new channel, 4seven, which will show programmes which have received the most buzz on social media over the past seven days.

The research also found 39% of 18-24 year olds are using social media to guide them in their TV choices, while a third of this age group said that they would be most likely to talk online about a TV show if they saw friends already talking about it online. However, only 10% said they would be more likely to comment on a show online if its hashtag was shown at the beginning of the programme.

Diffusion’s survey of 2,025 GB adults found that 12% of British TV viewers are engaged in social commentary online while watching TV because it is a way to connect with friends and contacts through similar interest, whilst one in 10 do so because it adds information and fresh perspectives on what they’re watching.

Despite some shows choosing to promote heavily on Facebook, it was discovered that only 4% of TV viewers claim they would be more likely to talk about a show online if they had seen Facebook adverts about the show in question, compared to 17% who would be influenced by online discussion by peers.

Tom Malcolm, Diffusion’s head of consumer, said: “These real-time, online discussions of TV shows on social media mark the end of the water cooler effect and a fundamental change in the way Brits watch, share and interact with TV.

“Although a number of broadcasters have invested heavily in Facebook advertising to boost viewing figures, the new research highlights that most effective means of boosting viewing figures is discussion generation which is aided by strong community management and influencer engagement. Advertising alone is no longer enough; the social television viewer is increasingly looking for third party endorsement and it’s vital that broadcasters get their audiences talking about their shows positively online.”

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