Social Media Better for Building Network Brands, Not TV Viewing Audiences

What could be more social than watching TV? Consumers often catch up on their favorite shows with friends and family members. And they might also share their enthusiasm for their programs through social media. But can social media also build a following for a new program?

Knowledge Networks considered this question and studied the social media habits of consumers between the ages of 13 to 54 with respect to TV viewing and reported the following results:

  • About 34% of viewers say they use the like/​follow/​friend features on social media for TV shows
  • When they do so, 57% are more likely to engage with the show
  • The reasons for engaging include ‘showing support’ or ‘staying up to date’

But does this activity build a bigger audience for a show? Not necessarily, say Knowledge Networks analysts. The study considered 20 of the new programs that were offered by major networks this fall. The viewing correlation based on social media influence was a paltry 0.3. And, in total, 10% of consumers say that social media is ‘very important’ in influencing which shows they’ll watch. Traditional TV ads, the opinions of friends and family and on-​screen guides are more important influencers here.

David Tice, Vice President and Group Account Director at Knowledge Networks, says, "Our research continues to show that social media's strength is in the building of media brands – such as those of a TV program or network – rather than driving actions such as viewing."  Marketers of TV programming will likely take these statistics into account as they plan their media allocations for 2012.

[Source: Social Media and TV shows. Knowledgenetworks​.com. 1 Dec. 2011. Web. 20 Dec. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.