As Consumers Go Social to Talk TV, Marketers Take Notice - eMarketer

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As Consumers Go Social to Talk TV, Marketers Take Notice

TV watchers' multitasking makes for integrated cross-channel opportunities

August 29, 2012

When people socialize online, TV is one of their favorite topics, finds a new report from eMarketer. Awards shows and sporting events regularly drive huge spikes in Twitter activity, and millions of fans took to social to comment on the 2012 London Olympics.

The new report, “Social TV: Marketers Tune in to Deeper Integrations,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, answering key questions about how marketers can better integrate social media with TV-watching behavior, including:

  • How are consumers using social media in conjunction with TV programming?
  • What can marketers gain from participating in social TV offerings?
  • What have companies such as Coca-Cola, Hyundai and Capital One learned from integrating social media and TV?
  • How are the networks using social data in their TV ad-sales pitches and how should marketers view the value of this data?
US Social TV Activity*, by Month, Q2 2011 & Q2 2012 (millions)

According to Trendrr, an analytics company that aggregates publicly available social media commentary about TV and TV shows, in June 2012 there were more than 81 million conversations about TV on Twitter, Facebook and a host of other social media properties, including GetGlue, Miso and Viggle. In June 2011, there had been just 10.4 million, based on Trendrr’s tracking. Between 2011 and 2012, Trendrr began tracking 38 more TV networks, which is the reason behind the large growth. But even on an adjusted basis, comparing the same variables from year to year, the number of conversations still nearly tripled.

The rise of so-called “second-screen” and “third-screen” devices such as phones, tablets and laptop computers make it far easier for consumers to engage via social while watching TV. In a Nielsen study conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, 47% of US tablet owners visited a social network while watching TV.

“While the true effect of social media on TV-watching behavior is difficult to gauge, it is clear that social TV in all its iterations is a business that the networks, social media companies and marketers are taking seriously,” said eMarketer.

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