Some associations between social media and TV are fleeting -- or worse. They could exist just to solve "business" problems while not attending to real consumer needs. Do we really need frequent flyer/incentive points for watching or talking about TV shows? That doesn’t sounds like a way to connect with TV, but a way to get other stuff. Maybe that’s what marketers want.
Social interjectors may moan about a TV show ‘s script and actors. But does that make people want to buy products associated with the moaning -- or does it just become something to avoid? Not commercial skipping here, but more like full-scale marketing skipping. Social media just may be a real tool for consumers but with no scalable advertising dollars attached.
Social media proponents point to strong data like the following from DirecTV:
-- 42% of Americans watch TV while on their laptops, smartphones or tablets; 45% of men and 55% of women tweet while watching TV.
-- 31% of those aged 50 plus talk “TV” on social media, with 27% of 25-35 year-olds and 12% of those 18 years and under also doing so.
-- 50% of Twitter users who engage with shows discuss the shows they’re watching in real time.
-- 77% of social network users tweet to tell friends what they’re watching; 68% tweet to keep shows they like on the air.
Those sound like pretty compelling arguments.
But if social media is so good for TV, why haven't most broadcast shows shown rapidly growing audiences? Why are there mostly declines? For that matter, why haven't established original scripted cable programs shown continual growing viewership?
Engaged viewers send a lot of social messages, but some studies show they are a small number compared to casual social message makers. A bigger part of the population does even less than that.
Sure people want connection, but what about people who want to connect less with TV? Maybe they want more of a simple affair -- the lean-back activity analysts talk about.
This isn't to discount heavy social media TV engagers. But perhaps a broad-scale formula has yet to be found.
Overall, people are inherently lazy when it comes to TV. The lean-back entertainment activity is the easiest platform. And yet, apparently, not easy enough.