Social Ups TV, Marketers Benefit From Dual-Screen Approach

There are a few things I look forward to in the fall – football, chili and Halloween. But, above all else, I look forward to the highly anticipated fall television season, which is now upon us with all its glamour and glitz. Consumers will be glued to their televisions to watch new episodes and series premieres with their mobile phones, laptops and/or tablets. What’s the fun in watching a show if you can’t immediately share your comments, feelings and thoughts with the social universe? 

Recently, there have been numerous research reports pointing to two television trends; social media’s impact on broadcast viewership and the dual screen phenomenon. We’ll look at social media trends first.

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo stated publicly that Twitter has the ability to extend the reach of television, with the number of tweets about specific shows multiplying as much as 100 times during first-run broadcasts. Historically, these research reports have all been based on the correlation that popular television shows receive more tweets than unpopular shows. Of course, that should make complete sense to most people.



However, a new research report from Nielsen points to the idea of social media’s impact in an entirely new way. Nielsen found that in 29% of episode instances, more tweets actually resulted in higher viewership, showing an actual causal relationship between social media usage and viewership. The findings are interesting because they push the notion that Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can sell more advertising to major broadcast entities to push fan engagement.

“Using time series analysis, we saw a statistically significant causal influence indicating that a spike in TV ratings can increase the volume of tweets, and, conversely, a spike in tweets can increase tune-in,” said Paul Donato, Nielsen’s chief research officer. “This rigorous, research-based approach provides our clients and the media industry with a better understanding of the interplay between Twitter and broadcast TV viewing.”

Now let’s take a look at the dual screen phenomenon.

The same Nielsen report shows an even greater convergence of the dual-screen lifestyle of the consumer. All screens are starting to overlap and this consumer trend has implications for all of us in the marketing and communication world.

In addition to the Nielson report findings is the fact that the mobile environment is growing exponentially among consumers in the United States and abroad. Return Path recently released data showing that over 47% of emails are opened via a mobile device. With email ranking as the top form of communication between brands and consumers, this is an important point to consider when building out your digital marketing platform, whether entertainment or b-to-b.

Marketers take note! The dual screen phenomenon – integrating mobile and social media into the TV viewing experience – is undeniable, and marketers must take advantage of the dual-screen, multi-channel consumer world.

Marketers need to use technology and data to make better decisions to connect with consumers. In the end, a marketer’s ability to connect to consumers at the right time, on any device, across all channels will be the support that drives their business to either survive or die.

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