Social Media Buzz Impacts TV Viewing

Rising above old-media-new-media squabbles, TV and social channels appear to be developing a symbiotic bond.
Indeed, one out of every six times a viewer watches prime-time TV, they are using social media, according to new research.
More to the point, about half of social media activity comes while users watch TV related to the show (or shows) they are viewing, according to new findings from the Council for Research Excellence (CRE).
“Social media definitely has become established as a second-screen for a select group of viewers,” according to Beth Rockwood, senior vice president of market recourses at Discovery Communications and chairwoman of the CRE’s Social Media Committee.
CRE’s latest study was conducted last fall by a research team from Keller Fay Group and fielded by Nielsen Life360. The findings were gleaned from roughly 78,000 mobile-app diary entries submitted by nearly 1,700 study participants across a broad set of demographics, permitting case studies on some 1,600 shows.
The profile of the average consumer interacting daily with TV via social media still skews 58% female, and 20% Hispanic, with a median age of 35.
Hispanics are the demographic group most engaged with social TV while viewers are watching. In fact, 10% of the time Hispanic viewers are watching a prime-time TV show, those viewers are using social media in connection with that show.
Similarly, Facebook social-TV users skew female and Hispanic, and ages 35-to-44.
Twitter users, however, were found to be more evenly split by gender and among Hispanics and African Americans, and more skewed to the 15-24 and 25-34 age groups.
Also of note, social media appears twice as effective for attracting viewers to new shows (6.8%) as returning shows (3.3%), while social media activity about new shows peaks around their premieres.
Yet, social media is still exceeded by traditional TV promos, which were at least three times as influential in helping viewers find new shows, the researchers found.
Founded in 2005, the CRE is an independent research group funded by Nielsen. Members span ad agencies, media-buying firms, media companies, advertisers, digital publishers, social media companies and industry organizations.

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