Social TV in the Fall

Social TV Plays A Big Role In The 2012 Fall TV Schedule

By Staff Writer
In October 9, 2012

The other night, I was watching primetime TV with my parents when a Twitter hashtag appeared at the bottom of the TV screen. With a confused expression, my dad turned to me.

“I’ve been noticing those crazy pound symbols with phrases after them more and more when I’m watching programs. What are they?” he asked.

After about 20 minutes of explaining to him what a hashtag was, all I got was a blank stare. Then it got me thinking how much television viewing has evolved due to social media. Before the days of laptops, tablets and smartphones, people would have to wait until their shows were over to talk about them, or wait until the next day to discuss at the office water coolers. Imagine that.

Over the past few years, more television audiences started using additional electronic devices while simultaneously watching television programs. This trend, the second screen experience, has caught on among TV audiences. With access to social media platforms on second screens like Facebook and Twitter, viewers can interact with one another, and in some cases, the actual show itself in real time. Although interacting via social platforms while watching TV isn’t new to many people, recent statistics show that it’s certainly on the rise and the numbers are predicted to exponentially climb.

According to a recent Ericsson study, 62 percent of consumers use social media while watching TV, an 18 percent increase from last year. Of that statistic, 25 percent of consumers use social media to discuss what they are watching while they are watching it.

Comedies, dramas, televised sporting events, news broadcasts and reality shows are all taking part in using hashtags. Take these celebrity examples from Dancing with the Stars, for instance:

Social TV apps are also all the rage. GetGlue, for example, allows users to check-in via their social platforms and share what they are watching, and receive recommendations, rewards and other offers based on their check-ins. Zeebox, an app created in the UK that just debuted in the US, has taken social TV to the next level by allowing broadcasters to push their own content to the app and get real time audience metrics.

It’s no surprise that 2012 is shaping up to be the year of social TV and the marketers behind these networks and programs are using Twitter and other social platforms to promote fall TV lineups. To give a few examples, CBS is amplifying its fall season line-up debut with Flock to Unlock, a game that allows fans to “unlock” downloadable previews for new shows and returning favorites. TV Guide Mobile just launched a new app that enables viewers to track their favorite shows and see how these shows compare to others’ favorites in their social networks.

Trendrr TV® tracks all major networks and shows, and measures real time impressions determined by social network activity in a three-hour window before and after the shows. All eyes will be focused on what shows not only get the best ratings, but also what shows gain the most interaction and buzz through new apps and social networks.

Of course, there are people like my parents who still watch TV the old-school way; by simply watching and doing nothing else. The only electronic device in their hand will be the remote, and those silly “pound symbols” with phrases after them will continue to show up on their TV screens, yet mean nothing. How simple. Times, they are a changing.

Do you know what to tweet when watching your favorite shows? Find out what the Twitter hashtags and handles are for fall TV shows. What hashtags will you follow this fall season? What shows do you think are doing the best job engaging viewers socially?

Staff Writer

So who is this mysterious staff writer? Could be anyone really, as long as they meet our very strict criteria. 1) Worked with us in one capacity or another. 2) Have something pretty interesting to say. 3) Want to use our blog to say it. See? Told ya they were strict!