Social TV - influence of digital age

As social media becomes a more integral part of our lives, it comes as no surprise that much loved technology such as the television becomes connected with this ever-present part of our digital lives. We take a look at what social TV really means and how brands as well as TV shows can use it to their advantage and draw more engagement out of their audience

As social media becomes a more integral part of our lives, it comes as no surprise that much loved technology such as the television becomes connected with this ever-present part of our digital lives. We take a look at what social TV really means and how brands as well as TV shows can use it to their advantage and draw more engagement out of their audience

While TV has always been a sociable activity for many people within their living room – taking enjoyment out of discussing the latest plot lines or sharing an opinion on the new series of popular programmes – it now seems that viewers want to extend their thoughts and opinions into the digital environment too.

It was only last week that social platform Twitter launched its collaboration with Neilson to begin publishing ranking shows with the greatest tractions on the social network by measuring the audience twitter chatter about individual programmes.

Whether it’s a TV show or a brand, the power of social TV is recognised as a major ratings influencer with 29% of ratings changing as a result of significant Twitter conversations taking place. Brands and TV shows are therefore grasping this opportunity and developing unique hashtags to enhance the online conversation taking place.

A great example of this comes from mobile network 3 who used the hashtag #DancePonyDance in a recent TV campaign to encourage viewers to engage with the brand online.

Hashtags are proving to be a great call-to-action to get audiences to engage with your brand and get involved with the message they see on their TV screens. They’re helping to steer the conversation from viewer’s living rooms to an online environment and brings a brand or TV show to the forefront of consumer conversations.

It comes as no surprise however, the social media giant Facebook want to get in on the Social TV craze with its vice president of partnerships recently stating “Everywhere you look, you see Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being integrated into television broadcasts”.

However, with the Social TV phenomenon being driven by the use of hashtags, it seems less likely that Facebook have the capability to currently take the lead on this. According to research by EdgeRank Checker, it’s been shown that hashtags create no additional exposure on the social channel.

While it might not be clear what platforms will drive the concept Social TV, what can be understood is that TV and social media are becoming more integrated.