Understanding The Links Between Social Networks And TV (#SMWF 2012)

April 7, 2012

Influenced by social media, TV is now changing and these changes create new challenges and opportunities for media, operators and platform providers.

Claire Tavernier has shared how Fremantle Media (international production company responsible for programmes such as Pop Idol, The Bill, Rainbow and The Price Is Right) drives engagement through social sharing and discussion.

In 2011 they started to experiment in social media and from the beginning company just wanted to generate more buzz, perceiving social media as one more channel for conversations. Later on this experiment became a significant part of their online activities which not only helps to create more buzz but influences how people watch TV.

They found out that around 65% of viewers across X Factor, Got Talent and Idol enjoys show more while interacting with the show on Twitter and in additional to this around 40% of viewers said that interactions in social networks made them want to watch the show more.

Advertising Campaigns

Fremantle Media experimenting with advertising campaigns, which bridge the gap between TV and social media. They launched interactive campaign together with Pepsi, “The X Factor Top Fans”, where viewers got points for different activities on the X Factor site and on social media, which later could be exchanged for prizes. Another campaign was conducted with Nokia where every participant had the chance to win a Nokia Lumia 800. To enter the promotion, participants must access the official X Factor twitter and guess what the ‘lumiafied’ image is, including the following hashtag #lumiafied. According to Claire campaign with Pepsi had huge budget and a lot of gamification while Nokia one was much more simpler, cheaper but no less effective.

Family Feud

On the example, of popular Family Feud Claire has shown that social media could influence the demographic of the show. For example, after they became more active in social media dynamic of growth among male viewers 18-34 has increased. Male auditory also dominating over YouTube – male 66%, female 34%.

Key findings from Fremantle Media social+TV experience:

  1. Most people still prefer to watch.
  2. Don’t be ahead of the curve which means that TV should use the most popular social networks, not the geeky one’s.
  3. Share control, which means TV should be ready to listen their viewers and react on the social buzz, otherwise all this social-media experiments are meaningless.