Social TV has every forward thinking, digital savvy ‘media expert’ drooling with lust and bursting with opinions on where the phenomenon is, and where it’s going next.
Yet these experts all fail to provide explanations or tips on how best to take advantage of this ever-evolving medium.
1500 Social TV Shows
We’re different here at Bellyfeel. Our mission is to break this new frontier open and give you some effective routes to action. So here are some discoveries from our year long study of 1500 Tv broadcasts and their surrounding Social Media activity.
For those who may yet be unaware of just what social TV is, check out this post, which provides a gentle introduction to the genre.
And for those of you who are ready take your exciting TV story IP and blast it into the Social TV stratosphere, continue reading and learn the 3 essential fundamentals of Social TV…
Fundamental 1) – Twitter Hashtag
At this point I doubt this is new information, however the number one fundamental is, and always will be, the Twitter #Hashtag.
Twitter is the spiritual and statistical home of Social TV.
Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat and Instagram all have their part to play, but right now Twitter dominates Social TV – FACT.
How does it do this?
Hashtags. (And ease of use, but we’ll come to that later.)
A TV show’s Hashtag is just as important as its title or logo. People see and remember it, they engage with it and they talk about it with friends. The better the Hashtag, the better the campaign, the higher the audience engagement.
Hashtags can come with all kinds of social benefits and allows a smart producer (like you) to market a show in a way that engages an audience before, during and after the show’s airing.
Fundamental 2) – Celebrity Connection
One of the most appealing aspects of Social TV culture is the direct-to-celebrity connection that the audience now has.
This is the Social TV fundamental number two. Networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feed the celebrity-obsessed culture that most TV viewers are a part of.
TV actors can hold polls, host live Q&As and even leak teasers of upcoming episodes. They have access to their fans in a way that was barely conceivable 15 years ago. And most importantly, fans will listen to almost anything that a celebrity has to say.
Some US networks are already spotting these benefits, FOX, for example, in 2014 promoted a week long, live tweeting marathon with stars, (both on and off set) from its most popular shows including Bones, The Following and Hell’s Kitchen.
CW network star Steven Amell frequently posts on Facebook to his 3 million fans, both about his personal life and his successful superhero TV Drama Arrow.
Amell is also a user generated content powerhouse, inviting “Arrow” fans to create and submit fan art to his popular social network page 3 days a week, every week.
Pre-existing social media popularity is a huge bonus – and can be used as leverage. Even major Hollywood blockbusters are utilising this trick. (Think Vin Diesel and Guardians of the Galaxy).
The more celebrities Tweet – the more users “Share” – the higher the publicity goes – the more views the show gets. Simple!
Fundamental 3) – Live Events
Live events are a huge part of Social TV and often earn the highest audience figures and social interactions.
Simply put ‘live event’ refers to a large crowd of people gathered in a physical space – only now they have a smartphone in hand.
Events such as music festivals, sports events or events of national importance gather a HUGE amount of social interactions online.
To take an example from the 2015 rugby world cup, recent findings by RadiumOne, reveal that 44% of rugby fans use their smartphones to Tweet while watching the match live in the stadium.
This, when combined with a TV audience blow social interaction figures through the roof.
Just imagine how many Tweets the moon landing would have generated – Twitter would literally break.
Conclusion… for now
Social TV is forever gaining momentum; more and more viewers are on social networks before, during and after a TV broadcast. It’s absolutely crucial to get your story to them in an entertaining and memorable way.
I hope you found these Social TV fundamentals useful. We are very close to publishing the full range of findings from our Social TV research. If you want to be reminded when we press go on this – then sign up to the Storyworld List or download or Social TV Primer report below here…
Find out what you need to know about Social TV in this free primer report…