Television Ratings Don’t Lie
Despite a variety of alternatives (like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and others) television ratings are holding steady, and in some cases they are actually going up. Some in the business are saying a quiet “thank you” to social media for the rebound.
Social media is arguably the easiest way for people to share their interests to a wider audience. Whether it’s their friends, family or co-workers, when someone “Likes” a television show or Tweets about their favorite television actor, there is the potential for that information to be passed to hundreds perhaps thousands of others. This information can then be picked up and passed around to an even wider audience.
For instance, Lori R Taylor expressed on Google+ that she enjoyed the TNT original series, “Falling Skies.” I know Lori and noticed she liked the show, so I decided to give it a shot. I wouldn’t have watched the show otherwise; now I love it!
This type of viral marketing is the holy grail of social media marketing, but sometimes happens quite by accident. There is no hard and fast rule for making a message go viral, but there certainly are some tips and tricks to help make it happen. Humor is definitely a key to making a message go viral. You can create a funny image, tie it in to your brand and send it out. You might also have success creating a humorous video, again tying it to your brand or product, and sending it out.
Lori has some great examples of this at her blog, under “Spam or Slam.”
For television networks it seems the secret is simply to create a good show and let the chips fall where they may.
An analysis conducted by NM Incite and Nielsen looked at the correlation between online buzz and television ratings and found a statistically significant relationship throughout a TV show’s season among all age groups, with the strongest correlation among younger demos (people ages 12-17 and 18-34), and a slightly stronger overall correlation for women compared to men.
Men over 50 showed the weakest buzz-to-ratings connection leading up to a show’s premiere through the middle of the season, but that relationship strengthened by the finale as all age groups were actively discussing a TV show via social media.
Among people aged 18-34, the most active social networkers, social media buzz is most closely aligned with TV ratings for the premiere of a show. A few weeks prior to a show’s premiere, a 9% increase in buzz volume correlates to a 1% increase in ratings among this group. As the middle of the season approaches and then the finale, the correlation is slightly weaker, but still significant, with a 14% increase in buzz corresponding to a 1% increase in ratings.
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