CRE FindingsSocial media’s impact on television viewing is small compared to traditional marketing and communications, but it has the potential to grow quickly, according to new findings from a study conducted by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE).

The study, “Talking Social TV,” found that only 12 percent of respondents use social media one or more times a day in relation to TV, a small percentage compared to other forms of communication. Although low, the fact that 37 percent of respondents use social media one or more times per week in relation to TV shows room for growth and that markets can better use social media for engaging audiences and promoting programs.

Other key findings include:

  • Six percent of respondents reported being drawn to new TV shows by social media while only 1.5 percent of respondents reported being drawn to existing TV shows by social media

  • Social media use varies by genre. Sci-fi, sports, and talk/news shows have strong overall interactions. Reality TV’s interaction is strongest while people are watching, and comedy shows’ interactions are strongest before and after the program

  • “Super Connectors,” defined by CRE as those most actively involved in social media usage in relation to TV viewing, make up 12 percent of the population, are typically young, and female

  • “Super Connectors” are more likely to be involved with all means of communication about a television program. They are two to three times more likely to be involved with social media in relation to television as the rest of the population.

  • Hispanics are more involved with social media than the general population, but they are less involved than the  “Super Connectors.”

  • Mobile device ownership increases social media interaction.

  • People use social media to discuss television shows even while others are watching with them.

“There has been a lot of buzz about the relationship between social media usage and TV consumption, but until now there has not been a lot of thorough analysis,” said Beth Rockwood, the chair of CRE’s social media committee in a press release.

“As was our objective, this study has helped us gain insights about the increased role of social media in television viewing and the impact that has on consumer behaviors. It also has given us a better understanding of how measurement of consumer behaviors can be improved as well as the characteristics of the ‘Super Connecters,’ the most active and influential users of social media,” she said.

The study involved research from Keller Fay Group, Nielson Life360, NM Insight, and Bluefin Labs. Over 1,700 participants of ages 18-54 took part in the study.

A formal presentation of the findings took place at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement 8.0 Conference held earlier this week. More detailed findings will be presented at an event on June 25.

Image credit: Advertising Research Foundation

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