Social TV: How Top Networks Are Leveraging Their Social Data

Social TV: How Top Networks Are Leveraging Their Social Data Kevin Shively Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

header_logoRecently, I was invited to participate in Mediabistro‘s Lost Remote Show in Los Angeles.

If you’re unfamiliar, LostRemote.com is a Mediabistro website dedicated to Social TV. It’s great. It combines two things I love: TV, and people talking about TV on the internet.

I was on a discussion panel about Social TV Analytics, talking with folks from Nielsen, CBS, Fizziology, NBC News, and Mediamorph.

To be honest? I was geeking out the entire time. We’re based in Seattle so my exposure to social TV experts is mainly second hand, but I’m a huge TV geek and love the way the space is starting to use data to make decisions. While segments of the TV industry are reluctant to use social data in their creative and promotion process, the ones who are are seeing some really impressive results.

How, exactly, are TV networks and advertisers using social data?

TV Networks are starting to use social data to plan promotions and content in ways that all brands can learn from. These networks are starting to leverage their audience for everything from product & programming decisions, to marketing & advertising partnerships, to analysis of success in conjunction with their ratings.

  • A survey by CBS found that the majority of Twitter users talking about TV shows do so in order to keep their shows on air. CBS uses that knowledge to make decisions and turn up the heat when they have tough choices to make.
  • SyFy’s Defiance and Dodge use social data to both plan, and measure the success of their partnership.
  • Fox crowd-sourced their promos for Almost Human by asking fans on Twitter to recreate scenes from the show.
  • Nielsen’s social ratings add context to their normal ratings by using Twitter data to bring in an aditional sample set. I was amazed at how focused on this product the TV execs in the room were. I think the opportunity to use this type of social data to plan programming is ripe, but hasn’t fully taken form.
  • SyFy’s Sharknado was the most talked-about event on Twitter in 2013. This wasn’t a planned phenomenon, but SyFy makes a point to be ready for anything. The network is running with the attention, even using Twitter to help name the sequel (which is going to be called Sharknado 2: The Second One and I love it already).
  • The “TV Anywhere” phenomenon is a primary focus of both networks, and service providers. Allowing users to access their favorite shows form tablets and other devices on their own timeline is a solid strategy for maintaining viewership, but the underlying value is that it makes everything trackable. This was the lesson from Netflix with their original programming House of Cards and Orange is the New Black; the streaming video provider had data on the viewing habits of every single user, allowing for more educated programming). Social data will pair directly with usage data to determine interest and sentiment levels.

Below are some of my favorite panels and talks from the event, including my own. Take a peek. You might learn something about Sharknado…or if you’re not into that kind of thing, how the TV industry uses social data to work with advertisers, plan content, and engage fans.

Keynote with SyFy’s Michael Elgleman

Social TV Analytics

How Brands Are Using Social Media

The Future of Social TV

Stay tuned to the Simply Measured Blog: Later this month, we’ll feature a post on the future of Social TV from our Director of Sales, Samuel Sanderaraj.

Kevin Shively

As the head of content marketing at Simply Measured, cohost of the #SimplySocial podcast, and generally delightful person, my job is to tell stories to the internet...You're welcome internet.