Report: Social Media’s Effects on TV Viewing are “Minimal”


NEW YORK: A new report from Knowledge Networks reveals that social media has an impact in the building of media brands, including TV shows and networks, but does little to drive actions such as viewing.

The report examines how effective social media has been in creating greater interest, viewership and loyalty for TV programs. It found that one in three, 34 percent, of social media users ever like, follow or friend TV programs. Of those, 57 percent say this interaction makes them more likely to view or engage with that program. Respondents cited "showing support" and "staying up to date" as the most common reasons for making a connection with a TV show on social media.

In particular, Knowledge Networks looked at the effect of social media on people’s decisions to watch 20 of the new series from the U.S. fall season. Among those 13 to 54, on average viewing was influenced by social media interaction, such as reading or posting, for only 0.3 of the 20 shows.

Overall, 10 percent of those 13 to 54 said they rank social media as "very important" in discovering new programming they would want to watch. Most cited conversations with friends and family, TV ads and on-screen guides.

David Tice, the VP and group account director at Knowledge Networks, said, "The good news for network social media marketers is the strongly positive attitudes of those viewers who do participate in social media around a TV program. When trying to drive sampling and viewing, however, ads on TV and real-world world-of-mouth still rule."