March 30, 2016
By Cheryl Soh
The introduction of social media has enabled television content to be more accessible and shared in many ways. Today, television has an interactive element to it with live tweeting starting conversations even before a programme is aired. Broadcasters actively use social media to engage with audiences to enhance their viewer experience – it is almost safe to say that social media is a necessity to promoting content. Some broadcasters also incorporate social media within their programme by enabling live tweets to be seen across television; especially during formats, reality shows and selected dramas.
One of the booming social media avenues is Twitter, an online social networking service that enables users to send and read a 140-character message called ‘tweets’. Users can click the ‘retweet’ button to share a message and can group posts together by the use of ‘hashtags’- words or phrases that are prefixed with a # sign.
“The great news is that broadcasters across the region, from Japan to India to Australia, understand the value of social TV conversations and have embraced Twitter across their TV shows including scripted, reality TV and live broadcasts in 2015,” says Rishi Jaitly, VP, Media, Asia-Pacific & Middle East. “There is overwhelming demand from broadcasters to tap into the social TV trend and Twitter is the ideal platform for TV conversation because it is public, live, conversational and easily distributed.”
With an estimated 320 million monthly active users on Twitter, broadcasters worldwide are taking the advantage to better engage with their fans. The hashtag feature on Twitter groups the relevant tweets together so that a user can follow and contribute to what others have to say. This enables broadcasters to create conversations with fans for a particular programme at real time.
Pairing Twitter with TV
Twitter has worked with the biggest broadcasters across Asia-Pacific to engage with influential TV fans on Twitter, and inject their best video content into Twitter’s real-time conversations, straight from TV to mobile devices.
In May 2013, Twitter Amplify was launched, enabling television networks and content rights holders to share video clips from major live broadcasts with the advertiser’s names and messages playing before the clip. Broadcasters will put their premium TV content on Twitter, while advertisers can sponsor in-Tweet video clips to promote the TV content to their target audience on Twitter. “Broadcasters benefit by monetising their premium content as well as increasing their reach and engagement on Twitter. It’s a win-win for both sides and we’ve seen some amazing success across the region, such as the ABS-CBN and McDonald’s Amplify deal in the Philippines, the first-of-its-kind in Southeast Asia,” Jaitly says.
The campaign in the Philippines saw ABS-CBN was tweeting live television content and McDonald’s running a series of Promoted Tweets (paid tweets that will appear on a targeted Twitter user’s timeline). Besides watching the competition on TV, students from the eight competing universities also followed #UAAPCDC2015 conversations on Twitter and tweeted #McDoBonFries for a chance to win free fries for their school.
Last year, The Bachelor Australia had generated 7 million impressions during its 2015 finale, breaking records as the most tweeted episode of non-sport TV series in Australia, according to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings (NTTR). An exclusive thank you video message from the Bachelor and his new love at the end of the season was posted on Twitter, reaching up to more than 700 likes and nearly 400 retweets.