Twitter hashtags drive TV interactions, says Thinkbox

Twitter_logo_bluePeople search for Twitter hashtags on the social network because they have seen them on TV, according to three in four people polled in new research by Thinkbox.

In a report called ‘#TVTwitter: how advertisers get closer to conversation’, Thinkbox – the marketing body for commercial television in the UK – said that hashtags are used around TV content to help sort and categorise conversations about a show, and as a “creative and funny way to sign off a tweet” about a TV programme.

“Although people like to think that they tweet for the sake of tweeting, getting retweets and responses is also important to them. Retweets demonstrate that other people agree with them and amplify their opinion,” according to the research, which was conducted by global research agency BrainJuicer on behalf of Thinkbox.

It found that 76% of people thought other Twitter users deliberately made tweets about TV shows funny so they would be retweeted.

Meanwhile, 69% claimed to like seeing celebrities talk about TV shows on Twitter, with people enjoying the ability to interact with celebrities.

Thinkbox said that advertisers can tap into “three layers of integration” between TV and Twitter: where a TV campaign has specific Twitter content and activity built into it from the outset; more thoughtful brand strategy of how Twitter and TV can work together – for example driving people to a promoted trend; and simple contributions by a brand, even if it is not advertising on TV.

“TV has always been a social medium and sparked an enormous amount of conversation both in and out of the living room,” said Neil Mortensen, research and planning director at Thinkbox.

“Twitter has introduced another way of doing what comes naturally to us as humans – sharing and conversing – and for that reason is for many people becoming an important part of the TV experience. This research will help advertisers understand more about and get the most out of this blossoming relationship.”

Bruce Daisley, managing director of Twitter UK, added: “We know that Twitter users are passionate about TV – take a look at Twitter’s trending topics any night of the week, and chances are you’ll see multiple TV shows trending. This research tells us more than ever before about how and why viewers are using Twitter as an accompaniment to TV.”

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