The influence of social media engagement on TV program ratings

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Today, television (TV) and social media are deeply intertwined. First, social media use by content producers significantly influences audience tune-in and therefore advertising revenues. Second, TV audience members frequently interact with each other about TV programs using social media. Third, audience members also often interact with program producers and thus indirectly with each other by taking actions in response to social media content posted by program producers. Social media has become an important marketing tool for TV content producers, and so it's important to understand how social media can be managed in order to influence on TV ratings. This article reports the design and the results of an initial study of whether the combination of TV content producer engagement on social media and unique engaged audiences can help predict TV ratings, and how each form of content affects the results. This article also reports on the time-variation in audience engagement for different categories of TV programs. The data set used in the analysis contains hundreds of program ratings and their corresponding social media engagement data. The study employed multiple regression analysis, principal component analysis and time series analysis. The analysis produced several interesting observations. First, an increase in links and a decrease in videos in social media posts by content producers is correlated with an increase in ratings. Second, the loyalty and interest expressed by audiences for Drama and Reality shows is more than that of Sports on social media, thus the pages of Drama and Reality shows on social media might be more efficient places to increase audience interest through social media than the pages of Sports.

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... Online engagement is important to analyze the impacts of online and offline behavioral intentions toward a sport team (Santos et al., 2019) and brand value (Calder et al., 2018). Moreover, not only can online engagement serve as an indication of viewership but it can also spur additional viewership as non-viewers opt to tune in based on the online interactions and conversations they observe (Min et al., 2015). In addition, online engagement can further the viewing experience, such as by providing geographically diverse fans with interaction opportunities otherwise unavailable. ...
... Furthermore, professional sport organizations should increasingly focus on creating dynamic social media content and communication strategies (e.g., relevant information, improved design, and entertainment possibilities) to drive traffic and maintain a strong interactive relationship with fans (Ahn et al., 2014). In the broadcasting sphere, media providers can leverage social media to influence audience tune-in, increasing viewership numbers and advertising revenues (Min et al., 2015). Due to its role in altering consumption behavior, social media has received attention in sport management scholarship. ...
... Consequently, this scholarship uses online engagement (i.e., the number of likes, comments, or shares a post by an official WNBA account receives) as a way to evaluate different broadcasting platforms. It is an important metric to consider as online engagement impacts online and offline behavioral intentions toward a sport team (Santos et al., 2019), brand value (Calder et al., 2018), and viewership and audience tune-in (Min et al., 2015). Moreover, it is appropriate to consider as social media platforms, particularly Twitter, are complementary media that enhances the sport experience (Kassing and Sanderson, 2010). ...
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