Broadcast and Media Companies: Improving Performance with Social Media Analytics

broadcast and media companies - improving performance with social media analytics

Social media has changed the dynamics of marketing, reshaped the way people consume information and revolutionized the way brands and organizations communicate with their audience.

In a world where information is available in real time and content is accessible on-demand, broadcast and media companies have to keep pace with changing audience expectations.

Below, we will explore the ways social media can be used in broadcast and media to create a more compelling programme and increase audience engagement. 

We’ll also discuss a couple of case studies and ultimately show you how you can use social listening tools like Keyhole to automate the task of turning raw data into actionable information. 

Without much ado, let’s dive right in.

Jump Links:

Why do Media and Broadcasting Companies Need Social Media Analytics?

Your 4 Step Social Analytics Plan
1. Social Listening
2. Data Refinement
3. Goal Setting
4. Sustainable Strategy Creation

What Metrics Can You Track?
Public Sentiment
Influencers
Competitive Analysis
Hashtag Campaigns

Case Study:
How theCHIVE Uses Unique Hashtags to Engage their Follower Base

Why is it Important to Measure Your ROI?

How to Use Keyhole as a Tool for Media and Broadcast Companies

Why Do Media and Broadcasting Companies Need Social Media Analytics?

Before we get to the “how”, we first need to make sure that the “why” is clear. 

Here are some stats that illustrate the importance of social media in the modern consumer’s everyday life as well as how social media relates to broadcast and media:

  • According to a 2018 Nielsen report, 45% of consumers almost always use a second screen when watching TV. 28% of consumers sometimes use another digital device simultaneously, while only 12% of consumers never use another device when watching TV. The numbers are significantly lower for audio content.
Simultaneous usage graphs between tv and digital, and tv and audio
  • The same Nielsen report shows that most of the consumers that are second screening do so to look up information related to the content, express their opinion on the content, search for a product after they’ve seen an ad, or read other people’s commentary on the content they’re watching.
Digital usage while watching tv and digital usage while listening to audio table.
  • Similarly, a 2015 Fortune report showed that in 2014, there have been more than a billion TV-related tweets, with 85% of users who use Twitter during prime-time tweeting about the content they’re watching.
Statistics of people tweeting while watching television

Source: Fortune.com

These stats clearly show that most modern consumers are second screening – and are doing so to look for or provide extra information/opinions on the content they’re exposed to.

Instead of competing with real time and on-demand content available online, media and entertainment companies need to work with social media and leverage the wealth of data from multiple sources to optimize their strategy and operations.

This takes us to our starting question: Why do media and broadcasting companies need analytics?

Social data can help companies to:

  • Understand audience preferences and activity patterns to optimize content and ads
  • Find out what causes viewership spikes and drops 
  • Analyze audience sentiment on a weekly basis, about each episode, season or programme
  • Define audience demographics for more precise targeting
  • Keep pace with trends and find out who are the influencers that create a buzz in the industry
  • Make better predictions based on the conversations that the audience are having before/during/after airing a programme
  • Analyze channel profitability and impact, to optimise investments and identify when to cancel or renew a show

The benefits are clear. 

So why aren’t most broadcasting and media companies using social media analytics to improve their performance?

The problem lies in the amounts of data – with so much data available across different channels, it takes a lot of time and effort to sift through the noise.

That’s why it’s crucial to approach analytics systematically.

Wondering how?

Your 4-Step Social Analytics Plan

To turn social data into actionable insights, broadcasting and media companies need to tackle four critical components:

Social Listening

Before you analyze social media data, you need to gather enough information about the relevant conversations that your audience is having online.

The biggest challenge of the social listening phase is the amount of data available.

If you pull your data directly from the social media platforms, you will end up with a pile of unstructured information that would a long time to organize before it can be used for analytics.

That’s where third-party social listening tools like Keyhole come in handy – these tools allow you to focus on the conversations you are interested in, and avoid the rest, saving you lots of unnecessary work in the process.

Data Refinement

The mass collection of data in the first phase results in mounds of information that have high-potential, but need to be organized and structured before they can be used. 

Manually extracting and then refining all the data is an exercise that requires a lot of effort.

To ensure that no conversations and opportunities are missed, most modern organizations overcome this challenge by automating the data selection and categorization process.

Goal Setting

The insights you get from data only make sense if you know what you are trying to accomplish. A common mistake in broadcasting and media is silo thinking and disparate data across the organization.

More often than not, different departments have different ideas about where the organization is headed, and they use social media to achieve different outcomes. 

Needless to say, this diminishes the value of the collected data – the only way an organization can increase engagement, optimize activities and drive better performance is by creating a single, shared vision about the organization’s goals.

Sustainable Strategy Creation

Finally, organizations have to take it one step further and develop a long-term, sustainable strategy that outlines how the collected social media insights will be used across the organization.

This is an iterative process that involves continuous testing and refining.

Now that we’ve explained the four step process of turning raw data into useful, actionable insights that can drive change in the organization, let’s talk a bit more about…

What Metrics Can You Track?

Public Sentiment

Sentiment can be positive and negative, and by following online conversations on forums and social media platforms, networks can get a real-time insight into how people feel about their programme. 

TechTalk’s has published a report on the most popular TV shows public sentiment. We’ll discuss some of their findings, as these are a great illustration of what we talked about until this point.

With 32,197,368 mentions, and an average of 3,7 mentions per users, Stranger Things tops the list of the most talked about show at the time when TechTalk was gathering their data. 

The most talked about TV shows
Source: Tech Talk

This corresponds with Netflix’s streaming data about the third season of Stranger Things – according to their insights, with a record of 40.7 million household accounts watching the show since its global launch on July 4th, Stranger Things was the most watched series on Netflix.

Netflix Tweet: Stranger Things breaking netflix records

Stranger Things has a more or less gender-balanced viewership: 44% of the viewers who talked about the show online are male and 56% are female. 

More than 80% of conversations online were positive.

Sentiment towards netflix show, stranger things
Source: Tech Talk

The data shows that most of the public sentiment about the show was positive, with disgust and fear amounting to a total of 12%.

The show is in the horror genre, so these numbers are expected. 

Feelings of sentiment analysis
Sentiment towards stranger things
Source: Tech Talk

If we analyze the mentions and pieces written on the show, we could see that a lot of the conversations are about Jim Hopper’s anger management issues and Steve Harrington being the best (and most underrated) character.

Influencers

Another way broadcasting and media could use social media analytics is to find influencers in their industry.

One way of doing this is finding the most popular stars in a show and then using these findings to enhance marketing. 

Another way is to find creators who are in some way related to the industry and are influential within their community – and then use these creators to generate buzz around a new programme, a show, or a campaign.

This is exactly what YouTube did when launching their YouTube Red service which offers an ad-free option and premium content that stars some of the most popular YouTubers.

Competitive Analysis

Social data can uncover great opportunities for broadcast and media companies.

One such example is Netflix’s decision to pick up the TV series, Lucifer, after it had been cancelled by Fox.

Netflix is known to leave nothing to chance, so this decision, just like most of the streaming giant’s decisions, was made after a viral #SaveLucifer Twitter campaign was launched by passionate viewers on May 11th.

Twitter campaign for #savelucifer

The campaign amassed 1M tweets in less than 24 hours.

Twitter campaign for #savelucifer

With so many people invested in the show, it was only logical that Netflix would renew it for a fourth season and give millions of viewers what they want. 

Lucifer is a fantastic show that has really resonated with audiences in parts of the world, so we felt it was important for our licensing team to try to help that show continue for our fans,” Netflix’s VP Cindy Holland said for Deadline.

Netflix is great at monitoring and analyzing public opinion and conversations and turning data into actionable analytics and insights that support better decision-making.

Hashtag Campaigns

Disparate information can make it hard for organizations to track online conversations. 

The #SaveLucifer had this problem when more and more people started joining the campaign with different hashtags.

Twitter campaign for #savelucifer

How theCHIVE Uses Unique Hashtags to Engage their Follower Base

TheCHIVE Charity Group, had a hard time tracking and engaging their 20 million strong follower base. 

TheChive’s solution to this problem was to begin using unique hashtags for their campaigns.

Let’s have a quick look into their use case.

WHO ARE theCHIVE

TheCHIVE is a popular website that publishes feel-good photos and videos.

Over the course of 10 years, theCHIVE have amassed a following of millions, and have 20 million monthly users.  

The company’s charity division leverages the website’s massive influence and strong social media presence to find people in need, focusing on rare medical cases, special education initiatives, veterans and first responders.

What theCHIVE will usually do is ask their audience to share a photo with a hashtag and then donate $1 per every shared post to the related charity or cause. 

Over the course of 10 years, theCHIVE have managed to raise over $10M for people in need all around the world.

The Problem

The problem that theCHIVE had was keeping track of all the people that are engaging with their content. They were looking for an easy way to track all the mentions and the online conversations that were going on about a campaign. 

One of these campaigns was the first-ever national beer tournament which theCHIVE organized across 50 US states. They needed to pick two winners from each state, who then confronted each other on a national championship. 

The problem was, how do you track all the contestants in all 50 states in real time?

The Solution

TheCHIVE’s solution was using unique hashtags. For every state, theCHIVE came up with a dedicated hashtag. 

So now, they had 50 different hashtags they needed to track in real time… which is where Keyhole came in.

Using Keyhole, theCHIVE were able to monitor all the online conversations people were having online related to the championship, and access them via an easy-to-use dashboard that gave them a complete view of the entire tournament.

Now that you know how social media insights could be used to reinforce a channel, a programme, a show or a campaign, let’s recap…

Why is it Important to Measure Your ROI?

Measuring your ROI will enable you to understand your market, your audience’s preferences and help you spend your money more wisely by investing in projects that are more likely to take off.

By measuring your ROI, you’ll be able to understand what kind of shows your audience likes the most, test how long they’re willing to wait between different episodes of a programme, what are the optimal times to post, what stars or characters are the audience’s favourite, how your audience reacts to product placement, and more.

All this will enable you to optimize your investments, improve predictions, enhance advertising and ultimately offer better service to your customers.

How to use Keyhole as a Tool for Media and Broadcast Industries

By now it’s already clear why broadcasting and media need to look past TV ratings and traditional forms of testing, like focus groups and pre-screenings.

They need to create a “blended” listening practice that incorporates social media analytics.

However, social listening and analytics can be a time-consuming activity given the amount of information available (we’re talking millions of consumers), so it’s important to automate the parts that can be automated. 

Third party analytics tools like Keyhole streamline social listening and gather and structure the data for you.

Using Keyhole, you will be able to:

  • Get more information about your reach
  • Understand the demographics of the people that are having conversations about your company or products online
  • Find the most influential individuals among those that are talking about you
  • Track trending topics and keep pace with what the audience wants to consume, so that you can create a more effective content strategy
  • Find out the optimal posting time and length so that you can spend your marketing dollars more wisely
  • Compare your performance to the performance of your competitors
  • Get more in-depth insights about a specific topic you’re interested in exploring further
  • Predict how the conversations you are tracking will evolve the following week and month

All these features and much more are part of what Keyhole offers as a tool. 

Final Thoughts

Social media platforms have become a valuable business intelligence tool where millions of people give away free information about their habits, opinions, and needs. 

As the media consumption habits are changing and more and more people are second screening, media and broadcasting companies need to start looking into social media for meaningful insights that could drive better decision-making.

When done correctly, social media analytics can help broadcasting and media companies to have better conversations with their fan base, identify brand affinities and influential individuals, optimize their programmes and ultimately increase their profits and ratings.

However, most organizations still struggle to determine which data they need to analyze and what counts as “noise” and should be left out.

Third party social listening and analytics tools like Keyhole take away the time consuming grunt work of data collection and sorting and give organizations clean and understandable reports on what the organization does right, how it competes with other players in the market, and help to uncover opportunities to improve their performance.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

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