A study released today by social analytics and monitoring company Brandwatch shows that the simple step of displaying a hashtag at the beginning of a TV show can increase its relevant social conversation by 63%.  The reasons, according to the study, are simple. Viewers tweet about a show 1200% more when the show airs, and viewers are 22 times more likely to use a show’s official hashtag on broadcast day.

The Brandwatch study, which analyzed Twitter conversations during 50 of the top US and UK TV shows over the course of 2012, highlights a number of key TV audience dual-screen behaviors and outlines which TV shows are taking full advantage of their Twitter presence to grow and retain a loyal consumer following.

Three clear winners emerged: The Great British Bake Off in the UK (#gbbo), The Voice (#nbcthevoice) in the US, and The Biggest Loser (#biggestloser) in the US. These brands all stood out from the crowd by consistently engaging with their online audience before, during, and after shows and making clear use of their official hashtags.

The Brandwatch study also identified several other dual-screen category leading shows:

Drama:  Glee US (@GLEEonFOX)
Factual: BBC Question Time UK (@bbcquestiontime)
Sitcom: How I Met Your Mother US (@HIMYM_CBS)
Soap: Hollyoaks UK (@hollyoaks)
Sport: Soccer am UK / Sports Center US (@socceram /@sportscenter)

“The brilliant thing about social media, and the real power behind the channel, is that it plays perfectly into peoples’ innate need to share,” said Giles Palmer, CEO of Brandwatch. “And they clearly share more when it comes to their favorite TV shows.”

Brandwatch’s analysis follows a slate of recent reports demonstrating the prevalence of dual-screening around the world. Twitter reported that 40% of all conversation at peak TV time is about TV shows; DirecTV divulged that 45% of men and 55% of women tweet while watching TV; and Nielsen stated that the practice of dual-screening has even risen to 52% of people in Latin America and 63% of people in the Middle East and Africa.

As the practice of dual-screening increases in 2013, the Brandwatch analysis highlights the easy steps brands can take to maximize this new engagement opportunity and stay prominent in the social conversation.  For example, 83% of all brands analyzed use an official hashtag in all or most of their tweets and 61% embrace dual-screening by regularly tweeting during their actual broadcast time.


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