Twitter: ‘Where We Watch TV’

Twitter: ‘Where We Watch TV’

By Julien Blake for C21 Media

Some 40% of the tweets made during peak TV hours are about TV – making Twitter “the room we watch TV in,” the social media giant’s UK head of broadcasting Dan Biddle said in Cannes.

“The hashtag is the campfire around which everybody tells stories,” he told delegates.

Biddle, who helps broadcasters use Twitter to better engage their audiences, offered up a range of examples of second-screen engagement from UK TV. “You should think about programming Twitter as you programme your channel,” he said. “There are patterns of activity around it.”

Channel 4’s documentary Dogging Tales, about people having sex in public, generated more than 120 million impressions with its #doggingtales hashtag, he said. As a result, demand for the show exploded on both live TV and catch-up, through 4oD, and it became a social word-of-mouth hit.

Biddle praised deodorant brand Lynx for reacting with humour to the documentary’s claim that Lynx was the dogger’s fragrance of choice. Instead of panicking, the official Lynx Effect tweeted: “Good choice of fragrance over on @Channel4 – guaranteed to get a bit more attention, whatever the situation.”

He pointed to UK variety show Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway for its creative use of Twitter to engage the ITV1 audience with the presenting duo’s traditional frozen pose at the show’s opening.

“They get the audience to do stuff before the show, and get people talking about the show before the show,” Biddle said, “because they see the value in that.”

And he also praised Channel 4’s use of Twitter on Hugh’s Fish Fight, which attacked EU fishing quotas that lead to millions of fish being wasted yearly. Twitter gave the show a strong campaigning tool.

“This is very much an active audience – I’d rather think about activating or engaging than cultivating,” he said. “The last thing your audience should be is a row of vegetables.”

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