Profile: Jeremy Gilley

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Dual screening tweeters provide opportunities for brands

Brands are taking advantage of the trend towards viewers who ‘dual screen’ using Twitter, as research shows that 83 per cent use an official hashtag related to TV programmes in all or most of their tweets.

Mindi Chahal

The study by Brandwatch, which looked into the activity around 50 of the top US and UK TV programmes, also revealed that 61 per cent of brands are taking steps to embrace dual screening by regularly tweeting during the time of the actual broadcast.

I have to confess I’m one of those people that tweet during TV programmes and follow the conversations using the ‘official’ hashtag (mainly during ITV’s Take Me Out). Not only is it highly entertaining but sometimes it could actually lead to a brand saying something useful and relevant.

According to the research, the BBC’s Great British Bake Off uses the dual screening trend to its advantage, engaging with its online audience before, during and after shows and making clear use of its official hashtag, #GBBO. Brands that want to tweet around such shows could offer up things that people will be looking for while they watch, for example recipes or products used in the show.

There is the danger, however, of brands trying to win ‘cool’ points by adding their own views in popular conversations, and while it’s acceptable to show personality through your communication in relation to your product or service, it might get a bit weird if a brand is adding commentary on the latest drama in The Only Way is Essex.

The research also shows that displaying a hashtag at the beginning of a show can increase the conversation about a programme by almost two-thirds (63 per cent). This comes as Twitter releases The Twitter TV Book this month, which breaks down the tweeting habits of TV viewers. It reveals that 60 per cent of the 10 million active Twitter users in the UK tweet while watching TV and 40 per cent mention what is on the television in some form.

Marketing Week’s Trends feature this week, on the media consumption of young mums, shows how Mothercare hosts Twitter parties, where participants follow and add to a conversation using a selected hashtag during Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute, of which it is an official partner.It’s a good example of how a brand can connect in a relevant with its target audience by taking into account consumers’ behaviour online.

The launch of the six-second video sharing app, Vine, will also bring more chances of grabbing the attention of consumers, but as with any form of social communication brands will need to think carefully about how best to use it.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I'm all for "tuning in" to what people are watching, but twurfers (as they are annoyingly referred to), use the platform to let off steam and,., there's no other way to say this, but take the mickey.

    I for one don't want to spend money during this pastime. Maybe mine is a purists view.

    I think any hashtag related "brand engagement" hijacking might be met with a similar level of warmth to the #waitrosereasons campaign.

    It's only a slightly more sophisticated way of stuffing adverts in between TV programmes.

    People tune out eventually - and this ends up killing the platform!

    If I'm wrong, nobody reading this will x30 their way through the ads on their recorded TV shows.................................

    Thought so.

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