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Can Social Media Predict How Well a New Show Performs?

By now, we all know that you should monitor social media if for unfiltered, honest opinions about how an audience feels about your brand, product, or service. From likes and dislikes to preferences and hopes, social media captures real conversations – and these conversations are of interest to marketers and advertisers as they can be used to help shape current and future campaigns.

Viralheat has worked with thousands of customers across multiple verticals, and we’ve found that entertainment-related contest continues to outpace all other forms of content and discussion on social media. Everyone is talking about return of Sons of Anarchy, the premiere of The Flash, summer blockbusters, or the big game on Sunday Night Football. And while the conversation is abundant, most entertainment companies have not been able to harness this opportunity – still stuck on vanity metrics like “likes” and “followers.”

So, the big question is, can social media be an accurate predictor of how well a new TV show will perform? And the answer… yes! Nearly every popular TV show has a strong social presence, encouraging fans to engage with the show and each other on social media. It’s time someone takes a look at all of this chatter and turn it into something actionable. We started following the new shows in the Fall 2014 lineup and came away with some interesting data.

Based on our data analysis of awareness (likes and followers) and engagement (number of conversations), we were able to predict the top 3 shows must watch shows and the bottom 3 shows that likely will prompt the viewer to change the channel. Marketers and advertisers can then take this information to decide where they should place their marketing and advertising initiatives. Spending top dollar to market during commercials or on the social channels for shows that have very little awareness and engagement wouldn’t be the best use of budget.

Take a look at this season’s “Must -See” vs “Change the Channel” TV Shows. Do you agree with the data?

Through the season, we will revisit these new shows to determine their success as viewers start watching or becoming more interested in the show.  Some examples of questions we will try to answer in the months ahead include:

  • Which shows have the best engagement?
  • Which ads were well received?
  • Does it make sense to acquire fans and build a huge fan base, or to cultivate a large following organically?
  • How does a network’s social media promotions correlate with fan acquisition and engagement?
  • Can predictive social analytics help entertainment brands identify early and often the likelihood of commercial success/failure and how to allocate marketing dollars for their movies, shows and actors?

What shows are you looking forward to this fall?

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