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Social Followers of Local Media Exhibit Varying Patterns of Engagement

by MarketingCharts staff
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The study identifies 9 types of social media behaviors on Facebook and Twitter. Each is outlined below, along with the relative success of various local media in driving the behavior. In each case, “fans” refers to Facebook fans of the local media outlet (such as a local radio channel), and “brand” refers to that same outlet. (The 4 media types available in local markets tracked in the study are: local TV; local newspapers; local radio; and cable TV. The study also notes that “due to various sources of programming on local TV stations, local TV is a combination of scores from fans of TV stations, fans of broadcast networks, and fans of broadcast programming.”)

  • Commenters (Facebook) – fans who have commented once on the brand’s Facebook page in the past year. Local TV wins this matchup against local radio, local newspapers, and cable TV, with local TV viewers 42% more likely than the average across all users of all media to comment.
  • Content Likers (Facebook) - fans who have liked some content on the brand’s Facebook page in the past year. Local radio and cable TV share the lead in this category, with users of each medium 46% more likely than local media users overall to engage in this behavior.
  • Photo-Video Posters (Facebook) – fans who have posted videos/photos on the brand’s Facebook page in the past year. Local TV dominates this behavior, with viewers 85% more likely than average to engage in this behavior.
  • Frequent Commenters (Facebook) – fans who have commented more than once on the brand’s Facebook page in the past year. This category belongs to local radio, with listeners 62% more likely than all media users to be frequent commenters.
  • Frequent Content Likers (Facebook) – fans who have liked multiple pieces of content on the brand’s Facebook page in the past year. This is also dominated by local radio, with listeners 87% more likely than all media users to engage in this behavior.
  • Talkers (Twitter) – users mentioning “brand’s name” or “brand’s handle” in a tweet in the past year. Local newspapers perform strongest in this area, with readers 23% more likely than average to mention a brand in a tweet.
  • Hashers (Twitter) – users making hashtag mentions of the brand in the past year. Cable TV emerges on top for this behavior, with viewers 66% more likely than all users to make hashtag mentions of the brand.
  • Repliers (Twitter) – users replying to the brand’s tweets in the past year. Local TV wins in this behavior, with viewers 15% more likely than media users overall to reply to brand tweets.
  • Retweeters (Twitter) – users retweeting the brand’s tweets in the past year. This category belongs to local newspapers, whose readers are 54% more likely than average to retweet a brand.

Overall, local TV was above-average in social behaviors in each of the 9 categories save for 1 (retweeting). While radio listeners exhibited strong tendencies to perform a range of Facebook behaviors, listeners were less likely than average to engage in each of the activities on Twitter. Conversely, while local newspaper garnered above-average Twitter talk and retweets, they fell below-average in Facebook behaviors.

Other Findings:

  • Social media behaviors also differed greatly across primetime content genres. For example, viewers of mainstream genres, such as reality competition, comedy, and dramas, were more active on Twitter than on Facebook. By contrast, viewers of game shows, travel shows, and action suspense shows were more engaged on Facebook.
  • Defining “Cultural Currency” as “having achieved both broad audiences and having effected significant social media behaviors,” the study demonstrates that traditional hits (such as specials and primetime dramas) also had the highest levels of Cultural Currency. Advertisers spending almost exclusively on the top quadrant of “Cultural Currency” programs saw 15 times more new brand fans than those advertising in the lowest quadrant over the measured period.