Hashtag TV – Do You Tweet?

It was going to be inevitable the effect huge mass adoption of social media was going to have on traditional media and the way communication with their audiences has changed forever.   We now see the integration of hashtags on mainstream media channels such as BBC and Comady Central in an effort to convert viewers from DVDs to scheduled programs.  We want to find out what programs you’re engaging with and why.  We have some very interesting research from HubSpot below.

Social Media Explosion

Hashtag TV has only become possible due to infiltration of the major social networks into the general population; let me throw some number at you:

  • Facebook is heading for 1 billion users
  • The Wall has reported that Twitter could reach 500 million accounts in Feb 2012
  • You Tube is the 2nd biggest search engine with over 24 hours of video added every second
  • Linked In has over 100 million professionals signed up, with a 92% uptake among Business Journalists (Source: Arketi Web Watch)


Half of Twitter Users Discuss Shows


Social media networks, at the moment, still complement traditional TV viewing. A high percentage of Twitter users who tweet while watching a TV show discuss the show theyre watching, more often than Facebook users who log in during a TV show, according to TVGuide.com.

The “TVGuide.com User Research Study” indicates 50% of Twitter users discuss a show they are watching, one-third more than the 35% of Facebook users. (Research from HubSpot).

I think the reason for this massive the 35% difference between Twitter and Facebook will be due to the quick and easy nature of Twitter and hash tagging, and quite possibly the speed of their iPhone app!


Twitter Users Prefer to Tweet Before & After

TVGuide found that social media users are more likely to talk about their favorite shows on Twitter and Facebook before and after the show airs rather than during the show.

On Twitter, 62% said they engage before the show airs, 69% after, and 47% during. On Facebook, only 47% engage before the show airs (24% less than Twitter users), 68% after, and 24% during (almost 50% less).

Naturally viewers will be more inclined to tweet before and after, as they may not want to disrupt any of the programmes they are watching.


We will see more Hash Tag TV


Hashtag TV will become integrated in many other programmes, mainly live TV, including: sport, chat shows, charity shows and other live celebrity shows.  The real-time conversation adds to the overall viewing experience and provides valuable online promotion for the show.


  • Hashtag placement is subtle enough to neither distract nor annoy viewers. So far, hashtags have only appeared as faint watermarks in the corner of the screen.
  • An official hashtag makes monitoring conversations easier.
  • Attaching all conversation to a dedicated hashtag increases its chance of trending (one hashtag vs. countless hashtags created by fans).
  • Seeing a TV show in the trending topics may compel others to tune in.
  • Curious fans who are not on Twitter are compelled to look up what the hashtag means and may then join the conversation.


Have you joined in?

We want to know what TV hashtags you’ve been tweeting with and why, comments below! 

Let’s start an experiment, I want you to tweet this article using the hashtag #initi8 let try get a trend going!

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  1. Dan Wasyluk
    Twitter: hashtagtv_

    I agree! I think tv hashtags are a huge trend and have the potential to revolutionize the way we watch and interact with our favorite tv programs. I’m actually trying to accelerate the revolution by building hashtagtv.org. We are working hard on the site right now but checkout our launch page http://hashtagtv.org. We see the revolution coming and can’t wait to make it happen! Right now we are doing our best to promote tv hashtags via our social channels, but when the full site launches we are going to change the game entirely. I think there is huge potential here.

    • thomascrawshaw
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/Initi8Marketing

      Hey Dan,
      Thanks for your insightful comment.
      I will have a look at the link you have sent me. I think hashtag TV is a great way to carry on the conversation especially if something controversial was to happen! We will see more and more companies integrating hashtags into their TV programmes, many of which need to be shown the benefit of being socially active and how to execute a campaign properly.

      • Dan Wasyluk
        Twitter: hashtagtv_

        Hi Thomas,

        Thanks for the reply- I agree that there is a whole new layer of entertainment being born at the social level, with a foundation in hashtags. Every time I watch a show and something “crazy” or “moving” happens I immediately jump to twitter to see how others are reacting, using the hashtag provided by the show. That is what drove me to create HashtagTV as a centralized hub for following and curating user’s real-time responses and reactions to TV shows.

        Right now we are using our social channels as a crutch until the full site it live, but we have some pretty awesome plans cooking that go way beyond the simple search results that Twitter provides.

        I think hashtags will really disrupt how audiences interact with their favorite shows, and seeing as how the networks are really getting behind it (there are official hashtags for almost every show now) HashtagTV wants to be at the leading edge of tapping that new entertainment layer and connecting you with others watching the show in the most friction-less way possible. We are really excited at the possibilities.

        Great post! Glad to see I’m not the only one noticing this trend.

        • thomascrawshaw
          Twitter: http://twitter.com/Initi8Marketing

          I completely agree with you here Dan. Not only do hashtags play an important role extending conversation after a programme, they also spring up around hot news topics and celebrity!
          After all a TV programme that is social and actually moderates the conversation on Twitter will no doubt receive a detailed insight into the sentiment around the programme and more than likely retain current viewers than programmes that ignore this opportunity.
          Thanks Dan!


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