When I say television, you say social media! Television! Social Media! It may seem odd, but according to NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, television viewers are leveraging social media as a platform to talk about and engage with TV content.

Getting Social Across Media

While the mixing of media is always a tricky balance, there is enough compelling data to suggest that, with the right audience, message and time of day, using television to initiate online discussion could help advance your brand and your bottom line.


Television + Social Media 

Recently, we spoke with Tim O’Brien, vice president of Cesari Direct, a direct response marketing firm specializing in television. Usually, CMSWire doesn’t cover such outlets, but unlike other traditional media, televisions still own a majority of the marketplace, outranking online audiences and marketing efforts. Coupled with the recent impact of social media, this particular trend made us take notice.


Television marketing isn’t just about infomercials and 1-800 numbers anymore. In the last few years, television has become just one of the many touch points a customer has with a company, its brand and specific products. Now, instead of relying on a call center to take orders, companies need to factor in all types of customer experience platforms.

Cesari has over 25 years of experience and research about how television marketing provides its clients with a custom package that helps them develop messages, brand attributes and the right platform and channels to deliver them. The results, says O’brien, can be instantaneous, thanks to real-time information and analytics.

Learning Opportunities

However, unlike online marketing, direct television marketing doesn’t come cheap -- but because it’s the biggest market, it can do the job of many little online campaigns, which in the long run may be worth it.

Yet, television isn’t for everyone, but there is assuredly some overlap with your online demographics. Thanks to Nielsen, we have a better idea of who’s talking about television and when.

  • On social media sites, 45% of the male population and 55% of the female population are talking about television programming. When the general online population is counted, however, those numbers reverse.
  • Online chatter around television is highest mid-week, when many popular shows air.
  • Some of the most popular topics for discussion are winning, voting and judging.


It may not seem logical that talking about reality television contestants will drive sales, at least not directly. The difference between direct response marketing and online chatter is what the user will do with the information. However, like most marketing efforts, listening is just as important as selling. If you can begin to put together a complete picture of what your users are talking across media, you can begin to better understand what will engage them.