Hospital Marketing: Social Media Increases TV Audience

Television networks are using social media to enhance their audiences. And the ratings prove that it’s working.

Television networks have seen the audiences for their live shows declining over the past several years.  In fact, some have suggested that shows like the Grammys, BET Awards, Golden Globe Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and the Oscars were a dying concept.  The thought that these shows are tanking was a bit premature.  The networks have started using social media to create buzz prior to and during the show to increase their audience.  Twitter, Facebook and other online blogs are making a difference.

After a four-year decline, ratings in 2009 have been substantially up.  Viewership for the Golden Globes was up 14%, MTV Video Music Awards were up 6% and the Grammy’s were up 35%. Pre-show hype was created for each show and live tweeting and Facebook updates were used to build audience.  Andrew Hampp detailed how the networks used social media to successfully increase viewership in an article in Ad Age.

“Last June’s BET Awards became the highest-rated cable show of the year on the strength of an aggressive Twitter integration and fans tweeting about the show’s makeshift tribute to Michael Jackson,” cited Hampp.  And Kanye West’s bum-rush of the stage at the Grammy’s to interrupt Taylor Swift’s acceptance as Best Female Performance created an online frenzy that caused many viewers to tune into the last 2 hours of the show to see what would happen next.  The result was the show’s highest rating in 5 years.

So what does this have to do with healthcare advertising?  The networks effectively used social media to ramp up their audience.  Perhaps hospital marketers can use social media to enhance their traditional advertising.  It would require a strategic integrated effort across traditional and social mediums.  The rewards could be substantial.  It could add more glitz, glamour and effectiveness to our efforts.


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