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Channel 4 and Friends Lead the Way in TV Social Media Battle

Channel 4 and Friends Lead the Way in TV Social Media Battle

Television and social media has always gone hand in hand, with viewers taking to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to discuss what they're watching. But just how much they intertwine can have a lot to do with the content of the show and their target audience, as a recent study by online marketing specialists HitSearch has shown.

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US sitcom Friends is far and away the most popular show in social media, with 64.2 per cent of viewers who have an online presence. Despite the last episode of the hit show airing in 2002, repeats of Friends have been shown almost constantly ever since, initially on Channel 4, and now on Comedy Central.

Some programmes have a higher number of social media followers than an episode of their show averages in viewers. For example, BBC motor magazine show Top Gear has around 13.6 million fans across the three main social networks, but the show itself only attracts an average of 3.9 million viewers per episode, giving it an Online Profile Ratio of 374 per cent.

Of course, some programmes may be aided in their social media campaigns by the fact that they appeal to audiences both sides of the Atlantic. American shows such as Friends, Dallas, Family Guy and The Simpsons benefit from having two separate audiences, and this can show in their social media following.

At the other end of the scale, some of Britain's most popular television shows are missing the boat when it comes to social media. BBC One drama Call the Midwife regularly attracts over ten million viewers, but with only 45,000 fans on social media, it has an Online Profile Ratio of just 0.45 per cent.

There are, of course, plenty of reasons as to why some channels and programmes have many more social media fans than others, regardless of their viewing figures.

The likes of Channel 4 and Comedy Central, and the programmes they broadcast, are generally aimed at a younger target audience; a tech-savvy generation that are more likely to be found on social media sites than other age groups.
Another factor to consider is that some shows are more active in their promotion of social media than others. The more popular programmes may broadcast their Facebook addresses and relevant hashtags during the show, while others simply won

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