Study: Bravo Social Media Efforts Expand Fan Engagement

A new survey commissioned by Bravo shows that the network's longstanding emphasis on social media campaigns and features has paid off with very high levels of viewer engagement, reports Ellen Stone, Bravo's senior VP of marketing.

About 91% of those surveyed said the network "offers an outlet to voice their opinions," more than any of the 30 plus networks covered by the survey, and 85% felt the network responded to viewers' questions and comments about the networks, a 15% higher rate than the other networks.

The survey also found that it ranked the highest among over 30 channels for "recognizing and showing appreciation for its viewers."

The high levels of engagement reflect the fact that Bravo embraced social media as early as 2007 and has continued to emphasize the medium as a cornerstone of its strategy to engage viewers, Stone says.

Overall, nearly half of Bravo viewers said Bravo recognizes and shows appreciation for its viewers "very well," with Bravo ranking 10% higher than the second place network.

One particularly notable finding concerned the increasingly popular practice by programmers of incorporating tweets and social media material on-air.

For some of its shows, Bravo produces what the network calls "social editions," where it adds tweets that occurred during the original airing into the episode when it is repeated on its schedule. Nearly half of the survey participants said watching those "social editions" added to their enjoyment of watching the show.

These on-air mentions also boosted the activity seen by those users whose tweets were shown on-air for "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."

In episode 407, "they increased their activity by 41% the next week and 34% the week after," Stone says, "It creates more enthusiastic fans by giving them recognition for being part of the conversation."

The survey was based on data gathered from 1,000 participants aged 18 to 54 who defined themselves as regular or occasional cable network viewers that were part of NBCU Cable's Viewer Voice research panel.

The data covered March of 2013.