Television networks recognize the impact that Twitter continues to have on television viewers.  As a result, networks are starting to display hashtags on televisions screens during your favorite shows. According to Twitter, when TV shows bring hashtags, accounts, or other Twitter elements into the broadcast itself, the result is a direct and immediate increase in engagement on Twitter.

Whether placed discretely in a corner or occupying large space on the television screens during popular TV shows, the hashtags give instant access to viewers’ preferences. A simple search using the #thevoice hashtag gives insight on what people love about the show, what are their favorite contestants and what drives viewers towards the TV show. Furthermore, mentioning hashtags on television ignites the flame on twitter. The conversation around the hashtag intensifies when mentioned on television, prompting non viewers to cast a glance at the show.

At one quick look, the idea of encouraging people to switch to twitter instead of watching the show is slightly confusing. Yet, a large portion of people have multiple tasks while watching TV, most of these unrelated to the TV show. By using hashtags, the producers bring people back to actually watch the show and tweet about it during or after the show. Viewers are encouraged to discard their DVRs and watch the show when it airs so that they can be part of the conversation. Below we detail some of the most effective hashtags and discuss their role.

Used by no less than 27,000 people in just one hour, the #trumproast hashtag is believed to be the primordial tag promoted in a television show. The discreet watermark from the right corner made the Roast of Donald Trump the most watched show in history.  


After the success displayed by #trumproast, the hashtag promotion became more aggressive. The Roast of Charlie Sheen was displayed in ads, in the corner of the screen and in the resulting webpages. There was even a redirect page promoting the #sheenroast hashtag.


The Royal wedding has been intensely promoted on all media channels. CNN posted tweets using their hashtag on the TV screens during the event. According to Twitter, it is estimated that peak moments, like Prince William’s arrival to Westminster Church, generated over 250 tweets using #cnntv per minute. Looks like the hashtags cleverly paired with call to action have done their job pretty well in this case.


Each one of the four members of the show’s jury has over 100,000 followers, which created large exposure for the #thevoice hashtag. During the show premiere, jury’s tweets containing the hashtag were displayed on the screen. This created a huge buzz on twitter and while on TV the show obtained 5.1 Nielson rating. The hashtag has been shown in critical moments of the show as an indirect call to action.


While ‘Glee’ was a hot subject on twitter, the producers released the hashtag as a means of gathering and organizing information about the sitcom. Thus, users were encouraged to use the official #glee hashtag, rather than #gleek, #gleeks or #whiterappers.