Many reality TV shows have harnessed social media for their show by "integrating fan voting, audience polling, and show topic hashtags into programming."
Reality TV show producers use data from social media to monitor audience reaction: "broadcasters have gained much information from social media data, including: responses to promotional campaign events, viewership behavior; social sentiment based on demographics, trends, events, and emergencies, precision viewership predictions; weekly or by season, driven by the social buzz that precedes the airing of the program, and much more."
Proper use of social media by reality TV shows has been shown to help dramatically increase viewership. For example, the TV show Survivor increased its viewership by nearly 3 million viewers by incorporating Twitter onto the show.
Reality TV show stars, like the Kardashians, can engage with audiences even when their show is off the air via social media platforms.
Twitter seems to be the most common and notable platform for discussion about reality TV shows.
Facebook is blurring the line between the social platform and reality TV by launching its own original reality TV shows on Facebook Watch.
Frequency of Discussion
For popular shows, the number of tweets is staggering. For example, "the X-Factor...season
premiere garnered 1.4 million comments, peaking at 13.374 comments per minute.”
Twitter conducted its own study about reality TV mentions on Twitter and found that "85% of users active on Twitter during primetime TV hours tweet about TV, and that 90% of those who saw TV-related Tweets took action to further engage with the show — whether to watch, search for, or share content about it."