Title: Social capital, social media, and TV ratings

Authors: Chong Oh; Stephanie Yergeau

Addresses: Department of Operations and Information Systems, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, 1655 East Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, 84112, USA ' Department of Computer Information Systems, College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, 48197, USA

Abstract: Motivated by the increasing role of social media in relating to economic outcomes, this paper examines the relationship between social networking sites (SNS) and television ratings drawing from the social capital theoretical framework of bonding and bridging. Based on the context of US network television (TV) programs, we collected measures for Facebook likes and Facebook talk for 38 TV programs and their respective Nielsen ratings over a period of five weeks, resulting in a sample size of 165 weekly observations. In testing OLS regression models, we determined that key social media measures, proxy for social capital, are positively associated with performance ratings. In essence, TV programs with a higher number of Facebook likes (bridging) and Facebook talk (bonding) are likely to relate to higher performance ratings. In addition we conclude that weak ties (bridging) are important as a conduit to connect fans to TV shows but in the long run, strong ties (bonding) are needed to reinforce those relationships towards fan loyalty. Contributions to both research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: business intelligence; social capital; bridging; bonding; structural holes; closure; social media; social media analysis; SMA; social networking sites; SNS; TV ratings; television ratings; Facebook likes; Facebook talk; weak ties; strong ties; fan loyalty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2017.081450

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2017 Vol.24 No.2, pp.242 - 260

Received: 13 May 2015
Accepted: 03 Oct 2015

Published online: 09 Jan 2017 *

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