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Tweets about TV programs prove Twitter's earned media value

Matt Kapko | March 26, 2014
New industry research, commissioned by Twitter, Fox and the Advertising Research Foundation, reports that social activity around television is still mostly a live event as 72 percent of users who tweet about TV do so while watching a live broadcast.


Now that Twitter is firmly positioned in the public lexicon, it is taking great lengths to extend the reach and value of its platform to enhance television viewing.

A new study commissioned by Twitter, Fox Broadcasting Co. and the Advertising Research Foundation concludes that more than three-fourths of users who recall seeing TV-related tweets have taken immediate action by either engaging on Twitter about a specific show or changing the dial on their television to watch a show.

The study also finds that of those users who recall seeing tweets mentioning brands, more than half (54 percent) have taken action by tweeting, searching for the brand online or considering a future purchase of the brand mentioned. That elevated brand recognition from TV-related tweets will be integral to Twitter's effective rise as a complementary advertising channel for brands already investing in TV.

Twitter Wants to Add Value to TV

"We know that Twitter is a complement to TV for audiences, and we've seen that running Twitter media alongside TV media drives greater TV ad effectiveness. This new research helps us better understand the role earned media plays in driving cross-channel effectiveness. It's great to see more evidence that Twitter is driving results for brands and TV networks," Jeffrey Graham, global director of advertising research at Twitter, said in a prepared statement.

The study conducted by research consultancy db5, " Discovering the Value of Earned Audience -- How Twitter Expressions Activate Consumers," reports that 76 percent of users who recall seeing TV-related tweets have searched for a show while 78 percent have taken action on Twitter, such as clicking on a show's hashtag, following the accounts of TV talent or retweeting.

The survey of 12,577 Twitter users also finds that 77 percent have taken action to watch TV show content.

In terms of actual TV viewership as the result of related tweets, 42 percent report making plans to watch the show later, 38 percent watched episodes online and 33 percent have changed the channel to watch the show. This type of immediate action is even more heightened among users who live-tweet during a broadcast.

"This research has allowed us to understand and quantify the real value of the enormous volume of tweets generated by our shows and our brand partners every week," Judit Nagy, FOX's vice president of analytics, said in a prepared statement. "The level of engagement, activity and perceptual impact we're seeing from these results far exceeds what we'd expected, and that's really good news for networks and brands alike."

TV Activity on Twitter is Mostly a Live Event

The research also suggests that social activity around television is still largely a live event that plays out in real-time. The majority of users who tweet about TV (72 percent) do so while watching a live broadcast, 60 percent say they tweet about shows when they are not watching them and 58 percent tweet about shows while watching them on demand or on time-shifted platforms like Hulu, iTunes, Netflix or Amazon.


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