Tuning In With Twitter

One of the biggest questions you hear when talking about social media is – What is my return on investment? How do I quantify the engagement on social networks? Twitter has started to answer this question in regards to measuring engagement with television programming. Twitter has recently partnered with Nielson SoundScan to quantify the value of social engagement around television shows.

According to Nielson SoundScan, approximately 300 million tweets were made about television in the first quarter of 2013. Their analysis found that tweets drive up television viewership by up to 29%.

In a partnership with Twitter, Nielson has launched Twitter TV Ratings which analyzes the following:

  • Tweets – Tweets ascribed to a linear TV episode.
  • Unique Authors – Unique Twitter accounts that have sent at least one Tweet ascribed to a specific TV episode.
  • Impressions – The number of times any Tweets ascribed to a TV episode were seen.
  • Unique Audience – The total number of distinct Twitter accounts accruing at least one impression of one or more different Tweets ascribed to a TV episode.

With viewers now watching content via online streaming, DVR, and other platforms, actual viewership numbers are not always indicative of the popularity of a show. This data from Nielson gives the television industry another metric to assess their return on investment in producing original content.

This data is also valuable for Twitter. Twitter is able to sell promotional content through Twitter Amplify, letting an advertiser promote their product to users who are live tweeting about a show, and would have just seen their commercial on television.  Television producers and live broadcasters can push out relevant content to their viewers in a timely fashion, increasing engagement with their program. As the Nielsen data has shown, this increase in engagement will likely increase television viewership as a user’s followers tune in.

It is likely other industries will find similar ways to assess and utilize the data provided from Twitter engagement. This partnership with the television industry is a great step in quantifying the engagement generated and corresponding data from social media.


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