Loyal fans and big moments build buzz on social TV



| 24 August 2015

Despite a traditional difficulty in quantifying the real effect of social TV, evidence is emerging of how Twitter fans are boosting reach.

NIelsen soicall TV 24 AUgAccording to a report from leading measurement firm Nielsen, there are three tangible trends from the use of such platforms: new social TV authors are regularly joining programme conversations; loyal authors are becoming valuable for more than just their social allegiance; and big programme moments are inspiring more fans to jump into the conversation.

In general, said Nielsen, social media activity about live TV programming ebbs and flows as each programme airs, signalling how engaged the general audience is with what they're watching. But, it added, that stepping outside the minute-by-minute activity often reveals that individual programmes see relatively steady overall levels of social activity during live airings.

The study found that the total number of individual Twitter authors that Tweet about a programme across a season is significantly larger than the number of individuals that contribute to programme-related conversation in a given week. For the programmes in the study, an average of ten times as many authors Tweeted about a programme in total across a season compared with the number of authors who contributed in an average week. For the top loyal programmes, up to 24% of authors posted with such a frequency over the course of the season.

The analyst said that such programme authors who tweeted about three or more episodes also exhibited other traits that could be valuable for TV networks and advertisers. On average, these authors sent nearly three times as many Tweets per episode than other authors. They were also found to have more followers and sent more Tweets about brands. Identifying and cultivating relationships with loyal authors could be powerful for TV networks and advertisers as they each look to maximise earned media driven by TV content and advertising.

The study also found that there are big moments within a season when larger groups of authors jump into the conversation. On average, a quarter of all programme authors Tweet about premieres and 16% Tweet about finales. Between these two groups combined, networks can expect to hear from an average of 38% of programme authors during those two moments.

Nielsen concluded that the opportunity for networks to build loyalty among social TV authors and drive buzz about their programs is huge. It advised advertisers and agencies that 'the well is deep with opportunity' to take advantage of such patterns in engagement to maximise brand-related buzz around TV placements.

It added that there were three key takeaways. Firstly it suggested that for many programmes, there could be an opportunity through retention strategies such as on-screen calls to action, live Tweeting by owned accounts, or paid social campaigns to convert new authors that join the programme conversation over the course of a season into loyal programme authors. There was also value for networks and advertisers in engaging loyal programme authors, identifying and engaging with them to maximise programme-related buzz and finally key moments such as premieres, finales or other high engagement episodes offer opportunities to engage with more authors.