When big moments happen on TV today, viewers are turning to phones, tablets and computers to share their reactions instantly through social media—and they are doing it a lot. In the first four months of 2014, 17 million people sent 361 million tweets about TV. But tweets about TV are only part of the social TV story. The other half is tweets about brands that advertise on TV. In the same four-month period, 17 million people sent 215 million tweets about the approximately 700 brands that Nielsen Social tracks.
In a recent study, we analyzed the overlap between these two populations—people who tweet about TV and people who tweet about brands—to understand the value of social TV audiences to brands. The study produced four powerful insights:
First, this population of social brand ambassadors—people who tweet about TV and tweet about brands—is large. The study found that in an average month, 64% of people who tweet about brands also tweet about TV. So if a brand is looking to engage people who are likely to share their brand message, connecting with social TV authors is a good place to start.
Second, the study found that people who tweet about both brands and TV account for an outsized portion of all tweets about brands. The 64% of people who tweeted about brands and TV sent 78% of all brand Tweets.
Social brand ambassadors — in an average month, @TwitterTV authors post 78% of brand Tweets #socialtv @nielsensocial
Third, the study found that people who posted Tweets about TV and brands sent three times as many brand Tweets as those Twitter authors who only posted Tweets about brands.
Finally, the study found that people who tweet about brands and TV have twice as many followers as those who only tweet about brands. In other words, those TV authors are twice as influential as brand authors that don’t tweet about TV. They amplify messages to twice as many followers with each brand Tweet sent.
Not surprisingly given these findings, advertisers and agencies are taking note of social TV and are layering a social lens on TV ratings to sharpen media planning and buying decisions. They are also looking at social TV affinity to find the TV audiences that fit their brand or category. Finally, advertisers are using social TV measurement to understand campaign effectiveness—to find out in which programs, on which networks and with what creative campaigns perform the best socially.
At this year’s Nielsen Consumer 360, Deirdre Bannon, vice president, Product at Nielsen Social, joined a panel—including Roni Karassik, Sr., campaign research manager at Microsoft, Jed Meyer, global research director at Annalect, and Berj Kazanjian, senior vice president, Ad Sales Research at MTV—to talk about this powerful cross section of people who tweet about brands and TV: today’s socially active brand ambassadors.