In partnership with FOX, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), and db5, we set out to understand the impact of seeing TV earned media (TV-related Tweets) on Twitter. The research revealed that 85% of users active on Twitter during primetime TV hours tweet about TV, and that 90% of those who saw TV-related Tweets took action to further engage with the show — whether to watch, search for, or share content about it.
The study, “Discovering the Value of Earned Audiences - How Twitter Expressions Activate Consumers”, analyzed on-platform behaviors and survey-based, self-reported actions of more than 12,000 Twitter users. These findings offer useful, actionable insights for how to best reach viewers and potential viewers.
Who tweets about TV
Overall, 85% of people who use Twitter during primetime hours reported tweeting about TV. The findings show that Twitter users actively comment about TV content both when they’re watching live and when they’re watching time-shifted:
- 72% tweet while the show is on live
- 60% tweet about shows when they are not actually watching them
- 58% tweet about TV shows while they watch on time-shifted platforms like OnDemand, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon
Furthermore, these behaviors are often habitual: 50% of those surveyed tweeted about 25 or more telecasts during the season-to-date measurement period (Sept ‘13 - March ‘14).
How the audience reacts
The study found that 99% of the users surveyed were exposed to TV-related Tweets in the month of January 2014 (as measured through observed exposure).
After seeing TV-related Tweets, 90% of respondents took subsequent action such as watching a show they’ve never watched before, resuming watching a show that they’d previously stopped watching, and/or searching for more information about the show online. In fact, one-third of respondents reported having changed the channel to watch a show after seeing Tweets about it.
Those who recall seeing TV-related Tweets have:
- Taken action on Twitter (78%)
- 46% follow TV show or talent on Twitter
- 41% click on the show’s hashtag to find out more information
- 39% retweet a show Tweet
- Taken action to watch TV show content (77%)
- 42% made a plan to watch the show later
- 38% watched episodes online
- 33% changed the channel to watch the show
- Searched online (including video sites) for more information about the show (76%)
- Taken action on other social media sites (60%)
What you can do
As the findings presented above demonstrate, seeing Tweets about TV can compel people to seek out and engage with content.
“At Fox our earned audience is incredibly large, and this study confirms that people who see TV-related Tweets are taking action at scale. This is a very important finding for us, particularly as it relates to content discovery and consumption. There seems to be a virtuous cycle at play, whereby marketing to an earned audience drives content consumption and tune-in, which in turn drives additional Tweets about TV and even larger earned audiences. When I share the findings from this work within my organization, the overarching theme is that we have an opportunity to harness the power of our earned audience.” - Judit Nagy, Vice President of Analytics, FOX
So how do you build Twitter strategies that inspire action among your audience? Our research found that people prefer to see Tweets directly from the source. While 46% of users said they would like to see TV Tweets from friends & family, 66% said they would like to see TV Tweets from official show accounts:
- 61% from actor/cast
- 35% from the official show account
- 24% from judges/host
Tweets can be a very significant lever in driving awareness, interest and engagement with your program and its advertisers. In short: program Twitter like you program your network. Develop a Twitter strategy that treats Tweets as an extension of both your content and promotional efforts.
Peter Orban (@peterorban)
EVP, Research & Innovation: Mobile & Social
The Advertising Research Foundation
Judit Nagy (@Judit_Nagy_2013)
Vice President, Digital Analytics
Nina Kjarval (@NinaSoley)
Senior Brand Strategist
Xavier Sanchez de Carmona (@xaviersdec)
Research Director, Social & Mobile
The Advertising Research Foundation