Tweets About TV Programs Prove Twitter's Earned Media Value

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.

TV and Twitter

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.

[Related: Nielsen Measuring Twitter Chatter, with an Eye on Advertising]

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.

Twitter

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.

[Related: Twitter's Take on TV: 'We Make it Better']

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.

Actors and other talent from shows are the most preferred source for TV-related tweets with 40 percent of users saying they prefer to see tweets from an actor or cast members.

[Related: Twitter Hires NBC's Vivian Schiller to Boost its News Cred]

Meanwhile 26 percent prefer being exposed to tweets from friends and family, and just 18 percent prefer seeing TV-related tweets from the official show handles. The long tail of TV-related tweets reaches beyond Twitter as well, with 60 percent of those surveyed saying they took immediate action on other social platforms.

For the survey, db5 recruited 12,577 users on Twitter.com and the official mobile app over a two-week period. To help ensure a random and robust sample of individuals for its report, the firm says participants were queried within 24 hours of prime time activity on Twitter.

Matt Kapko covers social media for CIO.com. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattkapko. Email him at mkapko@cio.com Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook.

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