Do you tweet about telly? 85 per cent of people on Twitter during primetime TV hours do, according to a new study published Twitter.
The report, carried out in partnership with FOX, the Advertising Research Foundation and db5, shows just how intertwined Twitter and television have become. In the living room, where mobile devices or PCs are readily available, the real-time nature of the social network has turned it into an ideal accompaniment for the TV viewing cycle; with a new episode of different shows starting every hour, each with a new talking point, the discussion of what’s on the small screen can be ongoing rather than related to a one-off event; 72 per cent of Twitter-using viewers tweet about the show while it’s on live, but an equally large number (60 per cent) tweet about them when they’re not watching.
Even when catching up with a debate or programme, over half (58 per cent) tweet about shows when watching on-demand. The communal nature of Twitter has led people to want to become part of a group conversation. 99 per cent of viewers in January 2014 were exposed to TV-related tweets, says the research, while 90 per cent of those took subsequent action, such as watching a programme they’ve never watched before, resuming a show they’d previously stopped, or searching for a programme online.
“This study confirms that people who see TV-related Tweets are taking action at scale,” comments Judit Nagy, Vice President of Analytics for FOX. “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.”
Of course, that’s exactly the conclusion that Twitter wants broadcasters to reach: as we’ve discussed before, the company offers a unique opportunity for social interaction that Facebook cannot, something that the company aims to monetise as much as possible. People not only use Twitter while watching TV; they’re influenced by it. Paying for promoted tweets on Twitter, therefore – tweets that will show to the followers of your targeted users, e.g. fans of the show – can be an effective way to advertise.
Indeed, it’s telling that the research also includes another question that shows 66 per cent of people would like to see TV-related tweets from “official show accounts” – although people prefer it when those tweets come from the people involved in making it, with 61 per cent saying they like to see tweets from cast members.
“Tweets can be a very significant lever in driving awareness, interest and engagement with your program and its advertisers,” concludes Twitter.
That’s the official message – but the stats, displayed in a handy infographic below – confirm the unofficial message too: a lot of people tweet about telly. And Twitter knows it.