TV Tweeters Gain Momentum, Can Drive Program Loyalty, Says Nielsen

We know tons of TV viewers are flooding social networks with their reactions to every plot twist and turn. But just who are these people, and what really gets them going?

“Scandal,” for one. In fact, during the 2014-15 TV season, ABC’s hit series earned the top program loyalty on Twitter, according to fresh findings from Nielsen Social. All told, 24% of Scandal Twitter authors sent tweets about three or more episodes.

Meanwhile, the total number of Twitter users who contribute to program conversation over the course of a season is, on average, 10 times larger than weekly levels would suggest.

“That's notable for two reasons,” Lisa Berman, VP, research and product marketing at Nielsen Social, said on Monday. “First, it indicates that the population of social TV authors for a given program is much bigger than what one might expect by analyzing week-to-week patterns.



“Second, this finding reveals a huge opportunity for networks,” Berman added. “Closely analyzing program authorship could support networks in transforming newly social fans into loyal authors that regularly drive buzz for a program.”

Rather than a steady stream, TV tweeters also appear to be drawn to big moments throughout the season of a particular series, Nielsen found.

For instance, on average, 25% of all program authors tweet about premieres, and 16% Tweet about finales. Combined, networks can now expect to hear from an average of 38% of program authors during those two moments.

In addition to their loyalty, meanwhile, program authors who tweeted about three or more episodes also exhibited other traits that could be valuable for TV networks and advertisers, Nielsen found.

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 maximize earned media driven by TV content and advertising,” according to Nielsen.   

For its findings, Nielsen Social studied 113 program seasons, from premiere through finale, from September 2014-May 2015, and analyzed the total number of new episodes within each program’s season that inspired the tweets of individual authors.


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