Nielsen announced that they would include Twitter information in TV ratings data last December. Twitter TV ratings officially launched this week. The impact of social media on audience conversation is apparent--shows and events have unexpectedly gone viral through online dialogue, like Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, and Community. What does this mean for small to medium businesses and their online marketing efforts? Watch today's Daily Brown Bag to learn about Nielsen's new inclusion of social media in their reporting, and the impact it might have on your social media strategy.


Hello, and welcome to our video where we’re going to be talking about social media and TV. I’m Chad Hill and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad. This is a very interesting new phenomenon to be observing. Here are some stats this morning that start to describe how the behaviors of people using social media and watching television are starting to change more into each other. Here’s an astounding opener: 81% of the people in the U.S. use a smartphone and watch TV at the same time. To me, that’s really huge to say that four out of five people are taking what used to be a stand-alone leisure activity of TV watching and are now browsing the web, and we’ll see in some of these other stats, looking at Twitter at the same time. Peak times for sending out tweets about a television program are when people are watching these primetime shows. And some of these other stats here, Chad, are that 70% of the TV tweets are sent during the program, so it’s not just that they’re waiting for commercials, although you do see a spike there. It’s while the program is happening, people are both broadcasting and interested in what other people are saying about the program they’re watching. So, I think this is an interesting phenomenon. What do we think this means for internet marketing and Twitter?

I think for sure this is interesting because really what it’s showing is that the big trick has always been that you have to be on all these screens at the same time. You’re on the TV screen, you’re on the mobile device, you’re on the tablet, and what this is showing is how interconnected things are. So, from a programming standpoint, it’s really interesting because of course people producing television programs need to find a way to engage with an audience, and Twitter is obviously what people are using today.

What I’m not really sure of, and I think this is going to take some more time to play out is how advertisers use this data. So clearly if you’re an advertiser and you know that your spots are going on a program that has a lot of social activity, you would be a fool not to think about how you can pull in or participate in that conversation while people are viewing it. So, it makes the marketer’s job harder, but potentially allows them to engage in these discussions.

So, for example, if you’re watching the season finale of Breaking Bad, an advertiser might be able to run their spot during the commercial breaks, but you’d be a lot smarter to figure out how you can tie yourself in, almost product placement, how can you tie yourself into that Twitter conversation, and that’s good. So I think this is really more of a big business opportunity at the moment, but who knows how this will evolve over time and what the small business internet marketing implications might be. Of course if you’re a local bar or a venue where people might be watching the season finale of Breaking Bad, certainly tapping into that audience and saying, “Come to our Breaking Bad finale viewing party could be very smart, but again on a national level, I think it’s still something the bigger brands are probably going to be playing with versus the smaller venues.

Yeah, I think you’re right. I think it’s very early to understand what’s happening here, and the first step is just recognizing that the behavior of this leisure activity, of watching television has changed. I mean the Breaking Bad example is very interesting. There were 1.2 million tweets about the finale, but they were spread over the week. We certainly saw them peak during the show, and maybe different behaviors of those who were checking in on that information around the event versus the ones that are actually in the event, for example, take the Superbowl, there were 24.1 million tweets during the game, and you saw a nice bike at halftime, probably the conversation during the game versus the halftime was also very different.

So, a couple things strike me. One is just the intense amount of data here, because it starts to get very complex, and I think you’re right. There will be targeting opportunities as we start to understand this behavior, but I think at first it’s probably going to be pretty overwhelming. I’m not sure Twitter really knows what to do with this, but it is a trend to keep an eye on. The days of just sitting still, popping your popcorn, and watching a movie on the VHS are long gone, and I think what probably was mocked originally as ADD-type behavior, you can’t just watch TV, you have to have that and you’re tweeting, is now becoming quite commonplace. Four out of five people see this as how they just like to experience their favorite TV program. We’d be really interested in your thoughts. Are you tweeting while you’re watching a movie or watching TV? What gets your interest on Twitter, what is it exactly you’re talking about? If you enjoyed this video, we sure would like it if you would subscribe to our YouTube channel.