Why the tweet is the de facto currency of Social TV

At SecondSync we like to stick to a simple definition of Social TV. It describes the way that social media has taken conversations around TV shows from the living room and onto the internet. It’s a trend that is growing exponentially in popularity. The number of people participating, and the amount of data it is generating, is staggering. 

TV related discussion exists on all social networks but in terms of real-time public conversation, not check ins, ‘likes’ or downloads, Twitter dominates and the tweet has become the de-facto currency of social TV.

As a company we are focused on creating social media metrics for TV. There are three things about Twitter that make it unique in this area. 

  1. Immediacy. People tend to tweet when they are most engaged with a show. Analysing tweet patterns identifies sections of a show that resonate particularly with the audience. Different genres, demographics and time slots display very different patterns of engagement. 
  2. The public nature of the data. Twitter is a public platform and its users treat it as such. 
  3. The consistent nature of the data (140 chars or less) lends itself to being made into a metric. 

Every month we see an increase in the percentage of the TV audience tweeting but on 15th October 2012 we saw something extraordinary. The premiere of the new series of Made in Chelsea attracted an audience of 452,000 viewers on E4. Our platform identified 215,220 tweets aimed at the show from 110,170 unique users during its transmission window. That’s a staggering one in four of the audience tweeting about the show! It was a watershed moment. 

Made in Chelsea

Analysing these conversations is generating audience insights that are being used by our clients across several areas of their businesses. As the uptake of this behaviour continues to grow, the insights generated will become more compelling, and while other social networks remain largely private, Twitter will continue to dominate this space. 

by Andy Littledale

3 November 2012