At the IBC2017 conference, media measurement specialists Kanter Media revealed their latest findings on the relationship between TV viewing and social media engagement.
Carlos Sanchez, the company’s Global Director of Social TV, told delegates that it had already established, in UK research carried out across a 12-month period in 2013/14, that there was a strong positive correlation between TV channel audience share and Twitter share. “We found out that top-rated TV channels were at the same time the top-tweeted TV channels,” he explained.
Kantar had also established that this relationship was a causal one, by comparing viewing of 3,000 different UK TV broadcasts with Twitter activity. It discovered that for 11% of the programmes sampled, there existed a positive causal relationship between Tweets and TV ratings – to be precise, “there was an average 2% uplift on TV ratings caused by people tweeting about programmes,” said Sanchez. For certain TV genres, like comedy and sitcoms, the uplift was even higher – up to 9%.
Recently, Kantar Media had added Facebook data to its social TV ratings system. “I think that’s a key improvement which has been made because now we have the ability to get access to interactions made on Facebook by any user,” said Sanchez. “So even [when they are] interacting with TV programmes on their private ‘walls’, we have access to that information.”
An early finding here has been that, in the UK at least, those programmes with the highest social media engagement are generally the same on both Facebook and Twitter. “We don’t see a lot of differences, so it’s not that people are engaging with some programmes on Twitter and with some others, completely different, on Facebook,” noted Sanchez.
Nevertheless, the degree of engagement with those top programmes does vary between the two platforms, so this type of data provides interesting insights for broadcasters seeking to promote their programmes on social media, Sanchez suggested.
It can also be viewed as a “new layer” of data to “prove value for advertising,” proposed Sanchez, citing data from the pre-Christmas period last year showing how the well-known annual UK Marks & Spencer [clothes/food store] advertising campaign performed on Twitter. In the period November 1-6, 2016, immediately preceding the launch of the campaign, the number of Tweets averaged 2,500 per day, 22% of which were deemed to be ‘positive.’ However, in the following period (7-15 November, 2016) when the spots began appearing on TV, there was an average of 8,400 Tweets per day, with the proportion of ‘positive’ Tweets doubling to 44%. “When there is a commercial on TV, the buzz, the engagement, the conversations increase as a result of that,” concluded Sanchez.
Kantar also analysed the data to see whether Twitter performance varied depending on which TV shows the M&S ads were being shown on. This showed that the ‘spike’ in Tweets occurred on November 12, against the spots shown on ITV’s The X Factor, a programme known to engender a lot of social media activity. Either side of that spike, when the spot was premiered on Channel Four’s GoggleBox audience review show on November 11, and shown again on Channel Four’s Great Canal Journeys on November 13, the number of Tweets was around a quarter of the maximum.
This was not simply a function of the smaller audiences available on Channel Four compared to the mass entertainment channel ITV, Sanchez said. When corrected for this factor, “basically, we saw that the same GRP [Gross Rating Point] drives more Tweets about the advertiser on TV programmes with highly engaged viewers.” This was “something that could be useful for advertisers in the planning stage of a campaign.”
Photo: Kantar Media illustrates its social media intelligence tools.