TV Twitter

#TVTwitter: how advertisers can get closer to conversations

The relationship between TV and Twitter has blossomed into a full-blown love affair. Twitter users love talking about TV and TV viewers love using Twitter to see other viewers’ opinions about shows they love. This research delves into this parallel behaviour and how advertisers can become a welcome part of those conversations.

In Brief

Recent years have seen a growing relationship between TV viewing and Twitter usage. The relationship is strongly symbiotic: Twitter users love talking about what is happening on TV and TV viewers love using Twitter to see other viewers’ opinions about shows they love. Along with Twitter we commissioned research to learn more about this; what motivates people to use the two in parallel and how can advertisers be a welcome part of these conversations.

We worked with Twitter and research agency, Brainjuicer, to ethnographically and quantitatively explore combined TV and Twitter behaviours of 18 households.

Key Points

Two types of hashtag

  • Punchlines – hashtags are used as a creative and funny way to sign off a tweet about a TV show
  • Sorting – hashtags are used to categorise conversations and as a way to find new content associated with the TV show. Users search for a hashtag to learn more, so brands need to make sure they have additional content ready and waiting

The desire for retweets

Although people like to think that they tweet for the sake of tweeting, getting retweets is important. Retweets demonstrate agreement and amplify opinions. Getting a retweet evokes a strong positive emotional reaction and that 76% of respondents thought other users made sure their tweets about TV were funny so they would be retweeted.

The importance of celebrity tweeters

Many TV stars are prominent tweeters.  69% of respondents claiming to like seeing celebrities talk about TV shows on Twitter

How advertisers can plan for TV and Twitter

There are three levels of integration between TV and Twitter activity depending on a brand’s market and aims:

  • Integration: where a TV campaign is planned and executed with specific Twitter content and activity built in and around it from the outset
  • Anticipation: being more thoughtful of how Twitter and TV will work together in a brand strategy.  Brands need to plan ahead for TV moments and prepare content to take advantage of it.  They need to include hashtags on their TV ads but have a clear purpose to them - e.g. driving people to a Promoted Trend to find out more information about a product and move consumers along the purchase journey
  • Association: at the simplest level, if a brand is not advertising on TV, it can still be associated with it as its customers will be watching TV and there is an opportunity to contribute

Download the Charts for this research study hereIn Depth

Recent years have seen a growing relationship between TV viewing and Twitter usage. The relationship is strongly symbiotic: Twitter users love talking about what is happening on TV and TV viewers love using Twitter to see other viewers’ opinions about shows they love. Along with Twitter we commissioned research to learn more about this; what motivates people to use the two in parallel and how can advertisers be a welcome part of these conversations?

What we did

The research was conducted by global research agency BrainJuicer® and combined ethnographic and quantitative research. It featured an ethnographic study of 18 households in order to explore combined TV and Twitter behaviours plus follow-up interviews with the participants to discuss those behaviours and findings from the ethnography. A quantitative study with a sample of 1,000 people (800 Twitter users and 200 non-Twitter users) qualified the ethnographic insights and tested perceptions of brands that are active on TV and/or Twitter.

What we discovered:

Two types of hashtag

The research found that 3 in 4 people believe hashtags are searched for on Twitter because they have been seen on TV and it identified two ways in which people use Twitter hashtags around TV content:

  • Punchlines – hashtags are used as a creative and funny way to sign off a tweet about a TV show
  • Sorting – hashtags are used to categorise conversations and as a way to find new content associated with the TV show. Users search for a hashtag to learn more, so brands need to make sure they have additional content ready and waiting

The desire for retweets

Although people like to think that they tweet for the sake of tweeting, receiving retweets and responses is also important. Retweets demonstrate that other people agree with their opinions and amplify what’s been said. The research found that getting a retweet evokes a strong positive emotional reaction and that 76% thought other users made sure their tweets about TV were funny so they would be retweeted.

The importance of celebrity tweeters

Many TV stars are also prominent tweeters and the importance of proximity to celebrities came out strongly in this research with 69% claiming to like seeing celebrities talk about TV programmes on Twitter.  Participants in the ethnographic research also admitted enjoying   the ability to interact with celebrities directly on Twitter.

TV and Twitter Slide 1

The combination of TV advertising and Twitter activity

The research looked at brands that had recently used both TV and Twitter together to understand the positive brand effects of this media combination. The Sainsbury’s case study showed that their integrated approach led to positive emotional brand response, increased purchase intent and an uplift in key brand attributes.

TV and Twitter Slide 2

How advertisers can plan for TV and Twitter

 There are three levels of integration between TV and Twitter activity depending on a brand’s market and aims:

  • Integration: where a TV campaign is planned and executed with specific Twitter content and activity built in and around it from the outset
  • Anticipation: being more thoughtful of how Twitter and TV will work together in the brand strategy.  Brands need to plan ahead for TV moments and prepare content to take full advantage of them .  They need to include hashtags on their TV ads, but these hashtags need to have a clear purpose - e.g. driving people to a ‘promoted trend’ to find out more information about a product and move consumers along the purchase journey
  • Association: at the simplest level, if a brand is not advertising on TV, it can still be associated with television content.  Customers will be watching TV and there is an opportunity to contribute

This research has helped us understand more about how and why people are using TV and Twitter together. It’s shown us that brands really need to understand what need-states audiences are in and only then can brands identify the key moments to integrate the two media. We've learnt about the importance of hashtags, retweets and celebrity and that no matter what the scale or budget of a campaign, advertisers have an opportunity to optimise the integration of their TV and Twitter activity to one of three levels.

Relevant search terms: social media, social network, word of mouth, WOM, online buzz, hashtag, retweet, followers, celebrity, celebrities





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