Let’s Talk TV: How Social Ambassadors can Boost Program and Brand Engagement

Let’s Talk TV: How Social Ambassadors can Boost Program and Brand Engagement


The continued proliferation of laptops, wireless connections in the home and the recent increase in smartphone and tablet ownership has given rise to ‘dual screening’. Accessing online content while watching TV is now a regular (and normal) activity for many Australians.

Dual screening behaviour, notably observed during evening prime time, creates opportunities for TV networks and advertisers to capitalise on this trend as a way to:

  • Drive cross-screen engagement
  • Extend audience reach and engagement with TV program content
  • Extend audience reach and engagement with advertising
  • Ultimately provide greater ad revenue opportunities and a stronger mechanism to build brands and grow sales.

‘Social TV’ is the term used to describe when a TV audience uses an online social platform to ‘converse’ about the content they are viewing on TV, or read others’ conversations or posts; in real time. Social TV – and its influential ‘ambassadors’ – is key to achieving higher levels of cross-platform engagement and audience extension.

Nielsen formalised the measure of Social TV activity in the 2012 edition of the Australian Connected Consumers Report. And since then, this emerging cross-screen behaviour is still prevalent and growing.

We now find close to half of online Australians (44%) participate in social TV activity, up from 37% since 2013. Passive activity (reading others’ posts) is more common than actively posting comments, though this still represents a strong opportunity to extend brand and content reach through social channels.

The rise of the social brand ambassador

A Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings study found that the audience viewing tweets about TV programs is 50 times larger than those tweeting about programs. And, in an average month, 64% of people who tweet about brands also tweet about TV programs. This population of ‘social brand ambassadors’ also account for an outsized portion of brand tweets – with the group sending 78% of all brand tweets. In addition, these ‘social brand ambassadors’ were also found to be highly influential with those sending tweets about TV and brands having twice as many followers as those who send tweets about brands only.

Not surprising, today’s young, media savvy, media multi-tasking audiences are considerably more likely to have taken to social TV behaviour compared with their older counterparts, while differences across gender and location are minimal.

And what are the popular TV genres that Australians ‘socialise’ around? Movies, news/panel discussion programs, sport and reality are most common; with men far more likely to engage around sport while women show good social TV engagement with reality TV, drama/soapies and live performance shows.

As the social TV phenomenon continues to grow, TV media owners and brands will be innovating in their quest to capitalise on dual-screening behaviour and deliver enhanced audience engagement with programs and advertising.

About Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings
Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, the first-ever measure of the total activity and reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter, enable users to:

  • Improve media planning and buying decisions by factoring in the total Twitter engagement around TV programs.
  • Quantify the effectiveness of Twitter TV-related audience engagement strategies and better understand the relationship between Twitter and tune-in.
  • Analyse audiences who tweet about brands and TV programs to help amplify brand messages.

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About the Australian Nielsen Connected Consumers Report, 2014
The Australian Connected Consumers Report (formerly known as The Australian Online Consumer Report) has been published since 1997 and is now in its 16th annual edition. The 2014 report analyses the responses of 4,980 online Australians aged 16 years and above through an online survey methodology. All responses were collected during December, 2013. The report was released on Monday 3 March, 2014.

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