Social TV Tweeters = Greater Consumers

With so many people using their mobile devices all the time, nobody really pays attention to what they watch on TV, right? Wrong. Of course they do and in fact, they may even pay greater attention, according to Anjali Midha, head of global media and agency research at Twitter.

Speaking at Digital Media Wire Video’s Future of Television conference in New York this week, Midha said that Twitter enhances a consumer’s TV-watching experience, rather than distracting from it. And the use of social TV (actively sharing a TV experience with other viewers on social media), creates greater purchasing power amongst fans who feel a much closer connection to a brand.

With 70 percent of TV-related tweets happening during a live telecast, Midha believes that the social platform does drive more engagement and draws people in, particularly during sporting events. Despite a 37 percent decrease in digital ad impressions, The World Cup saw a 33 percent increase in Twitter activity.

“The folks who choose to use Twitter as a complement to their first-screen experience are actually people who are more engaged in the show,” Midha hypothesized.

As an experiment, Twitter gathered groups of friend pairs into two separate rooms to watch a college basketball game during March Madness. One room was free to tweet while the population of the second was stripped of their mobile devices. The research found that among the Twitter-using group, there was a 53 percent recollection of ads, as opposed to 40 percent from their phoneless counterparts. The people who got to use their smartphones also showed more than double the brand favorability and intent to purchase.

Further observation also showed that while the people in the first room laughed and shared tweets, the latter group barely spoke to each other.

“[The tweeters] are the cream of the crop, if you will. They are the influencers, the people getting their friends into the show,” Midha commented.

Twitter users are coveted by advertisers because as Midha said, “some of the heaviest tweeters are also the heaviest consumers.” TV-tweeters are three times as likely to tweet about brands, and typically have twice as many followers.

Noting the platform’s power, Midha mentioned a certain picture from a certain awards show. You know which one. Ellen’s selfie was retweeted 19 million times within 24 hours. By now, 4.2 billion people – two-thirds of the world’s population – have seen it.

“It’s a Super Bowl-like event, but it’s still interesting to see the reach of these tweets,” Midha said.

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