Understanding The Influence Between Twitter And Radio
August 13, 2013
Network shows and their advertisers have a whole new rating metric to measure and negotiate on this fall. To complement the currency that TV has always been traded on, reach: how many people are watching it, there will be a second metric based entirely on involvement: how many people are talking about it.
Nielsen has partnered with Twitter to use its data to publish the "Nielsen Twitter TV Rating."
As Twitter VP Global Brand Strategy, Joel Lunenfeld, explains, "This is a huge deal for networks because they found now that there's a way to drive higher viewership and that is about creating more engagement on Twitter. And for advertisers which is the other part of the equation they see this as a way to be able to measure what shows they are going to advertise on."
So what's the application for radio here?
There's no denying that reach and involvement drive each other and yet somehow there are still too many in our storied industry of radio dismissing Twitter. It's understandable that it is hard to value what you don't understand, but with Twitter becoming a larger part of your fans' engagement time, it should drive broadcasters to want to gain a better understanding of what it means and how the fans are using it.
One pathway towards the connection to Twitter's value and fan development is to simply observe others.
Shonda Rhimes, creator and Executive Producer of ABC's "Scandal," employs a Twitter strategy where everyone from the cast to the behind-the-scenes crew of the show is involved socially.
For example, you'll see lesser known names from the show tweeting, such as Tom Verica, the show's Co-Executive Producer. He tweets fans behind-the-scenes photos and then Rhimes uses the strength of her social popularity to retweet Verica.
Rhimes believes Twitter has to be a "family affair" for it work – and for "Scandal," it does.
There's also "Dateline" correspondent Josh Mankiewicz who interacts with viewers during the show. But it's not just the gratuitous "Thanks for watching" tweets.
Mankiewicz is natural and really funny with fans:
Metrics are evolving and those who are involved with Twitter are well aware of these changes.
It's no longer just about reach – it's also about the amount of social exchange that occurs.
We don't know whether this measurement will come to radio. But in the event it does, social will only correlate to higher ratings when genuine effort from multiple people at the brand is applied.
Getting on board now with a real strategy – not just tweeting for tweets sake - will give your station the leg up.
Fans will not automatically participate with us the way we want them to socially just because they listen to our radio stations. We must show interest in them.
Social is personal and the last thing they think about when they fire up any platform or app is to interface with brands.
But if we're paying attention, acknowledging fans and creating cool, unexpected moments, they are likelier to be more interested in us socially.
This is hard work. Just because there's no cost to create social accounts doesn't mean it's effortless.
Free does not equate to easy.
And contrary to popular belief (and behavior) the social space isn't about persuading fans to listen to you. It's about fitting your brand into their conversations - making them feel seen and heard.
That's the real currency today.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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