When Do Americans Tweet? Depends on What They’re Watching

Local broadcast TV viewers are 85% more likely to post photos and videos to their social media accounts, than users of other media (radio, newspapers, broadcast and cable television), primarily because of their strong connection to community. This fact, among others, was among the findings of the Cultural Currency research (commissioned by TVB.org), which analyzed social media behaviors among 167 million Facebook and Twitter users across 4400 primetime television programs, 540 consumer brands, 570 TV stations, 1823 radio stations and 358 local and national newspapers.

Local newspapers outperform all other media in generating retweets (54% more likely), while radio and cable TV users are avid content Likers (each 46% more likely). Across all media channels, broadcast television offered the most balanced set of social media behaviors to activate across content offerings.

The study unearthed critical insights for programmers and advertisers who build complementary social media experiences to enhance their media investments, including:

  • Broadcast TV Builds Brand Fans With its Combination of Big Audiences and Deep Engagement.
    Broadcast TV at the national and local level is still the dominant brand-builder in the media landscape, generating as much as 192X more brand fans within social media than advertisers in the same category who only purchased cable. The use of social media to prove the correlation of actual media investment with brand affinity is a game-changing insight that provides marketers with the ability to target their most engaged brand fans using the efficiencies of mass reach media.
  • Social Media Platforms Are Not Equal Across the Television Landscape.
    There is a polarization of platform preference depending on the programming genre. Viewers of mainstream primetime genres, driven by big hit programs, exhibited more active behaviors on Twitter than on Facebook, suggesting that Twitter has established itself as the “in-the-moment,” simultaneous platform for cultural currency traders and that “appointment viewing” is now an interactive “appointment experience” that offers advertisers more opportunities to engage in real-time.

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