Twitter has argued that it can supercharge TV viewing, and now has more data to back that up: a new study shows that 92% of Twitter users have taken immediate an action — like tune to live TV or search for a program — after seeing a tweet about a TV show.
Moreover, Twitter users who recall seeing tweets that mention a TV show’s advertisers are more likely to have a positive perception of the brand, according to the study, which was commissioned by Fox Broadcasting and Twitter.
But there are a few caveats. First, the study was commissioned by two companies eager to show that TV and tweeting are like two peas in a pod. The survey also gauges how many Twitter users have ever taken an action based on a tweet, but it doesn’t shed any light on how frequently they do so. Finally, it’s self-reported data, so it’s uncertain how many people who said they watched a TV show because of a tweet really did.
Still, the survey indicated that Twitter impressions have a bigger effect on behavior than the companies thought, according to Judit Nagy, Fox VP of analytics.
“We wanted to see whether people who are exposed to tweets about primetime TV shows and brands care about the tweets, or if they just look at it and then just move on,” she said. “The level of engagement we found was surprising.”
Previous research has shown links between TV and Twitter. According to a Nielsen study last year, which analyzed live TV ratings and tweets for 221 broadcast primetime show episodes, the volume of tweets caused statistically significant increases in live ratings among 29% of the eps.
According to the new Fox/Twitter study, most of those who are exposed to TV-related tweets not only have taken immediate action around a given show, but are also likely to watch a show they’ve never watched before or resume watching a show that they’d previously stopped watching.
Of those who recall seeing TV-related tweets, 76% have searched for a show, 78% have taken action on Twitter (like click on the show’s hashtag or retweet TV-related tweets) and 77% have watched TV show content.
In addition, 42% said they have made a plan to watch the show later, 38% watched episodes online and 33% have changed the channel to watch the show in response to tweets about a TV show.
For tweets that mentioned advertisers, 54% of respondents who said they recalled seeing such tweets have taken action by tweeting, searching for the brand online or considering to try the brand mentioned. Additionally, 48% of respondents said that after seeing a brand’s on-air ad they were more likely to remember seeing a tweet from that brand.
Another finding: TV actors and talent are the most-preferred source of tweets among Twitter users. About 40% said they prefer actor/talent tweets, while 26% opted for those from friends and family. Just 18% of respondents said they prefer a TV show’s official Twitter handles.
“We know that Twitter is a complement to TV for audiences, and we’ve seen that running Twitter media alongside TV media drives greater TV ad effectiveness,” said Jeffrey Graham, Twitter’s global director of said. “This new research helps us better understand the role earned media plays in driving cross-channel effectiveness.”
The study was fielded by research firm db5, which polled 12,577 randomly invited Twitter users from Jan. 15-27. The participants were surveyed within 24 hours of primetime Twitter activity (the next day, beginning around noon local time). Fox and Twitter are presenting the research in partnership with the Advertising Research Foundation at ARF’s Re:Think conference.