‘Scandal,’ ‘The Walking Dead’ Have the Most Socially Loyal Fans, Nielsen Report Says

Image Courtesy of Nicole Wilder/ABC

Veterans “Scandal” and “The Walking Dead” are the television programs with the most socially loyal fans on Twitter, according to a new study by Nielsen Social, but hot first-year dramas “Empire” and “How to Get Away With Murder” are close behind.

An estimated 24% of “Scandal” Twitter authors sent tweets about three or more episodes during the 2014-15 television season, putting it slightly ahead of “The Walking Dead” (23%), which was followed by “Empire” and “How to Get Away With Murder” (both 22%) and “Sons of Anarchy” and “Blue Bloods” (both 21%). Four shows (“Grimm,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Love & Hip-Hop Hollywood” and “Love & Hip-Hop”) closed out the top 10 with 20%.

In addition to their loyalty, program authors who tweeted about three or more episodes also exhibited other traits that could be valuable for TV networks and advertisers. On average, these authors sent nearly three times as many tweets per episode than other authors. They were also found to have more followers and sent more tweets about brands. The study said that “identifying and cultivating relationships with loyal authors could be powerful for TV networks and advertisers as they each look to maximize earned media driven by TV content and advertising.”

The Nielsen Social study also found that the number of individual Twitter authors who tweet about a program across a season is significantly larger than the number of individuals who contribute to program-related conversation in a given week. For the programs in the study, an average of ten times as many authors tweeted about a program in total across a season compared with the number of authors who contributed in an average week — so, new voices jump into the conversation throughout the season, with fans that have never posted before commenting alongside others who post more frequently.

Along with revealing the value in programs’ loyal authors, the study also found that there are big moments within a season when larger groups of authors jump into the conversation. For instance, on average roughly 25% of all program authors tweet about premieres and 16% tweet about finales. Between these two groups combined, networks can expect to hear from an average of 38% of program authors during those two moments.