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Why 20th Century Fox Film Tapped Twitter to Analyze Studio’s Biggest Fans

What can you glean from a bunch of tweets? For 20th Century Fox, Twitter has helped provide a better on read on its highest-value customers: people who purchase tickets to see the studio’s biggest releases.

Over a year ago, 20th Century Fox Film came to Twitter with a vision for how it wanted to use real-time tweets to learn more about its core audience.

Matt Derella, Twitter’s VP of global client solutions, speaking at Variety‘s Entertainment Summit at CES 2018, said the pact with 20th Century Fox is the biggest data partnership in Twitter’s history in the movie industry. “Putting the customer first is not a campaign-by-campaign approach,” he said. “You’re able to fish for whales, not just guppies, when you have this data.”

The first application of the Twitter data under the partnership came when Fox analyzed the conversation on the social service in the months leading up to the March 2017 release of “Logan,” the X-Men superhero film starring Hugh Jackman.

The studio looked at the conversation behaviors of two groups: general entertainment consumers and those who were known ticket purchasers. Not only were ticket purchasers six times more likely to discuss “Logan” and its associated marketing than general entertainment consumers, they also used more definitive — and expressive — language in their tweets that gave Fox deeper insights into who their best customers are, according to Julie Rieger, president, chief data strategist for 20th Century Fox Film.

The resulting Twitter analysis was far more granular than a basic breakdown of positive, negative, or neutral sentiment about a film. “Imagine the limitations of music composition if your piano only had three keys,” Rieger said in a prepared statement. “Twitter gives us access to an orchestra.”

Both companies underscored that the analysis does not compromise Twitter users’ anonymity and privacy, as personally identifying details are stripped out of the data Fox uses.

Twitter and 20th Century Fox Film plan to continue working together to use data insights to inform creative strategy and develop marketing programs for upcoming movie releases. For Miguel Campo, lead data scientist at 20th Century Fox Film, one of the most compelling areas of the studio’s work with Twitter is how it can take an iterative approach.

“Emotions are nuanced and you don’t get to know how your customers feel — from our first piece of material to our last — unless you can sharpen the questions you are asking the data,” Campo said.

According to Derella, Twitter has a higher ratio of influencers compared with other platforms — and he said there are 100 billion impressions of tweets about movies and TV shows per year. “You have to take a much broader look at how people think and how they feel,” in analyzing consumer behavior on social media, he said.

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