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Nielsen Now Tracks Celebs’ Social-Media Touts of TV Shows

Nielsen is providing a new lens into how celebrities and talent can boost the exposure of TV shows on social media.

The measurement company announced that its Social Content Ratings solution now measures talent promotion of television programs across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. According to Nielsen, talent now drives nearly 60% of all social engagement for TV shows, more than network and program accounts combined.

For the week of Sept. 9-15, per Nielsen, the top TV talent on social were Kim Kardashian West, for her Sept. 11 appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” with 1.1 million engagements; Ellen DeGeneres for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (926,200); and Gabrielle Union for “America’s Got Talent” (837,000).

Nielsen said the celebrity-tracking feature was enabled by Instagram’s activation of creator account measurement via its Graph API. Nielsen Social Content Ratings currently measures more than 41,000 social accounts for TV talent (including 8,400 on Instagram) across thousands of programs. The data is fully syndicated and available to all clients of Nielsen SCR for no extra charge.

According to Sean Casey, president of Nielsen Social, the biggest challenge was to formulate a methodology that could determine the relevance of talent social posts at scale. “The true impact talent has on the social engagement around TV shows has always been a big blind spot,” he said.

Over the course of the 2018 television season, more than 6,000 talent accounts published over 164,000 pieces of content on social media, delivering over 170 million engagements for TV shows, according to Nielsen.

Note, however, that past research has found that the volume of social-media chatter doesn’t always correspond to TV ratings. Even so, current clients of Nielsen Social Content Ratings say they’re pleased about the service’s additional talent-specific metrics to help manage their social promotion strategies.

Fremantle, the production company behind TV franchises like “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol,” will be able to use Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings “to accurately measure our talent’s social influence and refine our strategies in real time in order to create the most impactful campaigns,” JR Griffin, VP of digital marketing and business development for Fremantle US, said in a statement.

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