By Veronica Brooks
Twitter, the social media giant, is changing the way audiences view television. The days of watching your favoriteTV show and discussing the plot the next time you get your hair cut at the barber shop are over. Viewers are running to Twitter in real time to chat about their favorite scenes, characters, and story lines. And fans are not just chatting amongst each other, they are asking their favorite cast members to join them in the conversation.
Neilsen, the leading global information and ratings company, recently announced that the company will launch a Neilsen-Twitter TV rating in the fall of 2013. The news is important because it acknowledges Twitter as a “source of real-time television engagement data,” but it is even more significant because it reveals a larger change that is occurring in the television world.
Television shows are inevitably being forced to think through, build and establish social strategies that engage their audiences via Twitter on a regular and longer term basis. This change is not optional for networks or their shows. Twitter has become a natural bridge between social and television. Users flock to the social site because it is easy-to-use (140 characters or less of typing), fast paced (in real-time), provides an unlimited, yet customizable amount of information and it is free of charge (simply open an account). As such, on a going forward basis, TV shows will have to find creative ways to interact online with their audiences, working to not only engage with and manage expectations among current viewers, but also to attract newer audiences and ultimately boost ratings.
***Guilty!! I tweet during Scandal too! ~ SB***