TV Stars Get a 228% Boost in Follow Rate When They Live-Tweet

Twitter pays off for tube marketers

If TV marketers are having a hard time getting their stars to live-tweet, maybe this stat will help: Cast members’ accounts get a 228 percent increase in follow after live-tweeting their shows, per research released today by Twitter. In fact, the San Francisco-based social giant says comedies experience the biggest lift in followers.

Indeed, as we close in on the 2014 fall TV season, Twitter has telling research on the effects of live-tweeting during TV viewing. Led by Anjali Midha, head of global media and agency research at the San Francisco-based social giant, the study compared two consumer groups from last season, one that engaged in live-tweeting and one that did not, to determine any benefits beyond entertainment value.

The study found that when cast members live-tweeted during show premieres, Twitter interactions rose by 64 percent. It also identified a 15 percent increase in followers for official show accounts.

These findings follow several earlier studies of the relationship between Twitter and ratings. As one example, in an independent correlation study conducted in March 2013, Twitter was identified as one of three significant influencers of TV ratings. “While prior-year rating accounts for the lion’s share of the variability in TV ratings, Twitter’s presence as a top three influencer tells us that Tweeting about live TV is likely a significant indicator of program engagement,” said Andrew Somosi, CEO of Nielsen’s SocialGuide venture.

In May, FOX looked further at how tweets influence users to take other actions, such as viewing shows online, following shows or stars on Twitter, and searching for show info. Ninety percent of respondents took some type of action after being exposed to TV-related tweets.

Among the shows that rely heavily on live-tweeting as a marketing tool are Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and the upcoming How to Get Away With Murder, all led by Twitter power-user Shonda Rhimes.