As temperatures cool down outside, things are heating up on television screens across the U.S. as millions of eager viewers tune in to the new fall TV season. Armed with their remote controls, smartphones and tablets, Americans are just as eager to tap into new program offerings or familiar standbys as they are to get in on the myriad conversations about all the action taking place across social media.
So, just how much TV-related social media activity is occurring across social platforms?
To find out, Nielsen dove into the social media activity that took place during the kick-off week to the fall broadcast TV season, Sept. 19-25, 2016. For the week, Nielsen measured 83.2 million total social TV interactions (Facebook and Twitter) across sports, series and specials. That equates to an average of 11.9 million interactions coming from 6.1 million people each day. That activity includes original Facebook posts and Tweets as well as the engagement with that original content, such as likes, comments and Retweets.
During the first week of the TV season, Nielsen found that the gender of “authors,” or those posting original content on Facebook, was nearly even at 46% male and 54% female. Females engaged with that content at a higher rate however, making up nearly two-thirds (64%) of engagers each day on average.
Demographics also revealed that people of all ages—from young adults to their parents and beyond—are interacting with TV on Facebook. The first week of fall TV saw Millennials and Generation X-ers talking TV on Facebook in equal shares. By analyzing these age and gender demographics for a given sports event, series or special, networks can develop focused social media content, and agencies can refine TV plans to maximize how advertisers are connecting with their key audiences through social.
So, which new network and cable TV programs this season debuted to the highest buzz on opening night?
As series begin, fall sports ramp up and subsequent debates fuel the presidential election race, additional big moments are just as inevitable as fans’ reactions to them across social media.
With the content choices available to consumers continuing to multiply, standardized cross-platform social TV insights will introduce new perspectives across the media industry. These perspectives will provide networks and streaming providers with a deeper understanding of program engagement during live airings and before upcoming telecasts, while agencies can consider the nuanced way fans interact with TV across platforms as they refine paid media strategies for advertisers.
Nielsen Social Content Ratings measures U.S. social media activity related to programs on english and spanish-language broadcast and national cable networks from three hours before through three hours after linear telecasts. New series include programs planned to air weekly episodes beginning in fall 2016 that premiered between 9/1/16 and 10/9/16.
Social Content Ratings metrics are designed to adhere to the social media measurement guidelines created by the Media Rating Council (MRC), breaking down total activity into original “authored” content, such as posts and Tweets, and “engagement” with that content, such as comments and Retweets. Uniques are grossed across Facebook and Twitter. Social Content Ratings also measures age and gender demographics for Facebook.