Twitter and TV: how we watch and tweet together
Twitter has released a video and some great examples that underscore the powerful relationship it has formed with television highlighted so well by the Royal Wedding where broadcasters when big with social media.
The examples and video really drives home how well broadcasters are now using Twitter and the benefits they are getting from it as audiences show their willingness to join an ever growing conversation.
Twitter has almost from the start had a special connection with broadcasters as they look to provide new ways to drive viewer engagement. While there have been attempts to realise interactive TV in the past Twitter is proving to be the realisation of that as it provides instant reaction during live programmes and delivers the kind of community and conversation that email and text messages never could.
Twitter allows viewers to talk to each other and presenters as programmes go out and create a real-time conversation, which is ensuring that TV will never be the same again.
The video and examples below showcase some of the on-air best practices broadcasters have embraced. It comes after a week in which Twitter enjoyed its widest television integration to date via the live coverage of the Royal Wedding.
The Royal Wedding was used by various news organisations —including ABC News, CNN, BBC, ITV, Sky— as an opportunity to launch new Twitter integrations and to experiment with novel reporting approaches. Here are some new best practices and examples that have emerged:
- Tracking total tweets and tweets per minute about a major story has surfaced as a state-of-the-art news metric (@ABCRoyals’ Tweet tickers). A nod to MTV for first employing this for a pop culture event in their 2010 MTV VMA visualization.
- Hashtags as polls capture the audience’s opinion while also shaping and driving the conversation. (ABC News with #RoyalMess vs #RoyalSuccess and @SkyNews with #GoRoyals vs #NoRoyals.)
- For a shared story, using company-specific hashtags helps drive and identify your own audience’s tweets (#CNNTV, #BBCWedding).
- CNN used a tailored hashtag, #CNNTV, to prompt tweets, and paid them off on-air with curated tweets from royal experts. They timed the Tweets to the on-screen action to great effect, adding another constantly changing angle of commentary.
- Become a trending topic – #CNNTV racked up over 15,000 tweets and became a Trending Topic by consistently showing the hashtag on-air in the lead-up to Kate’s arrival. But it was the arrival of Prince William and Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey that sent CNN’s hashtag, #CNNTV through the roof with 252 Tweets per minute.
- The BBC used #BBCWedding on-air and in tweets (including from their own correspondents) and by incorporating Tweets into the main program helped drive over 26,000 Tweets, while posting photos of key moments on Twitter generated almost a quarter of a million views by Friday evening.
- ITV read and showed tweets on-air from a range of celebrities and viewers, while Sky held a hashtag poll the night before the wedding using #GoRoyals and #NoRoyals—finding out that the majority of their audience on the eve of the event were pro-royal.
As audiences around the world watched the events live on TV, they posted millions of Tweets, peaking at 16,000 Tweets per minute between 5 and 6 a.m. EST.
But the Royal Wedding is, of course, just one example. The network or genre doesn’t matter. People tweet as they watch. We’re already hearing that this year’s BBC Apprentice will be tweetastic with Lord Sugar tweeting to his 482,000 plus followers along with others on the show.