​Social media marketing must take advantage of second-screen viewing.

​Social TV​ – the act of social networking while watching television – ​has become standard practice for today’s active Twitter users. It’s no longer a trend – more than 80 percent of American television viewers now access second-screen content during a program. In fact, a new study from SocialGuide and Nielsen found that social media are not only engaged in conversation about what they’re watching, but also shopping, writing emails and reading news content.

Twitter influences positive TV ratings

Brands can capitalize on the persuasive and promotional nature of witty and insightful social media posts among tuned-in TV viewers . Twitter was one of three “statistically significant variables” associated with positive TV ratings. SocialGuide noted that the other two influences were past ratings and TV advertising on behalf of the show itself.

The correlation between Twitter and TV-viewing is especially strong among young web audiences. The study found that for consumers aged 18 to 34, an 8.5 percent increase in Twitter translates into a 1 percent increase in TV ratings for premiere episodes. A 4.2 percent increase in Tweets corresponds with a 1 percent increase in ratings for mid-season episodes.

How brands can take advantage of social TV and Twitter marketing

Through Promoted Tweets and highly optimized social media content, brands not associated with broadcasted shows can add their two cents to Twitter chatter, and seize attention from online consumers. Adding a brand-appropriate comment about a hit show or popular TV event in a funny or witty Tweet can create a surge of new attention for any brand, so it’s important to not overlook the value of Nielsen’s study.

Brafton reported that Twitter has recently partnered with Nielsen and acquired Bluefin Labs to explore social TV further. As more Americans embrace second-screen viewing and make it part of their daily routines, new social media marketing opportunities open up. This highlights the value of paid and organic branded content for Twitter, and businesses that want to remain part of the wider online discussions must embrace evolutions in new media wherever they may occur.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.