While TV shows with a Twitter-happy fan base definitely have
higher ratings, it still isn't clear that heavy tweet traffic actually results
in higher ratings, according to a new Nielsen study.
Nielsen, along with SocialGuide, evaluated fall 2012 premiere
and midseason program ratings across more than 140 broadcast and cable
programs. The finding: Twitter volume was one of only three variables analyzed
-- along with prior-year ratings and advertising spend -- that affected TV
ratings in a statistically significant way.
"We expected to see a correlation between Twitter and
TV ratings, but this study quantifies the strength of that relationship,"
SocialGuide CEO Andrew Somosi said.
About 32 million U.S. TV viewers actively engaged in Twitter
conversations in 2012, according to SocialGuide, which Nielsen
acquired last November.