People love to have real-time conversations about current events on Twitter, and Super Bowl XLVII was no exception. Members shared more than 24.9 million tweets about the game, halftime performance, and of course, the commercials. Today the company published data from a new study that demonstrates just how important its relationship with TV is for brands.

We’ve said before that watching television has become a social experience, and as we looked through Twitter’s activity over the past year, we’ve noted several strategic moves that solidified the company’s position as a driving force behind that shift. The increasing popularity of social media and mobile devices has revolutionized the way consumers watch television. But in addition to the second screen experience for viewers, the relationship between TV and Twitter has had a huge impact on marketers as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the most compelling findings from that research shared by Twitter.

Hashtags Drive Conversations


In order to analyze the impact of hashtags in TV ads on Twitter earned media, the company studied more than 500 TV commercials in the consumer electronics category and over 63,000 comments in response to those ads, across more than 100,000 TV airings.

The social network found that hashtags drive “significantly” more earned media for brands. TV ads with hashtags had 42 percent more tweets about the ads than those without hashtags. Additionally, responses to those ads were 18 percent more relevant, helping to drive higher quality conversations.

If you’re considering including a hashtag in your upcoming campaigns, we recommend taking a look at ways brands have previously used hashtags on TV. Even if you don’t plan on launching a TV ad with a hashtag, marketers have seen incredible success using hashtags on Twitter and Facebook alone.

Holds the Attention of Viewers


“People don’t just tweet about ads,” wrote Twitter, “they use Twitter while watching TV to express their opinions and follow the conversation.” To determine whether the service makes it more or less likely for TV viewers to remain tuned in during ads, Twitter worked with Symphony Advanced Media, which tracks peoples’ media usage.

The company found that the use of Twitter while watching TV decreases an audience member’s likelihood to change the channel during ads. Specifically, TV viewers who are not multi-tasking on mobile devices tune away 17 percent of the time during breaks. This drops to 13 percent when TV viewers are multi-tasking on their phones.

Tune-away is the lowest (8 percent) among Twitter members, however. In other words, when viewers are on Twitter, they’re more likely to view a brand’s TV spot.

TV Ads Are More Effective


Working with Millward Brown Digital, Twitter surveyed more than 7,500 respondents to compare the impact of TV ads among people who watched TV with and without Twitter. It found that viewers watching TV while using Twitter had a significantly higher TV ad recall of 53 percent. Those without a second-screen averaged 40 percent.

Viewers using Twitter were also 13 percent more likely to talk about shows and 3 percent more likely to recommend them, making TV and Twitter a winning combination for both marketers and networks. The company’s research also spotted a difference in the ability for a TV spot to help build a brand.

“We found that the impact of a TV commercial, as measured by a lift in brand favorability (the likelihood for a viewer to rate a brand ‘excellent’ on a five-point scale) was 7 percent,” wrote Twitter. “Among those viewers who were also tweeting, the lift was 18 percent. The lift in purchase intent was also higher among those tweeting: 30 percent compared to 16 percent in the TV-only group.”

As you can see, the relationship between TV and Twitter is helpful in a number of ways across different areas. Marketers are able to build brand awareness and boost lift, while networks get increased ratings as well as extra awareness in the social media space.

If you’re looking for more information on how Twitter can help supplement your TV campaigns, visit There you’ll find a number of best practices and success stories that are sure to inspire you.

[Image credit: Sarah Reid, Garrett Heath, Wonderlane, Juliana Coutinho]