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Nielsen Ratings Include Tweets – Adding an Orange to the Apple Basket?

After reporting broadcast ratings for nearly a century, the Nielsen Company added a new metric to its reports this past week – tweets.

As marketers, we generally get excited about new measurement tools or metrics as it helps us gain a greater understanding of how consumers are interacting with our clients’ content. But when looking at audience figures and tweets, it’s kind of like comparing apples and oranges.

The latest Nielsen data showed the most popular television programs didn’t necessarily generate the most real-time tweets, likely because the demographic on Twitter isn’t the same as the mass-market television viewer (ie. slightly younger and more metropolitan). So as an advertiser or content creator, does a show with more digital interaction provide enough added value to change how we measure (or pay for) these opportunities?

Oftentimes, we advise clients that it’s not necessarily about the quantity but rather quality when we’re targeting our specific audiences. Critics believe the value of these ratings will depend on the marketers’ desire to reach a more digitally savvy, younger demographic, which means we’re in a “wait-and-see” phase before we’ll really understand the value of this new measurement tool.

What are your thoughts about the addition of tweets to Nielsen’s ratings? Would your company/brand place more value on digitally interactive broadcast content?

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