With the news that Nielsen will be providing 'Twitter TV ratings' this year in the US, Social TV will be on the agenda for 2013 for many on both the TV and the Social Media side.
Last year, we took a look at the levels of buzz around Christmas television. This year, we thought we would take another look at the Christmas TV - this time, focussing on the programmes with lots of Twitter activity (rather than the programmes with the biggest TV audiences.)
Second Sync are a company tracking tweets about television programmes, and are publishing a leaderboard of the 'top tweeted' programmes. To cover the weekend before Christmas (when families would be gathering for their Christmas breaks), we looked at Friday 21st through to Thursday 27th December.
Many of the most tweeted programmes probably won't come as much of a surprise; the top 20 is dominated by Christmas specials like Eastenders (4 episodes in the top 20), and Strictly Come Dancing (although not the show broadcast on the Saturday before beat out the Christmas Day special.)
More interesting was what happens when you look beyond the Tweet count, and add in TV audience figures from BARB. The chart below shows how the total tweet volumes compare to a 'tweets per thousand viewers' rating. From this, it quickly becomes clear that the real Twitter chatter isn't coming from the mentions of shows from large audiences, but the conversations going on around some of the less-watched shows; Made In Chelsea and Homeland stand out as particularly buzz-worthy shows.
I was particularly surprised to see the Titanic film appear (twice!) Outside of the top 20 were a number of other films with notably high tweet volumes to audience size ratios (School of Rock, The Spice Girls: Viva Forever and The Holiday standing out in particular.)
The point to bear in mind is that understanding how audiences are interacting with 'social TV' means more than just spotting the programmes that are appearing in the Trending Topics list. An old-fashioned understanding of TV audiences and viewing behaviour is just as important as an understanding of what is happening on Twitter. In the same way that Facebook marketing has moved forwards in leaps and bounds from simply trying to collect as many 'fans' as possible to a sophisticated understanding of EdgeRank, sharing behaviours and how real value can be created for brands, expect to see a much deeper understanding of 'Social TV' emerging over the course of 2013.