Twitter and TV have developed an increasingly close connection, with Twitter providing users with real time context and comments from others viewers on programs they are watching. A study by Nielsen in 2013, found that in 29% of episodes measured, tweets influenced the TV ratings and in 48% of episodes measured, ratings influenced the number of tweets.

These results show that Twitter drives people to tune in to a television program, especially when it comes to live, linear programs. Also, when there is an increase in TV ratings, people end up tweeting more frequently.

Last week’s Brit Awards rapidly gained the title of Britain’s most tweeted TV show ever, with over 4.17 million tweets sent about the event. The show also set a new tweets-per-minute record for Britain, with 78,000 tweets sent every minute that the show was on.

There’s no doubt that people love to watch TV with one eye on their Twitter stream, events such as the Super Bowl in America racked up an incredible 24.9m tweets and the finale of hit show Breaking Bad gaining an impressive 1.24 million tweets.

40% of UK peak time Twitter traffic is about TV, due to the fact that people tweet in the run up to a program if they are looking forward to it, then tweet about the program itself when its on and finally give their opinion on the program once it has come to an end.

Last year Twitter launched TV ad and conversion targeting, allowing advertisers to extend their reach and the affect of their adverts, as well as targeting ongoing conversions. This means that brands can now target a socially engaged audience by using certain programs as a way in to reach the correct demographic and interests.

So, how can brands benefit from the marketing opportunities of the TV and Twitter partnership?

Utilise Hashtags

Hashtags are fantastic for creating conversation. It is likely when discussing a TV show or advert, Twitter users will search for existing conversations using a hashtag relevant to the show being discussed. This is where brands can jump on board.

By engaging with fans around a certain hashtag, you can easily find the demographic you want to target based on the program they have been watching. If you are a mechanic, then you want to be talking to Twitter users who are engaging with each other about the latest Top Gear episode to get your relevant message across.

Hashtags provide a powerful opportunity for creating brand awareness and demonstrating yourself to be a thought leader in your industry, so make sure you keep on top of those hashtags and keywords relevant to your brand using monitoring tools.

Integrate Your Social Media Accounts

TV adverts can fly by when you are watching a program and waiting for it to come back on, so engage with your audience instantly by providing them with your social media details. Having a social media presence on adverts is crucial in order to engage those who have their mobile phone in their hand ready to join in the conversation or just follw you.

Simply highlight what your Twitter name or Facebook URL on your adverts and if you are using a campaign hashtag, make sure its clear what users should search for. You want to invite people to join in with your online conversation, not leave them searching for it for hours.

If you really want to make an impact, you can use Promoted Trends or Promoted Tweets to gain attention and encourage engagement.

Live-Tweet With Popular Programs

Live TV events such as award ceremonies or large sports games attract a lot of tweeters who want to engage with those who have similar interests and see what other people are saying about the event. This gives brands a great way to engage with a target audience and get involved in the conversation.

Try and relate the event back to your brand or industry or at least provide data or facts relevant to the event that will interest the audience, that way you are more likely to get noticed. If you have a campaign around the event itself, make sure you use a hashtag so people can keep track of the conversation.

A great example of live engagement with an event, is with the National Television Awards, where the Dogs Trust took pictures of dogs that need rehoming congratulating each of the winners with a personalised picture and message.

As you can see, the partnership between TV and Twitter can be utilised in a number of ways when it comes to brand marketing. By selectively using programs, live events and adverts, companies can build their brand awareness and create engaging conversation with a targeted audience.