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Twitter Opens TV Ad Targeting to All National Brands

twitter and tvWhen we talk about social media activity, Facebook usually ends up in the number one slot. But when you add TV to the mix, Twitter is the one to beat.

There’s something about the fast paced, hashtag-loving social media network that clicks with TV viewers. Last year, American Idol fans produced more than 5.8 million Tweets. And Twitter has become such a powerful indicator of a show’s popularity, Nielsen is now using the data to help rate TV shows.

Twitter didn’t start out to be The TV advertiser’s best friend but like any smart business, they saw what was happening and found a way to capitalize on it.

The product they created is called “TV ad targeting.” The tool scans broadcast TV and catalogs all instances of a partner’s commercials. Then it scans Twitter for Tweets with the ad hashtag or related keywords. Finally, it pairs the two together and spits out a chart.

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Now an advertiser can see the immediate Twitter response to any commercial. They can then use that information to target Twitter users with paid Tweets.

For example, Old Navy runs an ad during Modern Family and during So You Think You Can Dance. Both include a clever hashtag, but the Twitter spike during SYTYCD is twice that of Modern Family. I guess Old Navy strikes a chord with joyous dance fans.

Now, the ad manager for Old Navy puts together a dance specific paid Tweet, and that goes out to all of those viewers.  Success! They saw the brand on TV, they continued the conversation on Twitter and then they saw a follow up ad. That’s how you cement a brand in someone’s mind.

From there, a small percentage follows Old Navy’s Twitter and some click though to shop. That’s a job well done.

The only downside to the program is that you have to be a big enough player to run a national commercial.

Still, as TV fan and Twitter lover, I’m glad to see the two of them working so well together. #TVLoversLoveTwitter