Nielsen Ratings Now Count Instagram

As TV networks continue to prioritize investments in social media campaigns, analytic companies like Nielsen are paying more attention. Now, the company has expanded its dynamic tracking methods from...

As TV networks continue to prioritize investments in social media campaigns, analytic companies like Nielsen are paying more attention. Now, the company has expanded its dynamic tracking methods from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram.

Nielsen first began measuring Twitter conversations about television programming in 2013 using data collected for the authors of this digital content and the audience that viewed it. This kind of real-time data with so many unique markers produced a wide array of information they could use to inform their rating system.

Three years later, Facebook’s newsfeed and conversation threads were brought on board and given their own segment in Nielsen’s rating schematics. Now with two social media metrics to work with, the company gave them an umbrella category called Social Content Ratings that left room to grow as more platforms were poised to influence the TV industry.

Crossover from the industry into Instagram has been consistent but recently explosive as marketing teams embrace the power of social media trends across several platforms. With this adaptability comes the need for more analytics and now Nielsen has the popular image and video sharing app in its sights.

The insights gained from the demographics using Instagram and how they watch TV strengthens the industry’s ability to answer content demands and showcase trendsetting ideas that fit current social conversations. This also places a new incentive on other social media platforms to integrate with TV marketing teams in order to use their commercial reach to the fullest extent.

The kind of organic engagement that occurs between social media users can’t be mimicked with a test audience or through more traditional measures. Nielsen’s leadership shows an awareness that growth in the industry depends on scaling metrics to cover the wide variety of ways people interact with each other about their favorite shows.

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Nielsen Ratings

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