Twitter Disrupts the Lives of Couch Potatoes

In important, but not overly surprising news, Nielsen television ratings has officially partnered with Twitter to track viewership.

It is a natural evolution that strengthens social media’s power to deliver insight in large and small waves.

Most important, it reconfirms the idea  that Twitter matters.

This is a monumental partnership for the multi-billion dollar TV industry. It could encourage other businesses to use Twitter and other networks as part of their measurement and analytics.

By no means is this a fad. What Nielsen has done is change with the tide, and realize their archaic system doesn’t necessarily jive with modern viewing habits. They might now be considered a best practice example of modernizing your business to adhere to social media.

Nielsen Twitter TV ratings will take into account people who tweet about shows, and people who are exposed to these tweets. This is another feather in the cap for social media, but the real lesson is for digital marketers and PR professionals.

For large, global brands you have little choice but to mine Twitter as a way to gauge your brand’s reputation and consumer behaviors, neither of which is particularly easy.

What the TV industry has done and what everyone needs to understand, is that people are talking about you (if you’ve done your job) and you need to know about it because this kind of feedback provides crucial strategic guidance.

The idea of listening and monitoring social media isn’t anything earth-shattering or surprising but the Nielsen-Twitter deal is yet another example of how social media is impacting and disrupting how business is being done – whether you like it or not.

For more thoughts on the importance of this deal, check out Bonin Bough’s commentary in Forbes in which he talks about “social TV” is new again.