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Sounding Off: Craig Tucker – ‘The Wrath of Twitter: How Much Power Does This Site Actually Have?’


Craig-M-TuckerCraig Tucker is Owner and CEO of Tucknologies LLC a Web Design and Development company in Lansing, Michigan.

Tweeting. Tweeple. Adventuritter. Twart. These are just some of the slang words that developed since the birth of Twitter. March 21st, 2013 marked the seventh year since the launch of this social media site, and since then, Twitter has become more and more apart of our lives as time goes by. It’s almost unbelievable how this website has became such an important communication tool in our society. From the Occupy Wall Street to its use as a megaphone for celebrities, the usage of Twitter seems endless. So, let’s get chirping about some tweeting!

Now, there are signs of a new relationship developing between the most popular of traditional media; television. A new Nielson study shows that there is a developing correlation between Twitter and TV ratings. It also showed Twitter as one of three statistically significant variables to align with TV ratings; along with prior-year ratings and advertising spend.

The main statistic shown says that for 18-34 year olds, an 8.5% increase in Twitter volume correlated to a 1% increase in TV ratings for the premiere of new episodes, and a 4.2% increase in Twitter volume correlated with a 1% increase in ratings for midseason episodes. Also, a 14.0% increase in Twitter volume is associated with a 1% increase in TV program ratings for 35-49 year olds. This shows there is a stronger relationship between Twitter and TV for younger audiences (which doesn’t come to surprise).

Although this study doesn’t prove the relationship is in fact true, it is a trend that will be kept an eye on.

twitterSince the boom of social media in recent years, it has become the perfect tool for crowdfunding to gain as much exposure as possible. In fact, you could argue that without social media, crowdfunding wouldn’t be possible. Twitter has became one of most important (if not the most important) social media site for this usage, and why wouldn’t be? There are over 500 million users on the site, and people spend 18% of their time on all social media sites, and the best part of it for businesses is that it is FREE. Using social media, especially Twitter, is becoming more and more crucial to businesses as time goes on, so it is important to jump on this bandwagon as soon as possible.

Unemployment is still a huge issue in our country right now, and of course, the internet is one of the top resources people use to submit their resumes and look for job inquires. But, did you ever looked at Twitter during your last job search? Well, now both employers and hopeful candidates can now tweet about their career needs all on the same site. Companies are seeing how much drive and attention goes towards Twitter, and they are creating accounts just for posting new positions available at their companies. For example, if you wanted to work at NBC Universal, just follow their recruiting team @NBCUniCareers for their latest posting about needing a new camera man or a new Brian Williams. Today, you can now tweet about your morning run, check for any new career postings with your favorite companies, and read about whatever endorsement the Kardashians are talking about today all on the same site. It’s like you don’t have a reason not to use this site in your daily routine.

Now, I have to draw the question, “Is Twitter all bark and no bite?” (or, since we are talking about Twitter, all chirping and no pecking?) Does it have as much power over us as it appears? For example, as I stated earlier, the Nielson study showed a 14:1 ratio between Twitter usage and television ratings. Where are they testing this ratio? How big is their sample size? What type of households are they testing? What is the typical demographic of the area they are testing? I can’t help but call out the fallacies of the facts they choose not to share with the public in their reports or studies. These statements would be 100% true if they were testing a college town or a sample size of 50 people, but to say that Twitter accounts for a 1% increase in TV ratings seems a little too far-fetched to preach. Or is it? Twitter is still a new company, and although they have proved to be a top competitor in their market, is the power as strong as it comes off to be?

So, I want to ask for your opinion. Do you agree with the Nielson study and think that Twitter can account for that amount of boost in the ratings? Why or why not? Do you think we are ready for social media to help keep traditional media going strong?

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