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Beyond ratings and rankings – Tweet me, I’m on TV!

Sarah Graveling
Sarah Graveling
Creative Director
12 October 2011

One of my friends contacted me recently saying “Quick! I’m going to be on TV, so I really need a crash course in this tweeting thing!”. Having previously been completely uninterested in how Twitter could help raise his profile, it didn’t only surprise me that he was asking, but also that it was being on TV that prompted the sudden urgency.

So over lunch (on him) I gave him a brief crash course on what’s the difference between an ‘@’ and a ‘#’ and a few do’s (grow a thick skin for the bad stuff) and dont’s (retweet ALL the good stuff) on how he can maximise his TV exposure and manage his reputation without causing a riot in 140 characters.

After our lunch it got me thinking about how the relationship between TV and Twitter is becoming such a growing partnership. For me it started with the Apprentice a couple of years ago, when watching the Apprentice was so much more fun when I was following the (somewhat harsh) comments of strangers on Twitter.

With the “cast” from reality shows such as Made In Chelsea and Only Way is Essex all jumping on Twitter (@MissAmyChilds has over 0.5million followers), it’s become a win/win as they encourage conversations in between shows, increasing exposure for the show and of course the individuals themselves in the longer term.


As we move away from just measuring success online in rankings, social media allows producers to also have a further measure of TV success other than just ratings. Being able to get instant feedback and value in Twitter followers and likes on Facebook. Channel 4 show Come Dine With Me (my personal reality weakness) has over 1 million Facebook fans with most status updates featuring comments well into the 100’s.

I like that the rather cumbersome bridge between so called “old media” and “new media” is getting a little lighter, and that the old and new finally have something in common to talk about.

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