January 10, 2013 - Comments Off on Measuring true influence during One Born Every Minute

Measuring true influence during One Born Every Minute

With cold, winter nights a-plenty, the January Blues well and truly kicking in, and the Christmas party season a distant memory, the New Year has seen somewhat of a mid-week TV revival.  Last night, (10/1/13), saw David Attenborough’s Africa, BBC 2’s Stargazing Live, Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute and Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother Live Eviction battle it out for the evening’s rating top spot. Although ratings can tell TV channels and media buyers a lot about the success of a programme, here at Bloom we’re interested in measuring the true impact these programmes have on audiences by analysing conversation that takes place on Social Media. Last night, we used our earned media planning tool, Whisper, to analyse the tweets surrounding One Born Every Minute.

We tracked all tweets that contained the hashtag #oneborn between 8pm and 11pm, which amounted to an impressive 3,628 tweets over three hours.  Of those tweets, 2,878 surfaced during the programme, as illustrated in the graph below:

Over the course of the full three hours, 2,541 different individuals tweeted, signalling that some accounts tweeted more than once during this period.  The number of individuals tweeting only once was 2,059, twice 293, and 92 individuals tweeted three times. Only 46 individuals tweeted more than five times.

These figures raise a host of questions. Can we learn anything from the 46 individuals who tweeted more than five times about the programme?

Did the person who tweeted the most have the biggest impact on the conversation?  How do you measure the impact of an individual on an online conversation?  Is it by the number of times they tweet, the number of followers they have or by the impact of what they have to say?

Let’s take an example. @JonasC17 shared his comments about the show 29 times during the three hour timeframe.

@MyMillsBaby tweeted 27 times, but had a more conversational tone with her tweets.

Although @JonassC17 has posted the most about #oneborn, Whisper concluded that he wasn’t the most influential individual: MyMillsBaby was. So, why was this?

While volume and reach are important, we believe that it’s the impact an individual has on the emerging conversation that is most influential. Our measure of influence has been developed in conjunction with the Universities of Reading and Strathclyde and analyses how well an account can pass information around a social network.  Whisper allows us to measure the impact an individual Twitter account is having on a specific conversation.

By splitting the three hour time frames into five equally spaced timeframes, Whisper calculated an influence score for each individual who was involved in the conversation about #oneborn. Taking the six most vocal accounts, we can see how their influence changes over this time:


Despite not tweeting the most, @MyMillsBaby had the biggest impact on the conversation as hers was the account most able to pass information around the conversation network.

It wasn’t just individuals who were having an impact on the conversation surrounding One Born Every Minute; a variety of niche baby and children’s brands were using the programme as a point of conversation to engage with their target audience.  Mothercare and Kiddicare were two such brands. Mothercare tweeted 16 times using the #oneborn hashtag, and Kiddicare tweeted nine times.

Mothercare had a Midwife on hand to answer any specific questions that came in via tweets.

Other brands had a similar approach:

Although there were four tweets from the @allaboutbabyltd account, the account had no influence rank because the brand’s other content was not engaging and didn’t spark retweets or conversation.

This conversational approach to engage viewers during the show helped Mothercare to be the most consistently influential account in the entire #oneborn conversation, with @MyMillsBaby coming a close second. Mothercare didn’t tweet as much as MyMillsBaby, but what they said had a bigger impact on the conversation.

The graph below shows the C4OneBorn account had influence at various times during the three hour time frame,but was eclipsed by brand’s and individual’s tweets.

A word cloud of the conversation, which was created using  words that had more than fifty mentions (not including oneborn), also highlights the impact that Mothercare had on the One Born Every Minute conversation.

What’s clear is that a Wednesday evening of TV watching ended up evolving into something interesting and informative for the Bloom team. Social Media has a measurable part to play in marketing and brand building – the engaging nature of Mothercare’s tweets had a huge impact on the One Born Every Minute audience and is something that a lot of brands can learn from.  Whisper’s ability to pinpoint true individual influencers within a conversation is also of huge benefit to marketeers.

What do you think the future will hold for media planning and TV production? Will social media have a bigger part to play?