Turner & 4C Find Television Advertising as Significant Driver of Social Media Brand Engagement

Turner and 4C today announced the results of the first study to date that quantifies the impact of television advertising on social media brand engagement across Facebook and Twitter. Conducted by 4C, a global leader in data science and media technology, in partnership with Turner, the research finds that television advertising significantly prompts consumers to interact with brands on social media. The data also shows that advertising during premium programming delivers greater social brand engagement than during non-premium programming.

“The industry is well aware of social media’s ability to authentically bridge the divide between brands and consumers, yet little research has been conducted analyzing the role of television – the most powerful marketing channel for advertisers – as a driver to the social space,” said Howard Shimmel, chief research officer, Turner. “We partnered with 4C to more deeply understand and plan against television’s influence on social brand engagement to further enable our advertising partners to effectively connect with their target audiences and optimize spend across all platforms and screens.”

“While television is a dominant channel for advertisers given its unparalleled reach and ability to drive emotional resonance, technology is simultaneously transforming the way consumers interact with content and brands,” said Lance Neuhauser, chief executive officer, 4C. “The rise of social media has turned television into a participatory event where viewers can provide commentary and consumers can engage with brands. For marketers, the imperative is to develop cross-channel strategies that capitalize on these shared media experiences.”

Conducted over six months, 4C analyzed the impact of television and social media advertising on public Facebook and Twitter accounts for 26 brands. Key takeaways include:

1. 1 out of every 5 social media brand engagements is driven by television advertising.

For the 26 brands studied, 4C found that 19.5% of their public social media engagement on Facebook and Twitter was attributed to television advertising (18% from TV plus half of 3% from TV + Social). As anticipated, social ads are the largest single driver of social engagement, offering consumers the opportunity to interact with brands at one click away. Reinforcing the significance of television’s impact, TV-influenced consumers must switch to a secondary device and navigate to an app or brand page to take social action, indicating a strong engagement intention.

2. When the two largest drivers of social brand engagement are compared, television drives 1 in 3 engagements.

A direct comparison of television versus social advertising finds that 1 out of every 3 brand engagements is influenced by television. In addition, the cross-screen effect of television and social ads running simultaneously contributed to 5% of social media brand engagement when all other factors were removed. As television and social ads are the two highest paid factors of social engagement for brands, this data showcases the opportunity for marketers to enhance paid media budgets by planning and buying both areas together.

3. Television advertising during premium programming drives 4.5x higher social brand engagement than during non-premium programming.

In order to evaluate the effect of the type of television programming on social brand engagement, program categories were used to classify each ad occurrence: premium (Sports, Live and Originals) and non-premium. Premium programs impacted 64% of television-driven social engagement, while composing 28% of impressions. Although ads in premium programs comprised about a quarter of impressions tracked, premium environments impacted nearly two-thirds of social interactions, showcasing the value placement of a premium ad spend on social.

When calculated as an engagement per impression index, premium drove 4.5x higher engagement per impression than non-premium. Sports and Live programming scored the highest at 379 and 277 respectfully, versus non-premium at 50. Originals also ranked significantly above non-premium at 213.

As television ad placements during premium programs are generally priced higher than non-premium, the study also calculated a cost to engagement index. The results find that premium content delivers a higher value of social media brand engagement at an index of 179 versus 56, which is a 3x+ rate for premium content when the higher priced CPMs are included.

This research was conducted over a six month period from May 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015 for 26 brands across a diverse set of verticals including consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics, food and beverage, financial services, telecommunications and restaurants. A multiple regression model was used to determine the effect of television advertising impressions and social advertising impressions on the volume of social media brand engagement. To accomplish this, the following datasets were utilized: 4C television ad occurrence data, Nielsen National People Meter ratings, Nielsen Ad Intel for CPM estimates by program type, paid social impressions on Facebook and Twitter from the 4C social product, and public social engagement on Facebook (posts, likes and comments) and Twitter (brand mentions and retweets).

A complimentary copy of the complete report can be accessed at


About Turner
Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International,, Great Big Story, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, iStream Planet and ELEAGUE.

About 4C
4C is a global leader in data science and media technology with solutions for cross-screen convergence. Advertisers, agencies, media companies and content owners use 4C to improve effectiveness on TV, digital and mobile. The 4C product suite includes advertising activation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram as well as TV Synced Ads across display, search, social and video. The company also provides advertising and content analytics leveraging its proprietary Teletrax global TV monitoring network of more than 2,100 channels in 76 countries. Founded in 2011 and based in Chicago, 4C has staff in 17 worldwide locations across the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, India and Singapore. Visit for more information.

Publicity Contacts

Jenn Toner
VP of Business Communications, Turner

Allie Bodack
Senior Publicist, Turner

Stephen Sumner
Lightspeed PR