Social Engagement: The New Ad Metric For Millennials

Inplace #2

In 2006, not-so-coincidentally the year that Twitter was invented, the Advertising Research Foundation defined engagement as “turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context.”

We all know the brands we represent need to engage with their customer base – but we also need to be watching the social metrics on content. That will unlock the info we need to determine content that will soon become popular in new markets. It’s a metric that is already insanely relevant and predictive–so how can we start to fully grasp its value? Viki,a leading global TV platform, gives you a concrete example of just how powerful social engagement can be:

Viki airs content from all over the world on its crowd-sourced translation platform, allowing fans (35 million and counting) to appreciate content in more than 200 languages. According to ComScore, Viki’s female audience in the 18-34 demographic watch 3X more minutes of video than females of the same demographic on its nearest competitor site. On average, women in this same demographic viewed more minutes of video on Viki than they did on YouTube. That translates to extreme stickiness.

Viki’s content on its platform also offers a unique form of social engagement. Viewers are able to comment in real time and enjoy the sentiments of others while they’re watching. Advertisers have access to an entire global community of fans who are deeply devoted to a show and enjoy chatting in detail about what they’re seeing. Social engagement in the form of real-time commenting allows advertisers a direct view into what gets television and movie fans excited, from the fashions to the intricate plot points. When audience members are able to chat excitedly with one another as the action unfolds onscreen, it reveals far more than the basic social media metrics of Twitter and Facebook.






Caption: Toyota, Verizon and LG ran campaigns on these K-Drama titles on Viki with higher than average completion rates.

This kind of engagement, combined with Twitter and Facebook, offers networks and advertisers a much clearer portrait of a show’s audience and its potential in new markets.

For example, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox announced in the fall that they would remake South Korean content for U.S. audiences. ABC has signed a deal to remake the science fiction mega-hit My Love from the Star. CBS is reworking the medical drama Good Doctor. NBC is retooling the comedic murder mystery series Grandpas Over Flowers and Fox is looking to translate Answer Me 1997, a drama about teens living in the 1990’s, for nostalgia-happy U.S. viewers.


Viki offers ABC’s pick “My Love From the Star” in 66 languages. While the show has promising traction on traditional social media (617 tweets and 10,593K Facebook likes) further digging reveals a more intriguing picture. More than 139,000 viewers have declared the show a Fan Favorite. Moreover, the show has garnered 79,754 real-time comments. For comparison, according to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings a hit show like American Idol (currently ranked #6 and #8) gets an average of 74,000 tweets per show. Metrics like these cannot be ignored when noticing trends and opportunities for advertisers to capitalize on.


At first glance, the medical drama “Good Doctor” had a lukewarm showing on social media with just 144 tweets and 5,229 Facebook likes. However, the social engagement on Viki tells a different, much more insightful story. Fans commented 42,563 times while watching and 39,776 viewers called it a Fan Favorite.

What can we learn from this? Using these insightful metrics, advertisers can utilize the platform to predict where the next big hit show is coming from. In a world where people consume TV on mobile, tablets, and increasingly interact with their favorite titles, social engagement will be the key to unlocking what the next hits will be, and help advertisers make predictions on what the best investments for their dollars will be. Social metrics around content will continue to be strong predictors of a show’s international success, and advertisers will need to dig deeper than simply re-tweeting their fans that are tweeting about a brand’s content to glean these sorts of insights.