Opinion

Is Twitter really ‘The Voice’ of the people?

the voice logoIn this guest post, Hugh Stephens analyses the conversation on Twitter during The Voice and asks whether there were more opportunities for television integration.

The Voice has certainly been one of the shining stars of Nine’s repertoire of late.

With this week’s final, I thought it would be worthwhile to have a quick look at the tweets to see how they changed over the course of the program.

I collected some 38,000 tweets to analyse. There was a distinct peak around when the winners were announced.

A quick look at the wordcloud will give you an overview of the content:

the Voice wordcloud

Winner Karise Eden was consistently overshadowed in frequency compared to Sarah DeBono, who came in fourth place. Considering that DeBono has been consistently Tweeting, Instagram-ming and generally keeping in close touch with her fans, it’s not a surprising result. More surprising (to me) is that she hasn’t converted that social interest into votes… an ROI begging to be measured (if only the votes were transparent!).

Not surprisingly, there were over 17,000 people who tweeted about the program over the two hour period that the show was most discussed, with the tweets very quickly tailing off after 11pm. If you believe impressions, over 29.8 million impressions (1.8 million of which were from NRL player Quade Cooper, 1.5 million from the show’s own account) to 5.1 million users were measured: a pretty impressive number for a very short time period.

An interesting comparison (certainly for me) is the results from the URL with the greatest number of impressions. With over 430,000 impressions (and second highest number of individual tweets), the bit.ly URL to a duet between Keith Urban and mentee Darren received a sum total of only 453 clicks – a pretty low conversion rate.

A quick-and-dirty sentiment analysis found a slightly more positive spin – 3618 positive sentiment tweets compared to 2868 negative. But I couldn’t say much more than that without a more indepth analysis…

All in all, a pretty impressive collection of data for the producers at Nine, yet an averagely-executed digital strategy for one of the most-watched shows this year. I don’t think there was enough digital-only content developed, and not a lot of effort about engaging and developing a community around the program.
Additionally, it would’ve been good to see some more engagement from the top 10 finalists – an opportunity for some training and education as part of building their own personal brand as well as developing that of The Voice.

What should happen next time? I’d start with 4 things.
1. Develop more individual presences for the finalists. Twitter / Facebook chats / Q&As, individual accounts with the ‘experience’ day-in, day-out of the competition and preparation, behind-the-scenes photos and videos shot by the finalists etc. Teach the ones who don’t know how to use the common tools – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, possibly even Pinterest.
2. More digital content. It’s not enough to just post snippets of the show that was aired. What about the rehearsals? The crowd reactions? It’d be great to have the judges answer some viewer questions via YouTube.
3. Online voting. It’s about time that shows like ‘The Voice’ start to embrace online voting. While it’s open to more bias, a solution can be created to allow people to vote via their Facebook or Twitter accounts – not everyone wants to use premium numbers.
4. Be more responsive to the community. What do they want? What would they like to see or hear? Who do they want to communicate and how? The Voice was amazingly popular, and as the show continues, a community needs to be fostered in order to avoid viewer burnout.
Hugh Stephens is a director at social media agency Dialogue Consulting.

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