The first episode of a new TV season needs to grab the audience, and social media campaigns have become an integral part of doing just that. But counting the number of conversations won’t by itself tell a producer or network executive that a show is going to continue to attract viewers and remain popular. Instead, deeper analysis of social data is needed to gain insights into which promotional elements are working and which topics are creating buzz among viewers, including featured characters, plotlines and featured actors.

So in our latest Social Intelligence report, Networked Insights set out to analyze the social media conversation surrounding the Season 4 premiere of HBO’s hit series True Blood. Our research provided insights into who is watching the show (moms!), what they care about (the relationship between main characters Sookie and Eric), and the channels they use to follow the action and communicate their feelings (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and mom-focused websites).

Our methodology for analyzing the True Blood social media conversation comprised four key elements: audience definition developed from discussions on social media sites; impressions, which provide an estimate of how the media is consumed and account for the many users who do not actually create posts; sentiment, which captures conversation volume and whether posts are positive, negative or neutral; and topic discovery, which uses advanced clustering technology to extract key sub-themes and reveal engagement drivers.

Engaging fans across the social web serves as a catalyst enabling advocates to promote your brand or television show. Through social media, broadcasters and brand marketers can capture awareness, which builds an audience and then inspires them to take action – whether to watch a premiere or purchase a product. With the added dimension of a shared, digitally connected viewing experience, fans can now have social interactions with your show and its viewers, everywhere. Learn more about the growing importance of the social conversation in building and maintaining an audience in Networked Insights’ Social Intelligence Report: True Blood.