These days, TV viewers aren’t glued only to big-screen programming – or the ads that run on them. But that doesn’t mean brands can’t reach consumers all the same. The mobile screens in their palms are also being used to better understand engagement.

A range of software and data providers is helping brands to do that, and Nielsen is one.

“We ingest the Twitter firehose,” says Nielsen Social president Sean Casey. “We measure the Twitter response to television in the United States, Australia, Italy and Mexico through Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.

“Networks are looking at social information while the show airs to understand where were the spikes in the programme that elicited the greatest response. They know which are the clips they should distribute across their platforms and social platforms.”

Advertisers can also tap in to what viewers are doing whilst they aren’t watching their TV ads to enhance those campaigns.

“Our data shows, if the advertiser is interested in one of their goals being to drive earned media, advertising in that social program has a much greater likelihood of driving earned media,” Casey says.

We spoke with him last week at Mediaocean event about social TV.