Well, it appears that some stations are taking advantage of these self-trumpeting consumers and Arbitron is cracking down. VP/Compliance, Dave Willinski says that they are reaching out to any station that uses Twitter as a means for communicating to diarykeepers, “applying our Rating Bias and Rating Distortion guidelines as they would apply to station communication to diarykeepers in any other medium.” Which, of course, means the station faces de-listing.
Willinski adds that diaries from households that identify themselves in social media will be disqualified (as long as Arbitron finds out about them before they return their diaries). Presumably they will do the same to a panelist household who identifies themselves.
It’s interesting to ponder a couple of questions here: 1) does this seemingly understandable gag-order policy inadvertantly initiate other bias? For example, would it serve to artificially limit the participation of this socially prevalant portion of the population because they would no longer participate? 2) it’s fairly clear that social media is an area of interest for at least some diary keepers. How are you embracing social media to help build your stations loyalty?