42% see Facebook Like icons on TV, 20% Like while watching

Social media symbols, such as the Facebook Like button, are surprisingly effective ways of having viewers interact with your content. Unsurprisingly, Facebook is the most recognized and most used.

64 percent of U.S. consumers recall seeing social media icons while watching TV, and 33 percent have interacted with a social service after seeing its symbol on their screen. Facebook of course led the pack: 42 percent say they had noticed the Facebook Like symbol while watching TV and also knew how to interact with it. 20 percent say they ended up Liking the TV program while watching.

The data comes from Accenture, which conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. television viewers over the age of 18 last month to better understand the public's perception of social symbols that appear during programming and how effective they are. The sample was representative of the U.S. population weighted by age, gender, geographic region, race, and education.

Participants were shown images of various social media symbols and asked a series of questions about their familiarity and use of them while watching television. Facebook aside, 28 percent noticed QR codes (11 percent scanned them), 18 percent saw Twitter Hashtags (7 percent searched for them), and 9 percent remembered Shazam symbols (5 percent interacted with them).

American TV viewers gave the following reasons for using social media:

  • 43 percent said obtaining more information about a show, product, or service.
  • 32 percent said getting coupons and promotional codes.
  • 31 percent said entering a contest/sweepstakes.
  • 26 percent said watching another video.
  • 26 percent said interacting about the show or product on social media.
  • 21 percent said connecting with others with similar interests.
  • 20 percent said sharing or recommending video/program to others.
  • 16 percent said making a purchase.

63 percent of participants between the ages of 18 and 24 said they have interacted with social media symbols while watching TV, compared to 46 percent among 25-34 year olds, 44 percent among 35-44 year olds, 19 percent among 45-54 year olds, 24 percent among 55-64 year olds, and 11 percent of those 65 or older.

39 percent of men and 48 percent of women who interacted with social media sites were most interested in getting more information about the show. 40 percent of women were also motivated by getting coupons or promotional codes while 34 percent wanted to register or sign up for something. 35 percent of men were more interested in interacting with social media to watch another video while 34 percent wanted to enter a contest or sweepstakes.

74 percent of those who received content via social media symbols while watching TV said it just "met expectations," compared with 10 percent who said the content "did not meet expectations" and 15 percent who said it "exceeded expectations."

60 percent of those who had not interacted with social media while watching TV said they did not think they would be interested in the content they would receive, 23 percent were not sure how to do so, 15 percent had not downloaded the necessary apps, and 11 percent did not have time to scan a given icon because it was not displayed long enough.

"Social media and social networking are exploding across television screens as networks use social media to enable audiences to interact directly with related content for a richer viewing experience," Robin Murdoch, Accenture's global Internet segment managing director, said in a statement. This has huge revenue growth potential as social media applications build program viewer loyalty and drive online advertising opportunities. The challenge to providers unlocking this enormous growth is convincing viewers that interacting with TV programming is valuable to them. You do that by offering compelling content that enhances the viewing experience coupled with things that extend the value into other areas of their lives. In parallel, you might make social media easier for viewers to use by integrating these capabilities into your existing distribution infrastructure."

In short, social icons on TV are working. Now the question is how to best convert viewers into loyal customers.

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