TV-driven social media interaction popular among U.S. viewers, says survey

Television broadcasters for years have wanted to somehow integrate an interactive viewer experience into watching their programming, and it appears their wish has been granted thanks to the relatively recent emergence of smartphones, media tablets and social media.

Still, the question remained: Will viewers take advantage of these tools and the hooks broadcasters provide on screen — such as integrated social media symbols — to satisfy the desire to make TV interactivity a reality?

New research from Accenture reveals that 64 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed said they remembered seeing social media symbol, such as Facebook "Likes" while watching television, and a third said they interacted with social media after seeing the symbol on their TV screens.

The Accenture survey, which polled 1000 TV viewers, shows the most respondents said they noticed and were also familiar with how to interact with social media symbols while watching TV.

Respondents identified seeing and interacting via a variety of symbols, including the Facebook "Like" symbol (42 percent), QR codes (28 percent), Twitter hashtags (18 percent) and Shazam symbols (9 percent).
"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," said Robin Murdoch, Accenture's global Internet segment managing director.

The survey also reveals respondents overwhelmingly were happy with the content they received via social media symbols while they watched television. Seventy-four percent reported such content met their expectations. That compares to 10 percent who said the content "did not meet expectations," and 15 percent who said it "exceeded expectations."

Generally, the younger the audience the more likely there was an interaction. Sixty-three percent of those between 18 and 24 years of age interacted, according to the report. For those 25 to 34 years old, the percentage of those who interacted dropped to 46 percent; for 35 to 44 year olds, the rate was 19 percent. People aged 55 to 64 reported a slight bump to 24 percent, and only 11 percent of those 65 or older said they interacted with social media symbols while watching television.

The survey identifies several reasons why people use social media while watching TV. They included:
· Getting more information on a show, product or service: 43 percent;
· Receiving coupons and promotional codes: 32 percent;
· Entering a contest of sweepstakes: 31 percent;
· Watching another video: 26 percent;
· Interacting with others who share similar interests: 21 percent;
· Sharing or recommending a video or the program to others: 20 percent;
· Buying something: 16 percent.

Accenture conducted the survey online in March. It polled 1000 U.S. consumers older than 18 years. The sample was selected to represent the U.S. population, weighted by age, gender, geographic region, race and education.