At the end of a long day many of us enjoy kicking off our shoes, sitting on the sofa, and turning on the TV to watch a good show. While this used to be a singular event, it’s shifted more to watching TV and doing something else at the same time. Do we ever just watch TV anymore? Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but most likely you’re watching TV and Facebooking, posting on Twitter, etc. And that means: You are most likely participating in SocialTV.

SocialTV is point where social media and television meet:

Any interaction on social media about a TV program is considered SocialTV. Marketers can get an idea of what consumers want by analyzing this interaction. The benefits include marketers gaining the ability to target specific consumers by making the connection between social media and television. 78% of American adults say they use another device while watching traditional TV. That is a huge amount of information. With SocialTV, the data from the 78% of these Americans can be used to a marketer’s or advertiser’s advantage through the high volume of social media interaction.

What brands should be doing now:

SocialTV is not new, but it is not extensively developed either. Brands have had a lot of successes using a hashtag to promote an event or a television show. American Idol, Glee, The Voice, and Survivor are just a few TV shows that use the hashtag or encourage interaction by viewers. 33% of American TV viewers said they engage with social media while watching TV. As a brand, you already know the power of a hashtag, but keep in mind that this type of interaction is now not only promotional but informational. You can learn preferences and tendencies of your consumers.

The Voice is an example that has had great success with the use of hashtags. NBCUniversal joined Nissan to run an advertising campaign during a live filming of the show. Through the use of hashtags, the network discovered that the audience prefers advertising that is not explicitly advertising. According to the NBCUniversal’s EVP of Advertising Sales, “it didn’t feel like it was an ad even though it was a product,” which had a better response from the audience.

Snapchat and Twitter are creating different versions of SocialTV. Instead of using these platforms to discuss shows, they are putting snippets of TV shows on their platforms, creating a different kind of interaction. Viewers can weigh in with ideas and opinions about the show, especially on Twitter. Snapchat created a Discover channel that allows brands such as Comedy Central, National Geographic, CNN, Food Network, and Vice to show clips of TV shows that expire in 24 hours. Viewers check in every day to see what is new. Brands can and should use this to their advantage to build a base of potential followers, or when testing out a new idea.

The future of SocialTV:

Here is why SocialTV is important: the potential. User-generated content is only the beginning. Automation tools have created a formula for brands to offer a personalized experience at scale. What this means is that all of the content created by interaction can be put into a database and analyzed, benefiting marketers and advertisers. By filtering these databases, you can collect specific information or direct the information at certain consumers. Marketers and advertisers will be able to select exactly who and what they want to target.

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