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Although determining a concrete ROI for your social media efforts is arduous, a recent Nielsen study shows that social media use increases awareness and enjoyment of television shows by 25% and 15% respectively.

Although determining a concrete ROI for your social media efforts is arduous, a recent Nielsen study shows that social media use increases awareness and enjoyment of television shows by 25% and 15% respectively. Social media posts by fans of television shows can serve as native advertisements: think of the last time a friend posted a Game of Thrones preview or a Breaking Bad finale announcement. Did they remind you to watch the show?

Native advertising for television shows exposes social media users to a network’s content with seamless integration. Rather than running a banner advertisement for The Walking Dead, AMC can encourage its Facebook followers to share a post detailing its next showing, getting the same message to its users without the sales pitch feeling of traditional advertising. Social media users are more likely to trust their friends’ recommendations than a company’s ads, so television networks should activate their fans to spread their message.

How can you engage your show’s fans on social media? Here are a few ideas:

Contests encourage fans to share your content, generate their own, or otherwise interact with your brand via social media. Set up a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram sharing contest with a small reward to best utilize your fan base.

Previews excite fans. If your network has footage of an upcoming episode, provide it to your fans to create buzz around your show. Your show’s biggest fans will want to share exclusive content, especially if there’s a reward involved.

Behind the scenes content satisfies engrossed fans by providing them with material outside of your show’s timeslot. Promote cast and crew interviews, storyboard art, and other material that fans wouldn’t ordinarily see to encourage them to delve deeper into your show’s content.

Since social media influences television habits, you should take charge of the conversation by activating your best fans to serve as social media ambassadors for your network or studio. Increase your brand’s engagement and exposure with native advertising and gamification, and you could take advantage of social media’s benefits for television.

If you have questions about native advertising, take a look at our post “Going Native?”