All around, the most social shows aren’t just the ones with a built-in fan base. They’re shows that networks push as social events. It’s all about creating an experience behind communal viewing. TV insiders talk a lot about how Netflix and on-demand viewing has transformed “appointment viewing,” but appointment viewing is very alive, and doing very well. All of the top shows drive social action in real time:
Sure, cliffhangers and “WTF” moments drive tweets in episodes, but it’s more than that. What all of these programs have in common is dedicated social media teams paying attention throughout the week. Driving live tune-in, especially in an on-demand world is not easy, but it can be done. Last season’s Empire finale was still one of the most watched programs of the year, during the broadcast.
Before the broadcasts, the networks engage fans with teaser clips and social account takeovers from the stars. During the shows, the network’s social teams don’t just follow along — they’re part of the conversation. Every time a fan is surprised or flipping out over something, they are, too. In a fan-centric social media environment, the networks have to geek out along with the crowd. It’s about the viewers and what the viewers want.
That network television series, and not just big events, can draw big live crowds and engagement is a testament to good social listening and authentic calls to action. And all the networks are asking for is a conversation. It’s a long game, but it usually pays off in the end.
IMAGE CREDIT: RICHARD BH