Creating content for one channel, especially television, isn’t easy. But these brands are storming social media to engage viewers on the second screen, too.
Creating a social presence around a product has been a marketing strategy for several years. But creating a social community around a television show — where plots, characters and spoilers are discussed, analyzed and obsessed over — is a relatively new trend that networks are embracing.
The Royals: E!
As a network known for its celebrity gossip and news, E! knew exactly how to drum up interest in its show about the (fictional) British royal family, The Royals, beyond the television screen. “D-Throned” is a fictional online tabloid filled with original social content meant to “fuel the intrigue and interest in this fictional world behind the palace gates.”
Scoop seekers can find the latest updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. And on special occasions, they may even run into Prince Liam on Tinder.
Viewers hate when the season of a favorite show ends and they’re stuck waiting months to find out what happens next. Often this leads to a lull in excitement for the series. AMC tackled this downtime with interactive apps, keeping its audience’s passion for The Walking Dead alive all year long.
Those zombie pics of your friends you might have seen while scrolling through Facebook—those were created with the “Dead Yourself” app.
And for viewers who want to be immersed into the world of zombies, there’s The Walking Dead: Road to Survival game. It is not for the weak of heart, as players will have to make “uncompromising decisions” as they fight for their survival.
Younger: TV Land
Younger, the quippy and timely original series from TV Land, is absolutely shameless when it comes to plugging its social channels. Commercials run during the show encouraging viewers to follow the show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.
And it is working! Younger boasts a Facebook community of more than 262,000 followers and 122,000 Instagram followers, and its Snapchat channel is garnering industry attention.
Pretty Little Liars: Freeform
You don’t get to be the most tweeted-about show ever without a social media strategy, and Pretty Little Liars has a great one. Interaction with the show’s actors and producers, who take time to be responsive toward their fans, drives plenty of engagement.
The show’s Instagram account has a whopping 5.4 million followers, and sneak peaks, snapshots and behind-the-scene photos keep fans coming back for more content on all channels.
It’s not just teen dramas that are capitalizing on the power of social; WWE Smackdown hosts a mega Twitter account with more than 7.5 million followers—in addition to those of individual wrestlers.
Its strategic use of hashtags allows fans to get in on the action, voicing their opinions about winners, losers and ultimate champs.
This whole new era of marketing to viewers on the second screen allows television shows to reach fans when traditional commercials no longer have a hold on them. May those with the best social strategy win!