Social TV – Most Watched Does Not Necessarily Equal Most Talked About
There are many shows that are talked about online simply because they also top the ratings each week. Take “True Blood” for instance – topping the GetGlue charts and also receiving 4 million viewers every week.
But there are also shows with smaller ratings whose presence in the social media sphere may surprise you. “Nikita” recently stirred buzz when – despite having about a quarter of the rankings as “True Blood” –topped the charts on GetGlue for eight consecutive weeks. In fear that the show was going to get cancelled, fans rallied around GetGlue check-ins to send a message to producers in hopes to keep the show on air. Mission accomplished.
So what are some things that television shows do to ensure they are being talked about in addition to being watched? There are a few key factors that can help explain how a show consistently tops the social media charts.
A Hashtag Does It
One way shows lead conversation is by airing the official conversation hashtag in the lower third of the screen throughout the episode so that fans know how to participate. Worried that fans might be distracted from viewing the show because they are Tweeting? Think again. A recent study from AdAge showed that 3rd screen users are actually more engaged with shows than users who view without the third screen. Fancy that!
Bravo gets it when it comes to social media. For example, during Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live,” he actually takes fan questions from Twitter and asks them to guests during the live taping of the show. The exclusive opportunity to have access to a star gives fans a compelling reason to engage.
Go With the Flow
When leading the conversation online, it’s important to listen to where fans are taking the conversation and help direct the flow from there. If the show asks fans whether they like Gretchen’s purse or shoes better, when fans really want to talk about Tamara’s awful hairstyle (pardon the “Real Housewives of Orange County” reference), they will miss the opportunity for rich engagement with fans. Monitoring a few key influencers is one way to ensure you are hitting the right key points.
What other things do shows do that make you talk about them online? Comment below with your thoughts.