Social TV. It’s the new (gag me) buzzword. Every week, there’s another article about social TV and how it’s the future. It’s always the same thing about how Twitter and Getglue are revolutionizing the industry. While this is true to an extent, it’s far from the full story.
Getglue and Twitter are just two of the main tools powering the social TV shift. But, they are just tools. The real shift lies in understanding the social psychology of the people using these tools.
It’s not rocket science. The reason why these sites are so popular is because it turns a traditional anti-social activity into a social collective experience. It turned traditional living room talk into a global, near limitless conversation.
Admit it, there’s something fascinating and maybe even downright addicting about being able to tweet along with your friends, acquaintances and maybe people you have never met halfway across the world about your favorite shows. It’s human psychology 101. The desire to feel connected, bond over common interests and be accepted by each other.
Instead of complaining about how it’s ruining traditional primetime shows and the TV viewing time periods (a.k.a. West Coasters finding out the season finale outcomes on social media hours before the show airs), marketers, TV show producers and advertisers should embrace it. The ones that are embracing this new social collective TV viewing experience are kicking ass right now with higher ratings, more people turning in and tons of buzz on social media sites.
I’m not ashamed to admit it, but one of the best shows doing this right now is Dance Moms. Dance Moms airs on Lifetime. Lifetime is probably the last network I’d expect to be killing it on Twitter. Their traditional viewing audience tends to be older women (50+ demographic). So, how did a relatively small network, in contrast to the TV powerhouses of MTV, VH1, Bravo, NBC and ABC, manage to get their one show to stand out.
1. Lifetime understands how to market a show effectively through social media
I never used to watch Lifetime. I didn’t know their show lineup. Yet, I learned about Dance Moms and have since become absolutely addicted to the show. How did they do this? They started small, and reached out to their core, most vocal fans on social media. Then, they added in and synced everything up with the #DanceMoms hashtag, Getglue promotions, etc. The buzz scaled tremendously, to the point where it’s a trending topic in many cities during show episodes. Now, it’s a mainstream show with more than 1.5 million viewers per episode.
2. All the Dance Moms Tweet
Inevitably what helped the show scale so quickly was having all four of the dance moms tweet. All of the cast members have Twitter accounts. Many of the moms, especially @dancemomChristi and @Dancemomholly live-tweet during all the new episodes. This adds so much to the social collective experience and show depth. Even though you are probably hundreds or thousands of miles away, this makes you feel like you are watching the show right alongside them.What adds to the experience is that they also even respond to viewers, who tweet in, during the show. It’s a super brilliant way to keep people on their edge of their seat, tweeting and absolutely hooked in on all their dance drama.
In conclusion, Dance Moms isn’t the only show that is rocking social TV. Many big name, primetime shows are doing a great job. Almost any show can take advantage of this by honing in and engaging with their core audience. Chances are someone somewhere is mentioning your show online right now. (If they aren’t, you have bigger problems.). Listen and engage with them. That’s how you build up a million + viewer audience, like Dance Moms, has.