By Amy Kattan It's official. I'm going to be glued to my couch this fall.
Since I work in social media, it's no surprise that my eyes hardly ever leave my computer screen: I am flooded with hundreds of posts, tweets, pins, etc. day in and day out. With the amount of time I spend on social media sites, there's no way I could miss all the buzz around the Fall 2012 television lineup. It wasn't until recently I discovered how smart some of these shows' marketing tactics are. You see, the marketing folks over at major television networks noticed 4 qualities about me, the social media nerd, that they could tap into. Let's see exactly how they did that:
1) I'm incredibly nosey. If I'm being completely honest with myself, the main reason I use Facebook and Twitter is because I want to spy on people I know: my friends, my family members, my college classmates, that girl that was mean to me in high school, that guy I haven't seen since 5th grade, my old boss, etc. Like any true social media nerd, I am an information sponge and have a need to learn much as I can as fast as I can.
This is why I'm a sucker for spoilers and exclusive content. To promote the new season, the people behind the New Girl series created the Douchebag Jar (this is a reference from the show, in case you were wondering). The Douchebag Jar provided fans with exclusive content if they "filled up the jar" with Facebook shares. This exclusive content consists of videos from the cast, photos, and more. This type of content is the perfect bait for social media nerds such as myself.
Also, if Ryan Murphy tweets out one more ambiguous spoiler for Season 4 of Glee I might die of anticipation.
Who will win THE GLEE PROJECT 2? Writing such a great role for the winner! And just wait until you see who they are dating...
— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) August 14, 2012
2) I want to be special. The beauty of social media is that it gives a voice to even the quietest people. Through various methods of engagement, it also provides the user with validation that their voice is being heard. Everyone wants to be recognized and feel like their opinion matters.
Last night's Bachelor Pad finale made me realize that reality TV does this very well. While the show was airing, the Bachelor Pad cast was following the hashtag #BachelorPad and tweeting their reactions. When the big surprise ending occurred, the cast members were there to answer fan questions, complaints, and opinions. It made all of us tweeting along feel like we were a part of the conversation and that our opinions were being heard by the people who matter (come on, even D-list celebs matter a little bit... right?).
3) I want to be influential. Not only do I want my voice heard, but I want to feel like I'm making an impact. I want to know that other people are not only listening to my thoughts, but also taking action upon them. I want to make a difference.
America's Next Top Model does a great job of showing how your social media voice can go a long way. This cycle, ANTM is determining the model that gets eliminated each week based on a numeric grading system: each of the judges give a score from 1-10 and this score is combined with a "social media score." All of the photos from this cycle were put up online and fans were asked to "like" their favorite photos and leave comments or submit videos with their feedback and score. During the show, a select few videos and comments are shared on television. Not only are fans able to impact who gets eliminated each week, but they're also given the opportunity to be featured on a national television show.
Fans also had an impact on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars. Since this is an All-Star season, ABC is bringing back a few of the show's former contestants to once again compete for the mirrorball trophy. ABC selected 12 contestants, but let the fans decide on contestant #13.
4) I have major FOMO. I use social media as a communication tool. I use it to keep in touch with friends and to tell them what I'm doing, where I'm going, what I'm thinking, and, most relevant to this blog post, what I'm watching. If I see that 10 of my friends "like" How I Met Your Mother on Facebook, it's likely that I will "like" it too. If I see 3 of my friends tweeting at each other about the latest episode of True Blood, chances are I'm going to want to get in on that conversation. People are highly influenced by what their friends recommend, which is why social media is the perfect tool for television networks looking to promote their shows.
What show are you most looking forward to watching this fall?