"Stranger Things" & The Social Media Experience of Television
Gone are the days when the conversation around TV shows took place exclusively at the office water cooler the following morning. Reactions to shows are taking place in real-time. Not watching a show live, or as it's released on a streaming network, means an instant risk of the dreaded spoiler. We dive into what kinds of social media engagement is happening around certain shows, and what the implications are for marketing professionals.
Back to the Upside Down
Social media conversation ahead of the October 27th release of Stranger Things season two on Netflix has rapidly picked up. In the last 30 days, the show has been mentioned 2 million times, with conversation spiking on October 13th, when Netflix released a new trailer.
Because the entire second season is released at once on Netflix, the social media behavior of Stranger Things is different than a live show. Some viewers try to binge the entire season as soon as possible, to avoid spoilers, and others will take their time. Regardless, it’s clear that the show has generated worldwide conversation on social media. See below, how the release of the new trailer spread worldwide.
It's not surprising that people on social media are wondering what's going to happen to their favorite characters. Viewers believed that Eleven died at the end of season one, so her season two return is cause for much speculation. That character, and the actress who plays her, Millie Bobby Brown, have been mentioned 72.9K times.
#TGIT Appointment Television
While most networks and platforms accept that on-demand television is not going away, ABC has found a way to make live television fun and essential to the viewing experience.
ABC’s Thursday night line-up, which includes Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, encourages viewers to live-tweet the #TGIT experience - it’s even part of ABC’s marketing campaign.
photo credit: ABC
Often a show’s cast will hold a viewing party and live-tweets the show, some even live-tweeting both East and West Coast airings. Last Thursday alone, there were 87,000 mentions of #TGIT on social media.
Part of the draw of watching ABC’s #TGIT shows is the near-certainty of cliffhangers, surprises, and twists. Below are some of the emojis fans use to express their reaction:
What do these social media TV trends mean for marketing professionals?
Think It Through. Marketers should think through any campaign or hashtag intended to tag along with the publicity of a trending show. Is the show a recurring event, or a one-time release? Does the audience or cast routinely engage on social media? How quickly after the show does conversation die down?
Plan Ahead. If your brand or company wants to jump on a trending television event, plan for the marketing campaign to roll out well in advance of the air date. Let’s face it: the social media conversation for a show like House of Cards or Stranger Things tapers pretty soon after it’s released, so if you want to be part of the conversation, get ahead of it.
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header photo credit: Twitter @Netflix