What Companies Could Learn From #Scandal And Embracing #SocialMedia
Every Thursday evening at 10:00 PM I am usually glued to my TV set watching Scandal, like 10.6 million others. I have been watching, since the start of the show three seasons ago. I must admit that I was hooked with the first Scandal promo and it has been “game on” with my addiction ever since.
I am a bit of a techie and I am highly engaged with online channels so I tend to watch TV while interacting in some way online. This is a new thing for me and it’s something that I enjoy because it brings an engagement level that surpasses just sitting and staring at the television screen. Also, it allows me to pretend as if social media hasn’t caused me to develop old age onset, ADD.
At one time TV shows were almost exclusively limited to their time slot and media attention from articles byway of tabloid and or popular magazine. This substantially limited the amount of exposure that a fan could have with their favorite TV stars, not to mention zero engagement. So, back in the day, as a fan of any show if you wanted to know anything about your favorite TV stars you had to resign yourself to reading the latest magazine or tabloid while waiting in the supermarket check out line.
Well, things certainly have changed and those changes are what traditional organizations should be keeping their eye on and trying their damndest to emulate. Organizations should take notice of how more and more traditional media outlets like TV are using social media and digital platforms to bring a new way of interacting and engaging with fans. The show Scandal is really a pioneer in using their huge fan base to create a continuous buzz and unparalleled engagement avenue for fans, which has pushed this show to insane popularity.
Although I recognized the appeal of the show Scandal from the start, there were many that were not on board and the show had a bit of a rocky first season. The first season was only 6 episodes and no one knew if there would be a fan base to even move toward a second season. It is pretty hard to believe that this show was ever in jeopardy of not making the cut, due to the insane popularity that it has now. The turn around and unbelievable growth in the Scandal fan base was partially due to social media.
The creator of the show is heavily involved with social media so when she noticed that there seemed to be a huge population of fans discussing the show, she encouraged the cast to interact more with the fans by way of Twitter. This was the birth of Live Tweeting between the cast of Scandal AND the fans who call themselves Gladiators.
A huge part of the popularity and phenomenon called Scandal, ARE the fans or self-proclaimed gladiators. One of the things that have propelled this show to great heights has been the interaction between the fans and cast that “Live Tweet” during each and every episode of the show. The Scandal cast live tweet for their east coast fans, their west coast fans and create an ongoing buzz for the Scandal brand by way of a variety of other social media channels. Scandal has not only commanded a presence on Twitter, they also have a very loyal following on Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram.
Scandal is not the first show to live tweet but it has been called “The Most Live Tweeted” show ever. Due to this, the show has systematically changed how TV is watched, how the cast of shows interact with fans and has integrated social media into its core as no other TV show has. They have started the evolution and merging of traditional media with social media and will go down in history for being the catalyst of change. TV is great but it lacks engagement, this is the void that live tweeting is filling, and filling in a big way during Scandal.
During a Live Tweet SINGLE ONE HOUR episode of Scandal, it can generate over 350,000 tweets using #Scandal and or #AskScandal. Scandal and their community managers have upended how TV is DONE.
On set, the show is based on a team of super sharp rapid tongued professionals and Scandal has been successful in extending this branded message throughout their Twitter stream. Twitter, is the perfect venue for Scandal’s rapid speech style, using the traditional 140-character tweet.
According to Neilson, the season finale of Scandal had 10.6 million TV viewers. The same episode was listed as #2 on Twitter with a unique audience of 3,360,000 and 697,000 tweets within an hour. This franchise is essentially a traditional and social media powerhouse that is a force to be reckoned with in our mixed media digitally driven world.
All traditional organization that are resistant [STILL] to embrace and integrate social media into their traditional marketing strategies should be looking at this closely. The success that Scandal is having with engaging fans by way of social media goes beyond just live tweeting. It’s much bigger than that. The process of live tweeting essentially acts to convert all created tweets into little 140 character vehicles to promote Scandal. Just think about how huge that is!
I’m not saying that traditional organizations using social media to increase the brand awareness of their company could ever get 697,000 tweets in an hour, not that most would want it unless sales orders are attached. I am saying that companies that continue to minimize the importance of social media are essentially closing ones organizational mind to the limitless possibilities of digital expansion now and in the future.
Organizations must recognize that our digital world is not going anywhere and they must learn to harness the power of social interaction to spread their organizations branded message. The ability of an organization to reach out and use social media as a tool to connect, engage and interact with their target audiences are almost endless. If you don’t believe me, tune in to the Scandal live tweet, starting with the fall season of 2014.