June 12, 2013

Social media has had a huge impact on pop culture, but most businesses are still trying to discover how to make social media generate revenue. Some online and brick and mortar retailers (mostly stores aimed at younger consumers) have had success. Now a TV network executive is trying to use social media to build viewership of live TV, which has been declining ever since DVRs came into the market.

Disney executive Marlene King shared her strategy in a June 3, 2013 Wall St. Journal interview. In talking about the challenges of marketing her show “Pretty Little Liars” she stated, “We’re on the air for 12 weeks, and then we’re off for a few months, then we’re on again for 12 weeks and then off for a few months. But our fans never stop talking about the show, because our actors are always tweeting about it. They’re tweeting with each other. They’re tweeting with fans. So, we have a yearlong conversation that continues. It never stops, instead it keeps people so excited.”

“It feels like social media is creating must-see TV again. Where, because our fans want to have this massive Twitter party together on Tuesday night when we air, they all sit down and watch. They don’t want to come to the party late. They don’t want to see the clues later. They want to experience it together. So, we’re feeling like it is bringing fans to watch the show live again. As opposed to DVRing it and not being up-to-date with your friends.”

Could another type of business use this “always on” conversation to keep people excited about their business? I think so… more later.

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