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4 Ways Game of Thrones Excels at Building Social Media Hype

Winter is coming… In July. As the countdown for Sunday’s seventh season premiere of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones continues, the internet is saturated with enough content to satiate even the biggest fans of the show. (Offering up everything but the ability to watch the new episodes early, of course.) That content is spreading like wildfire over on social media platforms which are also playing around with tactics of their own to engage with audiences. And even though technically nobody “needs” to drum up this type of organic enthusiasm, here’s a look at a few of the standout moments from the last couple of months where social got a chance to shine on the iron throne.

Let’s watch a block of ice melt on Facebook!

Earlier in March, HBO announced that the premiere date for the seventh season would launch via Facebook live. The one catch? The date was lodged inside of a block of ice. Fans were encouraged to join in on the livestream to watch the ice block slowly melt for the date — which it slowly did. Very slowly.

On paper and even off it, the stunt must have sounded like it would take forever to do, but here’s where another GoT-themed twist came in. Watching ice melt is a naturally slow process so fans were encouraged to type in “FIRE” in the stream’s comments section. For every “FIRE” that showed up, an offscreen flamethrower would assist in melting the block. The showrunners might have found the tactic to be kinda silly, but the fans loved it and thought it was lit. Literally.

Strategic trailer launches that play around with seasons

At the start of 2017, trailer anticipation, both teaser and full-length, for the new season was so high that fans worried there might not even be any actual trailers released. Luckily, this wasn’t the case as a teaser spot ran at the end of March. A much meatier trailer filled with dragons, combat, and White Walkers arrived shortly afterwards — on June 21. For a show so rooted in winter symbolism, launching its trailer on the first day of summer was a strategic marketing move across the board.

Snapchat launches a White Walker filter — with a twist

Ever dream of having your face filtered to look like one of the undead? Now you finally can! Earlier this month, Snapchat created a special White Walker filter. Features for users of the app include the ability to breathe out icy air, piercing blue eyes and pale skin to replace your existing, living self, and a frosty backdrop. However, the one twist about this filter is that it’s a limited-time offer. Once Snapchat users unlock the code on their smartphones, they only have an hour to use the filter. Start snapping, everyone.

Ominous tweets, courtesy of GoT star Maisie Williams

Last year, GoT star Maisie Williams (who portrays Arya Stark on the series) took to Twitter to share her initial thoughts on reading through the season seven script. Her advice through a series of tweets filled with all caps is simple: “I’d start preparing yourselves now.” We can’t say she didn’t warn us. 

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