If zombies, gore and post-apocolyptic scenarios aren't your thing, you probably do not fall in to the whopping 12.3 millions viewers who tuned in to AMC's The Walking Dead last week. But no matter what your preferred genre of television series, there is one thing we should all be able to agree upon: AMC is setting an industry example of how to do marketing right.
Introducing social television. 2013 will become a pivotal year in the digital entertainment industry, as television networks will be encouraged to integrate social interaction in to the viewing experience. An article by the New York Times says that The Walking Dead series "pulled in 7.7 million in the category most sought by advertisers, viewers between the ages of 18-49," during the mid-season premiere that aired last week. If you aren't impressed with this record high in cable history, keep in mind that this episode was aired against tough competition - the Grammy Awards on CBS.
If you're on the same page as me, you are probably wondering, "Who the hell even watches AMC?" Well, apparently over 12 million zombie crazies on Sunday nights. There are several things to be said about the magnitude of success by The Walking Dead series. Here are just a few of many creative social tactics incorporated in to The Walking Dead's social strategy.
Engagement with fans
With over 15 million Facebook fans and one million Twitter followers, conversation does not go unmonitored. AMC does a superb job of encouraging fan interaction on their social media pages. They initiate conversation through a regular social media content strategy, as well as engage fans through retweets.
#TheWalkingDaughter, #visionaryleader and #OneLeggedHershal are just a few of the weekly conversational hashtags The Walking Dead has leveraged on Twitter. The use of clever hashtags provokes an ongoing social conversation throughout the entirety of the episode, and allows that conversation to continue throughout the ongoing week, leading up to the next show time.
Repurposing Old Content
The Walking Dead recently launched a campaign to re-run old episodes in black and white. This strategy is posed to increase the show's following, while also entice seasoned viewers to catch back up on their favorite reruns.
The Talking Dead
To further the social conversation around the series, AMC brilliantly decided to include a follow-up segment that airs directly after each episode of The Walking Dead. Creatively enough, the network promotes The Talking Dead during commercial segments, which is when they usually introduce the weekly hashtag surrounding the hot topic of the episode.
The Walking Dead's social media strategy raises the industry bar for what's around the corner in the world of social television. So, the next big question will be: Who can keep up?