Lost Remote has recently done a couple of profiles regarding the impact of The CW’s social media strategy on its current scheduling. Considering The CW’s younger viewer demographic, a lot of focus turns to them when new social media efforts are attempted. This is a network forging new territory for many, especially when live viewership is so low yet several of their programs in a social media realm are very popular.
Lost Remote interviewed Rick Haskins, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Digital Programs. He had a few things to say about the network’s plans for this upcoming season. Below is some interesting talking points:
– “The Vampire Diaries” is the show that generates the most buzz on the social web. The CW will rely on that active online community to promote when the show will be on so that they don’t have to rely so much on spreading the word on air.
– By starting in October and running shows non-stop until December, that will assure less confusion over when viewers can expect new episodes.
– Just because “The Vampire Diaries” community is active doesn’t mean that others are. They don’t “treat any of their social media audiences the same.”
– The CW’s social media staff consists of three people, so they don’t have the man power to run twitter accounts for each individual show. They have to carefully choose priorities.
– The CW is launching a multi-screen game, “Fandemonium,” to determine out of their 51 million fans on Facebook which is number one. It will be utilizing a number of social tools including Skype, Klout, Pinterest, among other mediums.
– The network hopes to use established social media communities like “The Vampire Diaries” to promote new shows. For example, TVD on Facebook had “Welcome to the Neighborhood” posts for “Beauty and The Beast.” They can’t do that for all shows though. “I will tell you Gossip Girl’s for instance cannot have any cross platforms.”
– Speaking of “Gossip Girl” the network is aware of the angry fans over this being the last season.
– Talent on their shows are going through a social media bootcamp type training and take them through the rules of the road. They’re doing this for new shows via photoshoots and plan on sending people to production sets for existing shows.
I do applaud The CW on their creativity considering they’re catering to a generation of short attention spans that don’t do a lot of live viewing. The question is, will this be enough? How much does online buzz translate in terms of success of a show? I know that online viewing helped save shows like “Hart of Dixie,” so perhaps at The CW it holds more weight than what is seen at other networks currently. How to monetize that buzz remains to be seen, but so far at least they’re able to grab some attention. Perhaps in today’s changing climate, that’s the key to success.