How Social Media Is Pushing Television Forward
Originally posted on timesofisrael.com.
Television has come a long way — from clunky black and white televisions in the 1920s to online streaming in the present day. In Israel, televisions didn’t transition to full-time color transmissions until the 1980s, many years after their Western counterparts! But today, no matter what country we’re in, viewers are able to access television on any device at any time.
In the past, television and movies were considered passive experiences; imagine our parents and grandparents plopped on the couch with just a handful of programming options. Today, however, television is far from passive. We can discover which shows and movies are most ideal for us by reading articles on our choice of entertainment blogs or simply by searching on IMDb.
This is just the beginning. The true magic comes with social media. Social media has revolutionized many aspects of our lives and entertainment is one of them. Through Twitter, we get in on all the action pertaining to movies and TV — getting a glimpse into new seasons, developing fan theories, and most importantly laughing, crying, and reveling in shock together.
Generally speaking, Twitter has evolved as the ideal platform for discussions surrounding TV and movies. In fact, 41% of TV fans tweet while watching TV, 76% of whom live tweet throughout the show. Twitter’s fast paced, conversational structure makes it perfectly suited for real-time discussions, connecting fans across the globe as they talk about characters, storylines, and predictions. Of course, this naturally keeps people more engaged in the show as they gain new perspectives and develop a deeper understanding of a show’s plot, storyline, and character development. Think of it as an English Lit class for TV, except way more fun. Through deeper discussions, learning, and viewer involvement, viewers gain more satisfaction from TV shows than ever before.
This strategy has worked for TV and movies alike. Take Glee for example. The show’s fans, also referred to as Gleeks, were incredibly active in keeping up with news, content, music and everything in between via social media. In this specific scenario, Gleeks would engage in conversations amongst themselves and occasionally even with actors, sharing their favorite aspects of the show and generating buzz around each new season.
Fox encouraged this phenomenon by creating an app called FoxNow, which fed fans’ obsessions through an endless supply of content, sneak peeks, and behind the scenes footage. Needless to say, this was incredibly successful. As you can see below, Glee’s search volume and engagement rate online was incredibly high, revealing that fans were not just passively watching, but taking their viewing experience to an entirely new level.
Movies are also jumping on the social media bandwagon. Most recently, Deadpool is making a huge splash, grossing over $130 million in its opening weekend, making it the most successful R-rated premiere in history. While we can’t attribute 100% of the film’s success to social media alone, their campaigns certainly illustrated the power of social in the realm of entertainment.
The film banked in on the holidays through campaigns such as the 12 Days of Deadpool for Christmas, which used YouTube to unleash teasers, generating a tremendous amount of hype for the release. Actor Ryan Reynolds tweeted hilarious promotions all over his own Twitter, furthering the excitement and capturing the imagination of hardcore Marvel fans and “posers” alike.
As a result of all the hype generated through humor and smart social media campaigns, the film has enjoyed record breaking success as it continues to explode in the box office
Love or hate social media, there’s no doubt that the various social outlets are connecting us to anything and everything. Whether it’s a film, show, celebrity, or our favorite brands, social media provides everything we want (and many things we don’t want) at our fingertips
That’s why social is an incredible tool for entertainment. Since fans can participate in conversation with actors and gain insights into the production, we feel more involved and more deeply connected to films than we ever have before. By tapping into the personal element of social media, TV shows and movies spark more interest than they ever thought possible, attaining a following that leads to viral success.