The recent finales of American Idol and Dancing with the Stars underscored the ability of online conversation to drive buzz around live television events. Last month’s finale of American Idol smashed social media records inspiring over one million comments about the show and its eventual winner. Twitter was the platform of choice for a significant portion of these comments. Here’s how American Idol and Dancing with the Star leveraged Twitter to create buzz.
Celebrities and their dance partners on Dancing with the Stars tweeted on a regular basis to keep viewers interested in the days leading up to the live shows. Stars of the show such as Derek Hough and Katherine Jenkins regularly tweeted videos and pictures from rehearsals to their 200,000+ followers on Twitter.
Celebrity Endorsements On Twitter
In last month’s American Idol finale, Jessica Simpson tweeted her support for the eventual winner Phillip Phillips to her 5.1 million followers. On the other side of the fence, singer Jason DeRulo tweeted his support for the eventual runner up Jessica Sanchez to his 1.3 million followers. Each of these tweets created conversation online as other fans discussed each celebrity’s endorsement. This in turn created buzz for the show.
As already pointed out in this blog post, hashtags are a great way to group conversations on Twitter. American Idol (#Idol) and Dancing With the Stars (#DWTS) regularly promoted their hashtag on air, which increased visibility and promoted conversation. Despite the series just finishing last month, American Idol is already creating buzz around auditions for the next series by promoting conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #IdolAuditions.
Recently we have seen popular hashtags such as that for the Euro 2012 Football Championships (#Euro2012) receiving its own dedicated hashtag branded Twitter page. At present hashtag branded Twitter pages have been used only for sporting events, however it’s only a matter of time before a popular show like American Idol has its own hashtag branded page.
On Air Tweets
Displaying viewer Tweets on-air has proved popular and effective for many talent shows. At the end of each dance on this season’s Dancing with the Stars, viewer Tweets were displayed on-air. Integrating live Tweets into the TV show creates a layer of real-time engagement that was next to impossible to achieve pre-Twitter.
In the past, the process of displaying Tweets on-air has been troublesome for some broadcasters who may not have the budget to do so. The emergence of companies like Vidpresso , which makes it cost effective and easy to integrate Twitter content into television broadcasts, may make back channel comments a regular part of televised content, particularly live broadcast programming.
What other ways have you seen TV shows using Twitter to create buzz?