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31/10/2012 by

How Social TV Fuels American Horror Story?

During Halloween American Horror Story’s new series Asylum premiered on Fox TV on October 17. Here you can learn how smart social tv and social marketing fuelled the horror story experience.

Unlike most TV shows, AHS decided to refresh most of its cast to create a brand new spooky storyline. Producer FX, chose a refreshing direction in the social TV strategy.

Re-engaging social TV fans can be difficult, unless you have invested in a community of passionate fans over the years. So who ever doubted powerful owned media channels, opt-in e-mail databases, relationships with influencers, fans and Social CRM, please think again.

To pull horror fans through the Asylum funnel, FX created a smart content strategy to ignite the buzz.

A partnership with Entertainment Weekly was established and a mix of Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter was used to release and seed the exclusive video clips and trailers.

YouTube Preview Image

To set some of the context; In 2011 AHS was GetGlue’s most watched social TV show, just behind the mega blockbuster “The Big Bang Theory.”

In 2012, for the new TV season, a new partnership with GetGlue was created. Via the unique “check-in” users could unlock a sticker. A clever incentive was used to encourage people to check-in: At 25.000 check-ins we will unlock an exclusive behind the scenes video available to GetGlue users.

Well guess what happened? GetGlue horror lovers poked their peers via social media channels, so they would help to unlock the exclusive video content. Guess again? Mission accomplished.

Why GetGlue you might be asking? GetGlue claims to have more activity around TV shows than Twitter. See below visual.

My opinion?
I do like the approach and the non-linear thinking. I do also like the very simple but clever activation mechanism in which exclusive content is unlocked when hitting 25.000 check-ins.

I do hope that more brands, entertainment companies, broadcasters and publishers will embrace Social TV.

And to be bold: We have seen several very cool Web TV platforms from brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi en Red Bull, but I am still waiting for more non-linear Social TV formats.

The Voice Of, showed some smart integrated ways of Social TV.

However, to me most scripts are not interactive enough and we are still in Social TV stage 1.0. We script a Twitter bomb into our TV formats, we launch a hashtag to create a trending topic or buzz on Twitter and we tend to call that Social TV.

I do hope to see the next steps in Social TV in 2013. Maybe the blue monster Facebook will finally launch a few Social TV channels like fashion, football or games within Facebook?

Pretty sure that some topics can connect to a global audience of 100 million or more engaged viewers that can really participate in the Social TV shows. With now one billion users worldwide, Facebook could really act more disruptive, and attack YouTube.

If I understood Zuck’s vision and story to shareholders: Facebook is striving to get a bigger chunk of the Dollars that brands are now spending on TV. Well, the best way of predicting the future dear Zuck, is by creating it!

What About You?
Please share us your thoughts on the AHS social media strategy. Sharing your ideas on Social TV 2.0 would even be more appreciated.

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More stories about Social TV? Set your filter at Social TV, use our site search or click here. For more Social TV trends, follow Igor Beuker on Twitter, Fan us on Facebook or grab our RSS Feed to be the first to know.

Source: LostRemote


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Comments (3)

  • Rudi De Groot 02/11/2012, 01:16

    I am a big fan of American Horror story. Last year was good, but this year it is great. I think this also helps in Social Media. If you don’t have a good product, it is hard to make it viral. Ofcourse GetGlue is an smart and innovative way to reach consumers also!

  • Stephanie Kayser 04/12/2012, 23:04

    Mr. Beuker,

    This is an excellent post that brings to light the suggestion that social media matters and can drastically change the ratings of a show. It also implies that social marketers need to utilize these emerging platforms just as much as the traditional ways of marketing. As a college student about to graduate focusing in broadcast and digital journalism with an emphasis is the entertainment industry, it is interesting to see how important and wide the social media scope is. As a consumer, I found myself being affected by the buzz around the show. I heard so much from my friends and on Facebook in particular, that I jumped on board and started watching the show. Today, our presence online helps defines who we are, and with the advent of social media, marks our very identity within the world. This is something that marketers must tap into to give a more personal appeal and attract viewers to a certain show. Given the growth of social media platforms, many networks are focusing more time and energy marketing online. As you indicated, unless there is already an online community of fans, marketing heavily online will have no merit. FX’s American Horror Storyhad to create its own strategy to “ignite the buzz,” they formed a partnership with Entertainment Weekly and used social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to release exclusive video clips to its followers. I agree with you that the approach is simple, yet highly effective, and as a result, it was nominated for 17 Emmy’s in its first season. For the second season premiere, the show attracted 3.85 million viewers, its best performance and record number of viewers for a cable series.

    Although campaigns such as this one are extremely fragile because of the very nature of social media, I believe with more development and research that there is an even greater opportunity for such media campaigns to advance. I like that you pointed out that we are still in stage 1.0 of Social TV; for example, we create a hashtag such as #AHSFX for the show to create a common ground for talk and activity but more channels need to be developed and created for a users’ experience around the show to surge. You mention Facebook and how it hasn’t yet successfully tapped into social TV marketing by saying, “with now one billion users worldwide, Facebook could really act more disruptive, and attack YouTube.” Whereas from a business perspective, yes, Facebook does need to acquire more advanced and interactive marketing strategies, I do not think that it should advance in a similar fashion to YouTube. I believe that networks, and shows in particular should utilize both platforms in different ways. Would you agree that the next step would be developing a way to link all the information about what people like and watch on Facebook so that marketers can see and utilize what is and is not working? Social marketing works through its immense reach and ability to raise awareness quickly, so wouldn’t creating a linkage of Facebook such as the hashtag, established on Instagram and Twitter, work? Social marketing can be extremely effective as you state in your examples and I do agree that the best way is to go viral. By using exclusive content and giving viewers an ‘in’ and a personal appeal, it can spread the word of the show fast and at relatively low costs. Social media activity is creating real world trends and I believe that this correlation is going to continue to grow.