Social media has the power to influence public opinion in many different ways. Businesses know that a poor social media campaign can ruin a small company, or damage the credibility of a large one. Parents also always wonder how to spy on a cell phone without having it, so they can access their kids’ social media accounts. But social media also has an impact on TV; more specifically, it determines which shows get picked up and which ones don’t. Fans can influence the storylines of popular shows by posting on social media. And having a large fanbase on social media is important for any shows that want to get picked up season after season. Here are some of the ways that social media has influenced some of the most popular shows on TV:
The Walking Dead
AMC has always cultivated a strong social media following for its mega-hit show, The Walking Dead. It’s a great show, but it’s also one that parents wish they knew how to spy on a cell phone without having it; they’d be able to see if their kids watch it. Fans are very active and vocal on social media, and AMC pays attention. When they were angry and horrified at the brutal deaths of two main characters in the season 7 premiere, the network responded that they would tone down the show’s violence moving forward.
Fans also complained bitterly online about the season 6’s cliffhanger ending and having to wait all summer until season 7’s premiere. They didn’t want to wait that long to find out which characters lived or died. Again, AMC responded by promising that the season 7 finale would not end on a cliffhanger.
AMC also encourages fan participation like no other network has before. It gave fans an after-show called Talking Dead, which is interactive and answers questions that fans ask on social media. Fans also promote the show by using hashtags and posting while the show is running in real time. This campaign has been such a monster success for both AMC and The Walking Dead that other networks have started copying this formula.
Fox took some notes on AMC’s social media success with The Walking Dead and did the same thing. Now, their show Empire is one of the biggest on TV and on the Internet. The show’s social media activity pushes ratings, which then generates more interest. From the beginning, Fox has been supporting Empire on social media and often credits it for the show’s huge success.
Another Fox show, Scream Queens, only received another season because of its social media following. Scream Queens is a niche show, much like other series that rely on social media to prove their worth to their networks. Despite low initial ratings, Scream Queens scored a second season because the fans expressed their love for it on the Internet. Although Fox announced the show’s cancellation earlier this year, its online following helped it last more than one season.
This Is Us
Proving even the big networks are noticing social media’s impact, NBC has taken advantage of it for their hit drama, This Is Us. The network even gave it an after-show, similar to the style of Talking Dead, where fans interact with the show on social media and cast members answer their questions.
It’s clear to see that these days, social media networks have the power to make or break a TV show. It’s also possible to learn how to spy on a cell phone without having it, so you can discover what other people are watching. What are your thoughts on this? If you’d like to talk about them with me, all you have to do is send me an email.