The creation of social media, has allowed for television to become an interactive experience. Viewers can join a live conversation with others who are also watching, sharing their thoughts and opinions during and after viewing. A majority of television series now use social media to connect with their audience – allowing the show’s creators, stars and producers to join the online conversation and interact with fans.
Here are a few shows that utilize social media well:
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
- The Voice
- The Social
- Schitt’s Creek
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Since the debut of The Tonight Show in 1954, the show has garnered six hosts. The current host Jimmy Fallon and the program itself display a great connection with their audience through social media.
How the Tonight Show uses Social Media
Fallon and his Tonight Show team come up with multiple ways to incorporate social media within the show. One specific weekly segment they do is #Hashtags. A day or two before, the @FallonTonight Twitter account tweets out the week’s hashtag topic. During Thursday’s broadcast Fallon shares his favourite responses. Check out a few Tonight Show #Hashtags videos here.
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) March 24, 2015
Also, although each week’s shows are pre-taped, when it airs at 11:35 PM, The Tonight Show takes part in live tweeting during each episode. To join the conversation insert #FallonTonight in your tweets.
I really want a burrito now….. #FallonTonight
— Chrissy Torres (@Chrissy_Torres_) March 24, 2015
These elements are popular and effective because a key aspect of social media is it allows everyone to have their say and TV shows are taking advantage of the increased interconnectivity that social media can provide. The Tonight Show is able to provide their audience with the opportunity to be involved in the show itself!
The Voice is a singing reality competition program for aspiring artists. The series employs a panel of four coaches who critique the artists’ performances. Each coach guides their teams of selected artists through the remainder of the season. The current coaches on this season are Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell.
How The Voice uses Social Media
Although the show doesn’t go live until the battle rounds (where two contestants from one team go head-to-head and their coach picks the one who will move on), while the blind auditions broadcast on-air, the four coaches tweet along with the viewers and share their thoughts and opinions about the contestants. There is also a lot of playful banter between the coaches.
Viewers each week vote by phone, text and online. It wasn’t until season five in 2013, that the “Instant Save” was introduced. The Instant Save allowed viewers a five minute window during the live eliminations to vote via Twitter, by tweeting #VoiceSave[insert contestant’s name here]. This determined which contestant will continue on in the competition.
This allows viewers, directly through social media, to determine who continues on and eventually determine the winner. The Voice Facebook page shares more video content, posting performance and behind the scenes videos. This is useful for viewers who may have happened to miss an episode.
The Social is a Canadian talk show hosted by four women, Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst. Lainey Lui and Traci Melchor, discussing the day’s hot topics. The Social prides themselves in being a socially interactive series, incorporating viewer feedback and conversation through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more.
How The Social uses Social Media
If you ever had a chance to catch an episode of The Social, it is very apparent that incorporating social media during the episodes is the crux of the series. They encourage their viewers to join the conversation by tweeting or posting comments on their Facebook page. Viewers who take part have their comments shared throughout the show. This allows a dialogue between the hosts and the TV audience in real time since the show is live, giving viewers an outlet to discuss and give their opinions on the day’s hot topics.
Schitt’s Creek is a Canadian television sitcom that airs every Tuesday on CBC. The show stars SCTV alumni Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara. Schitt’s Creek is about a wealthy couple who lose all their money are forced to rebuild their lives in a small town.
The cast uses social media to promote the weekly series. They also live tweet during each week’s episode. See the tweet below from cast member Dan Levy as an example.
— dan levy (@danjlevy) March 19, 2015