On Wednesday, we wrote about ‘Psych All-Night,’ a marathon that USA Network hosted last Friday night to build buzz for the series finale of ‘Psych.’ ‘Psych-os’ took to social in full force for the event, with over 136,000 Twitter hashtag mentions, driving 114% fan growth on Instagram, and creating 21 Twitter trending topics.
The series finale itself resulted in even more impressive social numbers. #Psychout, #Psych, and #Psychallnight were three of the top five TV-related hashtags for the night, and @Psych_USA, the show’s official handle, garnered 57,046 mentions, which made it the most mentioned TV series account on Wednesday.
The numbers are great but it is not immediately obvious why USA would focus its efforts on building a social following for a show that is set to conclude; the strategy that the network took with ‘Modern Family’ which launched in syndication at the end of 2013 might offer some insight.
The network created an entire social community for new fans called ‘Mofy Nation,’ made every episode sync-able with its second screen app, and gamified the Sunday night reruns with ‘Modern Family Live.’
Syndication has long been filler – a way for networks to attempt to retain some eyeballs in the lead-up to, or just after, its core programming. But USA has found that it could leverage social to truly engage with audiences tuning into reruns. With ‘Pysch,’ USA building a larger social following for an ending show was not a last-ditch effort but a long-term play as the show prepares for its next stage.