HBO has teamed with the GetGlue social network to hype Boardwalk Empire, a much-hyped, Prohibition-era series that bows on Sunday.
GetGlue users "check in" to their favorite movies, books and TV shows via the company's site or corresponding mobile app. They alert friends and other fans of their favorites, while vying for points and rewards. The service has been called a Foursquare for entertainment -- and it has been in gaining in popularity.
Starting Sunday, HBO will urge GetGlue users to "check in" to the premiere of Boardwalk Empire to earn the first of 12 exclusive virtual "stickers." Each sticker features a whiskey glass. The virtual glass will gradually fill with booze as long as viewers check in for each of the 12 Boardwalk episodes.
HBO’s social push comes on the heels of a GetGlue campaign by Fox, which is using the service to plug a pair of its fall series: the sitcom Raising Hope, which will be promoted to self-described fans of Glee; and the soapy drama Lonestar, which is being marketed to Bones fans.
According to GetGlue CEO and founder Alex Iskold, several other top broadcast networks have expressed interest in using the service to spread the word about their fall lineups. He expects that a handful will roll out campaigns in coming weeks.
Iskold estimated that for every 1,000 user mentions on the site/app, about 500,000 people are subsequently reached on Twitter -- along with another 250,000 on Facebook.
“People who check in to their favorite series are very distinct from people who say they ‘like’ a show once on a social network,” said Iskold. “Repetitive check-ins are very revealing. Those are the most engaged fans of a show. This lets networks identify different types of fans.”
Boardwalk Empire is not the first HBO series to employ GetGlue. True Blood has been active on the site. Per Iskold, within the first five minutes of a recent episode, 5,000 people checked in to the show. “We capture a burst of activity that you can’t get anywhere else,” he said.