7 Summer TV Shows Using Social Media

By Debra Eckerling 

Remember when summer TV was filled with nothing but reruns? You counted down the days until your television favorites returned in the fall and consoled yourself by watching DVDs and movies.

Now you don’t even have to go to cable or satellite to watch first-run episodes. There are plenty of scripted and reality TV shows to go around on network, basic, and premium stations. Even Netflix has gotten into the game with original programming. Now that the summer is almost as competitive as the regular TV season, shows have had to step up their game to deal with the age of the low attention span. How do they embrace it? Through social media, of course.

Here are some of the ways 7 summer TV shows are using social media for that extra-promotional zing.

1. The Newsroom (HBO) returned on Sunday. Leading up to the season premiere, last week the show posted on Facebook an infographic: Season 1 “by the numbers,” catching viewers up on the happenings of last season. The Facebook post has over 2,000 likes, nearly 400 shares, and more than 80 comments.

2. Graceland (USA Network), the latest in character-friendly drama from USA, brings the audience into the show with a storytelling experience. This “game” allows viewers to create an alias, explore the Graceland world, earn points and badges, and enter the sweepstakes. USA Network does a bang-up job of viewer engagement on all of their shows, through games, social hub tabs, newsletters, and more.

3. Switched at Birth (ABC Family) has a different cast member lead a Twitter chat during the East Coast showing of each new episode, adding their take in real time. Even cast members without a Twitter handle host using the @ABCFsab account, which has more than 100,000 followers.

4. Under the Dome (CBS) also does a Twitter chat “event” every week with Executive Producer Neal Baer, as well as multiple cast members. RSVP on Facebook, and jump over to their social page to see the whole feed … not just during Twitter-chat time. Fans can view all the tweets or sort by cast member or Stephen King.

5. So You Think You Can Dance (Fox) has made it easier than ever to get to know and cheer on the contestants. Fans can do a live sync on the site or via the FOX Now app to get access to voting, exclusive video, and more. Fans can filter the Twitter social hub for this show by judges, contestants, fans, and all tweets.

6. Dexter (Showtime) writer/producer Scott Reynolds hosts a weekly post-show podcast on iTunes, which give viewers behind-the-scenes insights. This, along with games like the Body Bag Toss and Dexter’s Early Cuts videos, is another great way to extend the audience’s Dexter addiction.

7. Orange is the New Black (Netflix) is Meme-ing it up on Facebook with great pics and quotes from the show, as an engaging way to promote the new series. There are video clips posted too. However, it’s the characters and their quotes that really show off the personality of this divergent group of women … and tempt the audience to get to know them better. Mixed in with the memes are pics of recipe for “Correctional Cheesecake” and “Cell Caramel Lattes.”

It’s good to see shows enjoying the benefits of social media, and having summer fun, as well. Can’t wait to see what’s yet to come.

Image by Darren Whittingham.