Watching TV has never been as interactive as it is today.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have become what we’re really talking about when we use the phrase “word of mouth.”
And then there’s the real-time nature of social media. If a show is working right, there’s almost no way to avoid the blur of tweets reacting to what’s happening. Chalk it up to FOMO (fear of missing out), but people want to be part of the action.
This live audience is what networks are craving most in the era of DVR, online, and other forms of delayed viewing. Having a strong social-media following can mean the difference between 100 episodes and 10 these days.
By taking into account research provided by Amobee Brand Intelligence, Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings, as well as regular TV ratings, Business Insider has chosen the shows that are both taking advantage of and reaping the most benefits from social media.
Here are 13 programs whose social-media game is winning:
'Scream Queens' got the most marketing dollars of all of Fox's shows this fall and it's getting the rewards. Its premiere episode earned the most tweets of any program on Tuesday, September 22, even though ABC's 'The Muppets' beat it in the Nielsen ratings. And as the show has progressed, fans are still very much engaged.
Taking a page from sister Shonda Rhimes drama 'Scandal,' 'How to Get Away with Murder' had a strong social-media presence from its beginning -- even if it clashed with viewers over hashtags #HowtoGetAwayWithMurder and #HTGAWM.
'Doctor Who' was destined to become a social-media hit. But BBC America didn't rest on its laurels. It saw the possibility of fostering that potential first via Tumblr and then via Twitter, Vine, and Pinterest.
From live tweets with its stars to breaking news via Instagram, 'Pretty Little Liars' has ruled the social-media game. It's ranked either No. 1 or 2 among TV shows on social-media platforms ranging from Twitter to Pinterest and Facebook. What's most impressive is that the show keeps its engagement high with fans in between seasons and hiatuses while other shows are just figuring out how to do that while the season is airing.
Of all the Shonda Rhimes shows, 'Scandal' wears the social-media crown. What's funny is that the show had aired its curtailed seven-episode first season to very little fanfare. Then in its second season, the show took off. Why? It doubled down on the social-media presence with lots of interaction between the show and fans, as well as live tweets with the stars during the episodes.
'American Horror Story' is the kind of show that's made for social media. It's over-the-top, provocative, bloody, sexy, captivating, and frightening -- all things that fans want to share in the moment. No wonder it's always at the top of social-media lists. And its co-creator, Ryan Murphy, loves to break news and castings via Twitter.
With 19 seasons under its belt, 'The Bachelor' has had to transition from a pre-social media world, and it has done so swimmingly. Still counted as one of the most social shows on TV, much of its success revolves around keeping its fans on their toes with curveballs, allowing social media to shape the show, and making fans feel heard.
'Empire' dominates both TV ratings and the social-media rankings. They're intricately linked. The best part is that word of mouth aka social media helped 'Empire' improve on its own ratings each week, the first show to do so in 23 years. The best part of 'Empire's' social-media success is how its cast reaped the benefits in followers.
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