How TLC uses social media to engage with wedding program viewersPosted: March 17, 2013 | |
With at least ten shows dedicated to weddings, TLC is one of basic cable’s most noteworthy providers of wedding-themed programming. Friday is officially “Bride Day” on TLC. Shows like Say Yes to the Dress (and its iterations, Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta and Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids), newcomer, Something Borrowed, Something New, and Four Weddings dominate the evening’s programming. Weekly programming is scattered with other wedding-themed shows including My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, Randy to the Rescue, and I Found the Gown.
Below I explore how TLC is using social media to engage with viewers of Say Yes to the Dress (SYTTD).
In the last year or two networks have been eager to capitalize on hashtags (popularized by Twitter) as a promotional tool. Networks encourage viewers to use hashtags during programming by placing the show’s hastag somewhere on the screen. For example, TLC places the hashtags “#syttd” (Say Yes to the Dress) and “#fourweddings” in the upper-left hand corner of the screen while these programs are being broadcast. Below is an example of how some Twitter users used the SYTTD hashtag during and after the March 15th episode.
Hashtags are a simple promotional tool. They enable viewers to identify and interact with one another and they have the potential to increase awareness of the program.
TLC also includes a show’s hashtag on a show’s page.
In her post about social media marketing, blogger Emily takes a look at TLC’s Facebook page for their show Cake Boss. She discusses how “visually appealing” the page is and about how “the background image is allowing TLC to advertise for their new and upcoming show.” It appears that TLC follows a similar approach with their SYTTD page. The banner is effective because it has a fun picture of Lori and Monte from SYTTD Atlanta and the date and time of the season premiere (not to mention the use of the TLC red in the background as a way of branding). The profile image echoes the banner because it also uses an image of Lori and Monte with the title of the show.
What the SYTTD Facebook page does well is the inclusion of several useful apps. The OMG Wedding Moments and Show us your Ring Bling apps encourage followers to interact with one another. Through the OMG Wedding Moments app users can upload images from their own weddings to share with and inspire others. Similarly, Show us your Ring Bling allows users to share images of their engagement rings and wedding bands.
What differentiates SYTTD’s Twitter page from its Facebook (besides the bold pink used in the background of both the page and header) is its content. The Facebook page includes more images from recent episodes and tries to foster conversation among its followers by posing questions like “would you say yes to this dress?” (paired with an image of a dress that was tried on by a bride in an episode). I think SYTTD’s Twitter content compliments their Facebook content. On Twitter, funny quotes from Monte are shared with followers and simple plugs for the show are made.
Contests for the show are done through their Twitter. I speculate that this is because TLC wants to drive traffic to their Twitter since there are significantly fewer SYTTD followers on Twitter than Facebook. (SYTTD’s Facebook page has 1.2 millions likes but their Twitter page has only 5,122 followers, as of 3/17.) Their most recent Twitter contest asked followers to tweet their own versions of a photo of Lori and Monte (the one used as the banner image for their Facebook page). The winner would receive a dozen cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. (I thought this was a nice way to cross promote their program brands. DC Cupcakes is a TLC show that follows the two sisters who own Georgetown Cupcakes.)
Do you follow any TLC wedding programs on Twitter or Facebook? If so, what kind of content do you like to see on the page? What other social media should TLC be using to promote their wedding shows?