Winner: PBS – Masterpiece Downton Abbey, Season 2 Digital Fan Engagement
To maintain attention around Downton Abbey among existing Masterpiece fans between broadcast of Downton Abbey, seasons one and two, introduce new audiences to the show for the season two premiere and engage them throughout the seven-week season broadcast, PBS used multiple media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Get Glue to engage fans and drive discussion.
The PBS team, which included Kevin Dando, Olivia Wong, Jessie Yuhaniak and Lara Davidson, recruited Vanity Fair magazine, fashion bloggers Tom & Lorenzo, author/Jane Austen blogger Laurel Ann Nattress and comedian Patton Oswalt as official moderators in Twitter chats during broadcasts each Sunday. For Facebook, the first 10 minutes of season two premiered on the PBS and Masterpiece Facebook pages December 26, 2011. PBS crowd sourced questions from its followers to ask cast members at panel discussions and interviews, ad also deployed targeted broadcast-based Facebook ads. Using the entertainment social network GetGlue, PBS and Masterpiece collaborated to create exclusive Downton stickers that were unlocked when users checked in during broadcast.
Overall social media activity around the premiere broadcast episode of Downton Abbey, as measured by buzz-monitoring services like SocialGuide, said that Downton Abbey was the “#3 most social broadcast show” on January 8, 2012m generating nearly 25,000 comments of all kinds across the Internet. Specifically, the #downtonpbs hashtag averaged 20,000-30,000 mentions per Sunday night broadcast and 6,000-7,000 mentions during the week between broadcasts—the highest Twitter buzz ever for PBS.
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