This post was first published on the Banyan Branch blog
Since the pilot episode first aired on May 19, 2009, FOX’s dramedy phenomenon Glee has united the show’s fans, better known as Gleeks. Something about reliving the drama of high school, set to remakes of classic songs and the latest hits, seems to strike a chord with thousands of viewers. Gleeks have been known to host viewing parties and even take to the streets for a Glee flash mob. But what’s a Gleek to do if she’s watching alone from the comfort of her own couch? Well, if you’re a fan of Glee, you’re never alone!
Thanks to social media, people are watching like they never have before. As the popularity for social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook) and location-based services (like Foursquare) continues to increase, television studios are trying to capitalize on this trend to make the TV watching experience more social. According to LostRemote, Fox is the most engaging network based on interaction and mentions on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. And one of the most engaged shows in the Fox family is Glee. In fact, according to TV Guide, Glee is the fourth most social show this season.
Last night was the season finale of Glee, and of course fans wanted to talk about what they thought would happen, which song they liked best, and most importantly, who would win Nationals! These Gleeks took to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites in record numbers! Yesterday alone, there were 29,498 mentions of Glee online.
The peak of the conversation was at 6pm PT, just as the episode was starting on the East coast and a few hours before the West coast airing. Glee and Fox encouraged interaction during the show with a few special promotions.
Viewers of Glee can see the hashtag “#glee” on the screen during the episode so they know exactly how to follow the conversation. For the season finale, there were 8,789 tweets with the #glee hashtag in just one day. But that is only a fraction of the 19,006 tweets that mentioned Glee that didn’t use the official hashtag.
Another example of a hashtag used last night was #BrittanyOnGlee. Women’s Health Magazine did a promotion with Heather Morris where she shared commentary during the show from @womenshealthmag with the #BrittanyOnGlee hashtag. Between original tweets and retweets, there were 679 tweets in the #BrittanyOnGlee conversation.
Location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla are great for checking in around town, but now there are applications so you can check-in to and chat about your favorite TV shows. Glee encourages fans to engage on sites, like GetGlue, by offering special rewards like the New York episode sticker. Thanks to this promotion and the posting on Facebook encouraging people to check-in, Glee was ranked the 2nd most popular show this week.
On Twitter, Facebook, GetGlue and beyond, Gleeks and other avid TV show fans are connecting all over the world thanks to social media. Now that Glee’s out for summer, will other networks follow in Fox’s footsteps and beef up their social tie-ins?