We’ve moved from the silver screen to the small screen…to the even smaller screen? According to eMarketer, almost 70% of Internet users digitally stream video, movies, and TV. And the Video Advertising Bureau reported that the number of households to cut cable and use only over-the-top devices has tripled in the last five years.
That means people aren’t just using Internet-connected devices as their second screens; they’re also using them as their primary screens for consuming entertainment. That’s why it’s so important for entertainment brands to engage viewers and fans on social media – so they can reach them where they’re already watching their favorite content and looking to engage with brands and other viewers.
Let’s take a look at four entertainment entities excelling at social care.
1. The Handmaid’s Tale
Hulu’s series The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, is back for a second season and more disturbing than ever. Set in a world where women are treated as property and only valued for their ability to bear children, the show tackles issues like gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and religious opression. While some of the themes mirror the current political climate in America, many viewers find it too brutal to watch.
That’s where the social care team comes in. Unlike teams for other shows, this team has the unique challenge of not just answering viewers’ questions, but also comforting them and encouraging them to keep watching.
As evidenced by this Tweet, the social team even uses phrases from the show like “Sister,” “Praise be,” “Under his eye,” and “Welcome to the resistance.”
Sister, we hear you. Let’s talk. DM us.
— The Handmaid’s Tale (@HandmaidsOnHulu) May 9, 2018
Since viewers often tweet about sensitive topics, the social team knows to move the conversation into a private setting like Direct Messages, where they can continue talking and providing care.
The Twitter account also uses custom GIFs to help keep fans in the world of the show, making the jump from Hulu to social media seamless and engaging.
— The Handmaid’s Tale (@HandmaidsOnHulu) May 7, 2018
BuzzFeed’s Tasty quickly became one of the biggest video publishers on social media, serving up DIY food recipe videos for a digital audience. With over 95 million followers on Facebook, it draws such a big audience that Walmart has even launched a line of cookware with the brand.
While the videos are largely published on Facebook and Instagram, Tasty also uses Twitter to provide customer care around the clock. Just look at this exchange with a pastry student who wanted to win Tasty’s baking kit:
Hey Em, we’re so proud of you regardless! DM us your address and we’ll send you the baking kit
— Tasty (@tasty) May 8, 2018
Tasty provided her with a fun social challenge to win the kit and – even when she didn’t complete the challenge – kindly followed up and sent her the kit as a graduation gift.
3. This Is Us
Over on Instagram, NBC’s This Is Us takes care of fans by helping them make their voices heard. Every week, they run the #FanArtFriday challenge, inviting viewers to submit their own art inspired by the show for a chance to be featured on the official Instagram account.
The social team doesn’t just post these submissions and call it a day, either. They follow up with questions and comments to help keep the conversation going.
This care also extends to the show’s Facebook page, where they keep fans engaged by responding to their heartfelt reactions to posts like this one, which asked for fans to share their favorite season 2 memory:
The This Is Us social team proves that customer care isn’t just about troubleshooting and referring people to a call center for more information. It’s also about nurturing a loyal fanbase and providing a welcoming place where they can share their ideas and connect with other viewers.
4. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video also uses Facebook to post videos that fans can watch and then answer questions – not just about those videos but also about its service in general. This presents a lesson for all marketers: Customers want to reach you on their preferred channels. Meaning, if they’re watching your content on Facebook, they expect to be able to ask a question and receive a response right on that platform; they may not want to leave their screen, pick up a phone, and wait on hold for an hour.
That’s why Amazon Prime Video’s service on Facebook is so exemplary. Just look at this interaction with a sports fan inquiring about a documentary:
The Amazon Prime Video team does a few key things right here:
- They continue to engage in the conversation to help resolve the issue. They don’t just respond once then ditch the customer.
- The care representatives personalize their responses by providing their names. You can see that the customer appreciates this, as he takes the opportunity to address them by their names each time.
- They respond quickly, which the customer also acknowledges.
Even when the care representative apologizes for not being clear, the customer says, “Don’t apologize. This is excellent customer service.” There are few better testimonials than that.
Tuning into Viewers’ Needs
It’s always been important for entertainment brands to engage viewers on social media. But it’s even more important now that those viewers are watching content on the same devices where they access their favorite social channels.
As these brands show, social care comes in many forms. It can involve answering questions about a series, troubleshooting issues in the comments section of a Facebook post, offering fun giveaways, or posting fan art for millions to see. Entertainment brands just have to figure out what works best for their target audiences, and deliver the care those audiences deserve.