USA Network is moving a step further into its social media efforts, by integrating an already popular feature – the Character Chatter platform – with Facebook. This new social media feature premiered with a live chat featuring Callie Thorne, star of Necessary Roughness, during that show’s season finale Wednesday night.
The Character Chatter site was launched last year as a way to bring together fans and talent via social media. Jesse Redniss, VP of digital at USA, told Broadcasting & Cable that “”It provides great access from fan to fan, as well as fan to talent and producer and writers.” Based on the USA Network social media stats below, integrating Character Chatter onto Facebook makes perfect sense:
- actor Chris Gorham of USA’s Covert Affairs has 50,000 Twitter followers
- a chat with Bruce Campbell – the first Character Chatter initiative – had 35,000 people logging in to chat and get their comments posted on the TV screen during the Burn Notice movie
- USA’s shows combined have about 15 million fans on Facebook
Why not give that huge fan base on Facebook a way to interact with producers, actors, and other fans without leaving the social platform? Building the integration of USA’s Character Chatter and Facebook has gone smoothly, according to Redniss, as the social network has been “very encouraging with other content providers to build platforms like this on top of Facebook.”
The first Character Chatter available on Facebook was promoted during 30-second promos for the Wednesday’s Necessary Roughness finale, and also through messages on USA’s current social media platforms. Other shows that will feature the Facebook integration include the fall launch episodes of Psych, Burn Notice, and Covert Affairs.
In order to participate in Character Chatter via Facebook, fans must first “like” USA Network or individual shows on Facebook. They can then interact on the platform in four different ways:
- My Friends – allows fans to discover which of their friends like a particular show and chat with them, either during or between episodes, or invite them to private chats
- Chat with Fans – users can interact with the global fan base to discuss their favorite show
- Curated Feed – users can interact with stars and writers throughout the season and follow individual chats
- All – users can see all of the show comments 24/7, including what’s trending and what comments are being made while the show is on-air
Redniss said USA is increasing marketing spending on social media “because it does provide us with a great user base and a great avenue to speak directly to our fans,” and it allows “a lot more one to one connection” with the network’s fan base.
How will this social TV campaign measure up against other channels (both broadcast and cable)? Check out our previous post about CBS using Twitter hashtags and live chats during fall season premieres for a comparison.