Glee + Social Media =

Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a little show on Fox called Glee. For those of you who have been living under a rock (or are above 35) I”ll give you a little summary. Glee is a show about a group of high schoolers who are all a part of their school’s glee, or theatre, club. Every episode takes on some high school perception, style of music, or is a tribute to some artist. Throughout the show, the individuals or the club as a whole will break out into song — a sort of TV Musical.

Well, not only is the show a success but it’s marketing has been too. With a target audience of those younger adults, glee has successfully leveraged the power of social media to interact with its dedicated fan base (now called “Gleeks” or “Gleekers”). So just how did they do it?

A) They knew their audience and went for it.

Gleeks are typically in their teens and early twenties, a prime target to engage via social media particularly facebook and itunes. On the Glee Fan Page, fans could not only interact with each other but could have cast members (such as the notorious Sue Sylvester) post updates and teasers about the show.

B) They created a spokesperson and made her the symbol

Sue Sylvester, a comedic figure who also happens to be the antagonist, was chosen to be the voice of the social media campaign. This is important because fans knew who they were engaging with and could relate to her personality. It carried the theme well from TV to social media and made the character seem “real”.

C) They used multimedia to appeal to fans

The Glee campaign was heavy on its use of multimedia. They released teaser videos, created interviews with the cast, and made a whole music video that was unlike anything the cast had done before. Something to make Gleeks who thought they knew what was coming say ‘What was that?’ This got people talking and discussing what could possibly be coming next and stirred a great deal of word of mouth marketing.

D) They released new songs shortly after they aired

Glee Tweets

While this won’t work for most businesses, Glee is able to sell more than just their TV show. They can go above that and sell their songs as well. These songs are available to download almost immediately after they are aired leading to impulse purchases and a “got to get them all” type of attitude. if you haven’t heard the latest glee rendition of a song — what have you been doing?

E) They made it fun

Glee is all about having fun and they delivered spot on. Through their facebook page and twitter account you could always look forward to a quick laugh, bright colors, and some good music. They always had some fresh and fun content to browse and something to make you anxiously await Tuesday night.

F) They involved their audience

Not only did they post, but they got feedback from their audience. Glee ran a contest to determine who would become a guest star on an episode of glee. Tens of thousands of fans submitted videos of themselves which can then be used by Fox to advertise anymore and even further spread the viral effect of the show. They also posted polls for fans to participate in and asked questions (some ridiculous) encouraging fan response.

G) They kept it consistent

Whether you were getting an update from their facebook feed or their twitter account, they kept the look and feel the same. This helped customers identify with that central character (Sue) who spread across all their platforms as the lead spokesperson and showed consistency in effort and style through the campaign.

Though Glee is certainly different from your ordinary small business, many of these principles remain the same. Before you start a social media campaign, decide who your target audience is. From there you’ll choose the social media sites that best serve that market. Then let your audience know who they’re talking to. Nobody wants to chat with a  computer — let them know who you are in an open and fun way. Use multimedia tools to enhance your campaign, even if they’re not the best. And finally, have fun with the people you engage. Don’t give up, and make sure that you involve the people you interact with consistently. Make them brand loyalists and encourage the syndication of your content onto others.

If you follow Glee’s lead, there just might be a standing ovation for all your hard work.


An example of a teaser video

Written by

David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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