They may not be television’s highest-rated shows, but the following shows have managed to deliver some serious numbers when it comes to fan appreciation on Facebook, Twitter and other forms on online engagement:
Pretty Little Liars
Although Pretty Little Liars is one of the top-rated shows on ABC Family Channel (airing in Canada on MuchMusic), this really only translates to a total audience of about 4 million, a pretty small number by network standards. Yet the show made history after this year’s “mid-season finale” generated the most social-media activity of any TV show ever. According to SocialGuide, the episode generated more than 1.9 million tweets, and peaked at an astonishing 36,000 tweets per minute. Compare that to the show’s average viewership and you have television’s most actively engaged social-media audience.
When it comes to Facebook fans, TV’s undisputed champion is Family Guy, which has more than 48 million likes, the highest of any TV show. In fact, the show’s Facebook page is essentially a one-stop information depository about the show, featuring details and photos from upcoming episodes, games and quizzes, and classic clips from the “video vault.”
The Big Bang Theory
The Vampire Diaries
How I Met Your Mother
These three shows, regardless of whether they’re airing new episodes or reruns, are consistently among the top 10 most-tweeted-about TV series. According to GetGlue.com, The Big Bang Theory tops the list, with Diaries and HIMYM following close behind. No big mystery here: BBT targets an audience of tech-savvy nerds, Vampire Diaries appeals to the Twitter-loving young female demo that keeps going to Twilight movies, and How I Met Your Mother has seen its social media stock rise ever since its reruns began airing in syndication on America-wide superstation WGN, which launched major Twitter and Facebook campaigns promoting the show.
Despite a mountain of buzz and critical acclaim, HBO’s Girls isn’t exactly what you’d call a ratings blockbuster (its debut episode attracted a mere 824,000 viewers). Nevertheless, the show appeals to a highly targeted demographic of young women (18-24) who tend to express themselves via social media. The day the show premiered on HBO, more than 200,000 people vented their opinions about the show on Twitter, many using the #mistakesgirlsmake hashtag that was specially created by the HBO marketing department.
According to the website Socialbakers.com, SpongeBob SquarePants is the TV show with the highest rate of Facebook engagement, of 0.114 per cent. This is likely due to the page’s interactive elements, encouraging kids to vote in polls, play games and make comments.
When it comes to mastering social media, no TV channel has done it was well as MTV. In fact, earlier this year MTV made social media history when all the Facebook pages for their various shows hit a combined 100 million “likes” (Jersey Shore alone has more than 18 million). As MTV president Stephen Friedman pointed out in an interview, this indicates that viewers still want their MTV — but not necessarily just from a TV screen. “[Our viewers] just want to be entertained; it’s less important about where.”