It’s not news that we’re all watching TV whilst surfing the net, tapping away on our smartphones and engaging others in discussion around our favourite programmes (just log on to Twitter during X-Factor and Strictly!). What I’d like to applaud here is how broadcasters are taking this social engagement and building communities of loyal fans beyond the TV schedule.
Sunday night saw the last ever episode of the BBC’s thrilling MI5 drama Spooks. After nine years and 10 series it was time for the sliding doors of Section D to close for a final time. I knew I would probably be a little tearful and mourn that I’ll no longer swoon over the incredibly suave terrorist-fighting male cast, nor dream of emulating the leading ladies; however, what I absolutely loved was the show’s commitment to social engagement.
As an avid Tweeter, I was super-excited to find out during Series 9 that you could actually follow the characters on Twitter. The thing that they have got so right with these feeds is that they are active all year round (unlike @bbcLuther who only tweets when Luther is airing). Not only are they active but also attentive. They care about their followers and will take the time to respond to individual tweets.
First up, can you imagine my surprise (and delight) when @Dimitri_MI5 tweeted back to a message I sent about being excited about the final series starting…
I certainly *grinned* on receiving that back, but this was topped off by a response from the boss man himself @Harry_Pearce when I tweeted after the final episode…
I’ve honestly never felt more social media love than that and I’m sure anyone who has received a response or RT will be feeling the same way!
It’s great to see other dramas are taking a lead from Spooks, with ITV’s Downton Abbey creating profiles for all cast members – @LadyMaryCrawley is winning the followers race with over 1,700 at the time of writing. So when you’re watching on Sunday night, you know where I’ll be… wrapped up on the sofa with Blackberry in hand, tweeting away.
By Caroline Ayling on October 27th, 2011