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Social Media for Radio the #ChrisHardwick Way


What is this show @midnight that has exploded in ratings and social media buzz since its debut last October?

And why should radio care?

You should care because @midnight and its creator/host Chris Hardwick have cracked the code on how to use Twitter – and there’s much you can learn from their strategy.

Writes The Wrap:

Hardwick’s “@midnight” on Comedy Central – a half-hour comedy/talk/game show hybrid that, as its name suggests, deals with all things internet and social media – is arguably the best series currently on television when it comes to harnessing social media buzz. The show proves that social media awareness is an increasingly critical indicator of a show’s popularity. And that instead of it being, ‘Oh let’s add a social media element on top of something else,’ as an appendage or an afterthought, it’s an intrinsic part of the show.

Host Chris Hardwick adds:

We’re in the demographic of the stuff we’re making, We’re not up, aiming down at you and trying to fish money out of your pockets. People understand that shows need ratings and products need to get sold, and there’s this model of advertising and sponsorship that keeps everything afloat, but they still don’t have any patience for condescension, being inauthentic, or just barking at them, ‘Buy my thing! Buy my thing!

Hardwick and his comedian guests deliberately use Twitter as the platform for their humor such that fans are invited to join in the fun – and join in they do – with more than 100,000 weekly social mentions; that’s more than Jimmy Fallon, more than Jimmy Kimmel, more than Conan, you name it.

One of their tactics: #HashtagWars, which pits the three comedian contestants against each other to come up with as many ridiculous examples of a theme as they can.

The Wrap tells the rest:

But while the comedians only have 60 seconds, viewers at home have all night to tweet-in their suggestions and one-up each other for coveted POINTS! from the @midnight Twitter account. Viewers can also get a chance see their tweet air on the next episode. What results is a massive hashtag conversation that hits the top 10 nationwide trends on Twitter — every single night.

Quite different from the approach more typical of TV and radio broadcasters: To use their social media presence, as Hardwick says, “solely as a promotional tool.”

So what is social media to your brand?

Solely a promotional tool?

Or something that invites your audience to play along?

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