The long anticipated S4 premiere of Game of Thrones was both the most watched and the most social HBO episode to date.
It aired to 6.6M viewers, taking home the title for most watched HBO episode from the Sopranos 2007 finale.
On Social Media, it ranked 3rd on Nielsen’s Twitter Ratings list for the week. The hash tag #GameOfThrones and the direct account mentions alone brought in over 455K interactions on April 6th, and that number does not even include #TwoSwords, #GameOfThronesSeason4 and #TakeTheThrone.
There is no doubt that the social strategy for HBO production shows as a whole set the standards for social TV. Just the bridge campaign between Season3 and Season4 of GoT kept me on edge for almost a year.
But why do we bother (myself included) pulling out our tablets and typing up how we feel about the show while watching? Some (yes, myself still included), go that extra mile and look up the hash tag to see how others are reacting to the episode as it is airing.
Second screen viewing as it best.
It is, in part, because the social team behind Game of Thrones have clever posts like this:
The other, more crucial part to the show’s social media success is this: Game of Thrones is just that good.
Just like the viewership would not have been as high had the show been poorly executed with bad acting and – let’s face it – a lot less downtown action, no social media heights would have been reached either.
Despite the lack of a fact based research proving the link between viewership and mentions, these type of examples do strongly suggest that good TV = good social engagement.
It still starts with traditional media.