This post first appeared on LinkedIn and was written by Alex Winston – You can find the original post here.
So it’s not quite as catchy as the famous ‘Winter is Coming’ line, but there’s something that feels wrong about suggesting the onset of winter in the middle of spring.
The new season of HBO’s hit show, Game of Thrones, will finally air on the 24th of April. After we’ve been teased by, well, teasers for the last few months. The unexpected twist in the season 5 finale shocked fans left us all wanting more. This itch will finally be scratched this weekend and we’re sure we aren’t the only ones that can’t wait.
In the unlikely event that you don’t watch Game of Thrones then you probably aren’t aware of just how popular it really is. Each of the episodes averages around 20.2 million viewers worldwide in over 173 different countries. It’s got a huge following and it was the most discussed show on Facebook and Twitter last year.
But how did a TV adaptation of a series of books starting in 1996 become the most popular show of all time? Most of their success can be attributed to their social media marketing strategy. A strategy so good that even Tyrion would be impressed. We’ve analysed it to bring you some key points that you can apply to your own social strategies. This will allow you to behead your competition and rule your domain.
Conquer Social Media
The Game of Thrones social team are excellent at creating a buzz around the realm of Westeros. After studying their previous marketing campaigns we’ve found four key points behind their success.
Know How to Keep Your Subjects Happy
It’s clear that the Game of Thrones social media team knows their audience. The dream of every business on social media is to get a post to go viral, meaning that is circulated rapidly and widely on the Internet. The Game of Thrones team know what their audience are likely to share and they play around this. They regularly post memes, quotes and trivia from the show which people are likely to show to their friends.
OkDork did a study on viral content and found that content that caused either awe or laughter are most likely to be shared. A quick trip to the Game of Thrones twitter account shows their most popular content to be either amusing or awe-inspiring quotes from the show.
Cross the Sea to the Real World
Social Media doesn’t have to be confined to the virtual world. If you bring your social campaigns into the real world then you are giving yourself a huge advantage over the competition.
If you do something in the real world then people are going to discuss it using social media. Just like the Starks, your campaign won’t finish where it started. The idea that print advertising is dead is quite honestly wrong. A smart marketing strategy will link print and virtual together to create a super campaign that gets traction in both the real and virtual worlds. The Game of Thrones team did this back in 2013 when they printed the shadow of a dragon over fake news stories in the New York Times.
This quickly took over the news and became viral on Social Media. It’s an excellent example of how your business can benefit from involving print into your online marketing strategies.
Visually Show your Power
The Game of Thrones social media channels are full of visual content. Their YouTube channel is full of teasers, trailers, interviews and videos from behind the scenes. They regularly post images to their Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter channels as well as creating and uploading short videos to Vine.
Game of Thrones, being a TV show, thrives on visual content. It’s clear that their marketing team are well aware of the success that visual content can bring. In 2014 researchers found coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. But that’s not all, in addition to this, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without.
If you aren’t currently involving relevant images in your social media strategy then it’s time to make the change. Visual content is only going to get more important in the future.
Interact with Your Subjects
No good ruler can isolate themselves from the public and keep their head on their shoulders for long. The Game of Thrones social media team use interactive content to engage with their audience and bring the world of Westeros to life.
They use 360° videos and the latest technology to put their viewers into the fictional world of Westeros. They post regular facts and trivia regarding the show and they interact with the comments from viewers. People expect that a business is supposed to be social on social media (the clue is in the name) and the GoT team are good at this.
Marketing on social media is extremely important for your business. In general, around 20% of the time your target market spend online is going to be spent on social media. Social media played a huge role in the promotion of Game of Thrones and ignoring it for your business is as foolish as trusting anyone in the fictional world of Westeros.