Adam T. Sutton

Social Marketing Is Not ‘Lost’ on ABC

June 2nd, 2010

I am in awe of the amount of online buzz generated by ABC’s recently completed television series, Lost. On its Facebook fan page alone, wall posts about the finale each captured 1,200 to 19,000 comments to date.

In fact, Lost generated the most social media engagement of any television show from February through April, the New York Times reports.

How did ABC’s team use Facebook to build such a gargantuan amount of chatter? Here are some tactics I can see from Lost’s fan page:

1. Build anticipation

As far back as three weeks before the show’s May 23 finale, the team posted reminders and teasers about the event. We’ve seen a similar tactic used in Twitter to tease a sales event.

During the final week, ABC posted at least one mention per day. It posted four times on the final day, capturing tens-of-thousands of comments.

2. Provide relevant content

Throughout the countdown, the team sent fans links to Lost-related content, such as:
o A Facebook event page
o A musical tribute
o Video clips

Providing relevant, high-quality content is important to keeping fans engaged. Otherwise they may decide to interact elsewhere.

3. Promote other channels

ABC set up a chat service on its website for fans to discuss the finale in real time as it aired, and posted about it on Lost’s Facebook page. The team also posted a link to a free archive on its website of previously aired episodes and asked fans to “revisit all their favorite moments.”

I am not naive enough to believe these tactics alone were enough to generate the level of buzz the team realized. Lost is a widely popular and well-promoted national television show — it’s going to generate some buzz. However, I do believe these tactics helped ABC bring more attention from its Facebook fans to Lost’s finale.

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

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