Okay. So. I had someone message me about Twitter trends. Basically it goes back to touch on Good Idea/Bad Idea, excitement vs. annoyance, Effective vs. Non-Effective, Vocal vs. Silent.
I guess it all depends on what you think you’re getting out of it, but here’s the way I look at this:
Twitter trends will never shape the universe. They’re not going to bring world peace or convince anybody of anything. No one is suddenly going to sit up and go Oh! Look! Olicity trended on twitter. I’ve seen the light! Let’s vote them President! :P
Twitter trends are, however, an effective marketing tool. It gets your brand out there, it gets your name out there, it gets people excited & talking or curious enough to check out *what* all these people are talking about. I mean, think about it, how many times have you been on Twitter, seen an odd hashtag and clicked it to see what it was about? I’ve done it. Sometimes it’s made me check out a new product, sometimes it’s made me go look up a show or movie on Youtube, sometimes I’ve ended up on Wikipedia, and that is the power and purpose of a trend.
There’s a reason why Nielson ratings system is now incorporating tweets about tv shows into its (live) ratings system. Nielson’s research has shown that tweeting about a show increases viewership, which increases ratings. “Live TV Ratings significantly impacted program-related Tweets for 48 percent of the episodes. At the same time, the volume of program-related Tweets resulted in “statistically significant changes” for Live TV Ratings with 29 percent of the episodes.” [source] (and yes everybody’s still arguing about whether or not that’s true blah blah blah but still…)
Any entertainment, particularly TV who has to battle for every human eyeball it possibly can in this day and age, wants attention. They want free publicity. They’d kill to have a “street team” (a term used in marketing to describe a group of people who ‘hit the streets’ promoting an event or a product) out there pimping their product, firing up people’s excitement about it, and convincing them to give it a try.
To me? That’s what a Twitter Trend is for. That’s why I take part. I look at every tweet I do as advertisement for Arrow and for Oliver/Felicity. I’m looking to keep the show on the air as long as I can and pull as many people in as I can so that Arrow & Oliver/Felicity do better and better and better…
That means I focus on what I love about the show (the action, adventure, danger, stunts, humor, hot guy, awesome girl, etc) and about my Oliver/Felicity love. I keep it positive. I keep it fun. I keep it focused. I make whatever the weekly trend slogan is work for me in a fun way.
There’s thousands of shows and companies out there that would kill to have that kind of marketability, dedication, passion, and free press. There’s companies out there that pay big bucks to get twitter trends for their products going. CW Network/Arrow are getting it for free!
For the CW, a very small network that gets maybe 4 or 5 million viewers for their “hit” shows vs. mainstream channels who can see upwards of 16-18 million viewers for a show like Big Bang Theory, does anyone honestly believe they’d be opposed to Twitter Trends or tweets that could potentially grow their audience? Does anybody think the CW Network or Arrow executives/writers/actors dislike free publicity or viewers encouraging other viewers to tune in? Yeah, me neither.
Even if the weekly twitter trend manages to get 10% of the people who see that trending slogan to click on a link or check out the official show website or tune in that night to see what the fuss is about… that’s 10% more potential audience than they had the week before. And if that 10% likes what they see and tell their friends/family, who tell their friends/family, who tell someone else…. that’s a lot of people talking about Arrow and/or Olicity. That’s a lot of new people who think, “Huh, let me check this out.” And that = ratings. Ratings = money for the network because ratings = advertising rates.
The idea that somehow it’s “better” for viewers to be silent has always stumped me. Unless you’re being an abusive idiot to the actors & Arrow executives (bashing, flaming, swearing, threatening, etc), speaking up and out in positive ways (even if it’s constructive criticism like Hey, I’m missing that core trio of Oliver/Felicity/Diggle, what are we getting back to that?) is never, ever a bad thing. Visible and vocal is what gets attention. It’s what gets the actors on talk shows and on magazine covers.
Letting the actors know you love their characters and a couple they’re part of, letting the show know you enjoy it, letting the network know you’re having fun watching & what you enjoy are all good things. How else are they supposed to know? It’s feedback and advertising all in one.
The quickest way to tell Arrow (and media outlets) that you don't like something is Silence. Silence instantly says: This doesn't even interest me enough to talk about it. If someone is out there tweeting all day long about how much they hate something? That's still talk and talk is buzz. It's just as “good” as someone who tweets all day how much they love something. Buzz is good, period.
Silence, however, means apathy, boredom, and disinterest, and that is when a network gets nervous and starts eyeballing change because something isn’t working because nobody is reacting.
So no. I don’t think any fan of any show or couple should be silent. Silent is suicide.
No, I don’t think Twitter Trends do any harm (see disclaimer above about abuse & negativity).
No, I don’t think any network or any show or any actor wants their fans silent. They’d much rather have a dedicated street team out there talking up their product.
No, I don’t think Twitter trends do any harm. I believe exactly the opposite. Anybody who witnessed SyFy’s Sharknado phenomenon due to Twitter knows what I’m talking about.     If you don’t know about Sharknado then this sums it up perfectly:
“Sharknado,” of course, became the instant phenomenon that it was largely because of all the tweeting that went on during its first telecast, especially by such television luminaries and geek faves as Damon Lindelof and Will Wheaton. This was — for better or worse — one of the first clear examples of Twitter having a profound influence on television programming. A limited — and unprecedented — theatrical release followed. [x]
And funny that this report just came out: Why TV Should Look to Twitter For Inspiration. Interesting reading for anybody curious.
So that’s my opinion of Twitter and of Twitter Trends and why I think it’s important that I take part.