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Promote Your Favorite Shows: Ratings & Social Media Guide

So you want to support the show? Make sure it gets past one season and show those execs that this is exactly the kind of storytelling we want on our TVs? Well here’s a few ways to go about it, even if you don’t live in the U.S.A. Updated: 09/27/2016.

How to give Great Ratings

TV Execs mostly rely on show ratings to determine whether or now the show is successful and/or worth the money they put into it (this isn’t *always* the case but a good rule of thumb). The problem is, only people who are part of the Nielsen Family (aka have a special Nielsen box) are counted for when it comes to ratings. So unless you are a Nielsen household or know someone who is, you watching it live (or on the DVR) will have no effect on the ratings. [source]

Wait, I am or I know someone who is part of the Nielsen Family! Great! Then do your best to watch the show live or watch your DVR (w/o fast-forwarding through the commercials, I know) within the first three days of it airing! If it’s a friend of yours, have an Almost Human party/get together!

And if I’m not? Then look below for other ways to help out. As social media buzz is creating more and more of an impact, and Nielsen is finally updating their ratings system to include it, this is the best way to help.

Watching the Show

Most networks have been pretty good in offering the most recent eps on the official show site, and that is the best alternative. Unfortunately, it seems more and more official sites are requiring you to log in via your cable company to verify your TV subscription. Hulu is another option to watch a current season of a show, but that is now a pay site, so if you can afford it, it is a good way to circumvent the cable verification. If you’re trying to save/promote a show that’s on it’s second+ season, then definitely check out Netflix to binge watch the previous seasons as a way to show support and to offer proof that it is very much in demand.

Other legal ways, though also requiring payment, would be Amazon, or iTunes. Outside the US? Proxies sometimes do work, and while they don’t count, there’s of course always direct downloading/torrenting, which is good to spread how great the show is. It’s unknown if onDemand has any impact if you’re not a Nielsen Viewer, but I’m sure they at the very least keep track on who watches via that way.

Check In!

Like with any media. It’s all about the BUZZ. A simple way to create buzz without having to worry about talking about it, and get something free too with it, is to check in via Telfie (formerly TvTags & GetGlue). It is the most widely used, and recognized by the higher ups. Plus, you can get fantastic stickers! Well digitally at least if you don’t want to pay for physical ones. There’s also ways to interact if you link your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr (all optional) or simply respond to comments within the site. But by all means, if you use tvguide.com to check in or other similar sites, do so! The more the merrier!

Like It!

If you’re the type to be active not just on tumblr, but on facebook, go ahead and like your show’s FB page. Interact, ask questions, respond to their posts, show that people are interested. Even if you only have an FB for the sake of it, nothing hurts to simply like the page (and like most, you can turn off all notifications).

Talk About It!

Not just online, but offline whenever you can. Talk your favorite shows up. As for other online ways: Find and follow their official twitter, and/or use the show’s #hashtag. Find out if there’s specific hashtags for fave characters, especially if that actor is on twitter already. If your show does have a tumblr account, DEFINITELY talk about it here on tumblr! There will always be a small but growing fandom willing to discuss and squee about your favorite actors in the show, characters, or to theorize about will happen next. Also, voting in polls or talking about the show at the popular tv blog sites like TVLine.Com or TV.com will show how widespread the fans are.

As we said earlier, Nielsen is now looking into counting social media buzz for their ratings. At the moment, only Twitter seems to count and as long as you’re not a locked account or overusing hashtags, you tweeting about the show will help. As The Geekiary states,

You’ll want to tag your unique posts about the topic with “Show Title” (with or without the #hashtag) within a 7 hour window of the show airing. The three hours preceding the show, the hour of the show, and the three hours afterwards will all be taken into account. This is not a time to spam with nothing but a hashtagged title of your favorite show, however.

For more information, please check out their article linked in their name above. Remember, simply having a tweet full of hashtags will count only as spam. Of course tweeting the stars or the show’s main account will always be helpful to let them know how great their fanbase already is.

If it’s the middle of a season, or the ratings seem to be in a slump and you’re worried about a cancellation, emailing the network will have more of an impact than just tweeting. Most network sites will have ways you can contact them. For example on Fox’s  AskFOX page:

If you have a question that is not listed above or you simply want to comment on your favorite shows – we would love to hear from you.  Write to us at ASKFOX

So if you have the time, send them an email about how much you love their newest show, that you watch it and want more, and if you’re not in the US or in a country that currently (or very soon will) air it, then request for it! Tell them you’d love for it to air in your country ASAP and for more than one season cause you’ve heard so many good things about the show and want to support it!

Anything Else?

Besides the above, and of course making fandom what it is by creating fanworks (be it meta, fan art, fanfic, fanvids, etc), that’s all we can do at the moment. When other avenues show up, this will be updated. Just be an awesome, inviting fandom and spread the word about YOUR FAVE SHOW! 😀

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