3 Lessons Your Social Strategy Can Borrow From Bravo

by | Oct 10, 2012

Hi, my name is Amy and I’m a Bravo TV addict.

My love affair with Bravo’s television line up began years ago.

I can name each and every Real Housewife and I’ve started incorporating Andy Cohen’s signature phrase “Mazel” into everyday speech.

But aside from the viewing pleasure Bravo provides for me, I’ve also realized why I enjoy and – dare I say – admire the channel so much.

They are leading the way when it comes to social media and fan involvement.

Members of the Bravo team were even asked to speak at the SXSW interactive conference about the network’s new transmedia mission and how they’ve developed a two-way relationship between the network and its fans.

Bravo has done a fantastic job when it comes to developing a relationship between brands and consumers on social media, and other businesses would be wise to adapt some of their savvy strategies into their own social media plan. Curious what you could possibly learn from a network that makes its money off grown women fighting like teenagers? Read on.

1. Find a Way to Make it Interactive

Bravo is making a big name for itself when it comes to live interaction with fans and this evident to anyone who tunes into “Watch What Happens Live,” their live late night talk show hosted by Andy Cohen, the network’s executive vice president of development and talent.

Each night, Cohen invites various Bravolebrities (Bravo celebrities), as well as other talk show hosts and actors to join his show. Fans can tweet in questions for the guests or ask questions on the show’s Facebook page.

Aside from the on-air attention fans receive during the interactive interviews, their social media team is retweeting, favoriting, and replying to tweets received directly to Bravo’s Twitter account or found by using the #WWHL hashtag.

Bravo also features social editions of some of their most popular shows, pulling comments from both fans and Bravolebrities to feature during a social-media fueled replay of the episode. Bravo invites fans to post on Facebook, Google+, or tweet during the show for a chance to see their commentary appear during one of these episode replays. By doing this, fans aren’t just reacting to the show, but their opinions are becoming intertwined with events while they unfold.

So how can your business benefit from this concept? Find a way to break those existing barriers and make communication as two sided as possible. The first place to try this is using your existing social media platforms.

You can also use a blog on your website to post about upcoming events or product releases and to gain feedback or answer questions. Don’t just make it about you; make it about fans and customers as well. Are your customers leaving rave reviews on your Facebook page? Ask them if they wouldn’t mind if you used their rave reviews within product descriptions on your website.

2. Create a Comprehensive Strategy for Your Brand and its Products

Bravo has done a fantastic job of not only marketing the network itself, but also promoting each of its shows. From unique hashtags to individual Facebook pages, Bravo has given each of its programs into its own distinct social media presence. Each show’s Facebook page features unique content and provides fans with photos, blogs, video clips, and more media specific to the show.

 

Some of Bravo’s most popular programs, The Real Housewives of New York and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, have anywhere from 470,000 to over 1 million fans each (respectively) on their unique Facebook pages while the network itself has 254,000 fans. As a comparison, the Washington Post has 440,000 fans on Facebook.

Bravo set out to promote both their shows and the network itself. What kind of products or services does your company offer? Could any of them stand alone? While this type of strategy won’t work for every company, if your blog or one of your products is the real attention grabber for your business, consider creating a social media platform just for that product/service.

Do you have a signature drink or dessert on your restaurant’s menu that gains a lot of attention? Create profiles for it. You can keep fans updated on anything related to that specific product or service and use your brand’s main platform as a way to promote more general company news.

3. Give People A Unique Online Experience

For the first time in its nine season history, the Bravo series Top Chef introduced Last Chance Kitchen where eliminated contestants could compete in an online-only show to win a chance back into the competition.

At the end of Last Chance Kitchen, the remaining chef was brought into the finale to the surprise of the remaining Top Chef contestants. While I don’t have access to Bravo’s Google Analytics, based on the popularity on their other shows, I’d imagine this drew significant traffic to their website.

So how can your business utilize a strategy like this? Create unique content that will only be available on your website so customers have an incentive to spend time online. For most businesses, your blog can help with this goal.

Use your blog as a platform not only for information about your business and its products and services, but also as a way to keep your customers updated on news in your industry. For example, if you sell scooters, use your blog not only as a way to promote your products and accessories, but also to keep customers aware of any changes that might take place regarding helmet laws or protective regulations.

You can also offer specials or promotions available through your website and promote the specials using social media. Feature a deals or coupons page on your site that people can visit frequently to score some savings.

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While Bravo certainly has many companies beat when it comes to a captive, even fanatical, audience, there’s no reason why businesses of any size can’t benefit from some of their social media tactics.

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