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Facebook Video Is a Threat to TV? Not According to ABC’s Hit Comedies

NBCUNIVERSAL LOGOS -- Pictured: "NBC" Stacked Logo on White: for Digital Use -- (Photo by: NBC)

As Facebook video takes center stage among social marketers, the narrative seems to be that social video is taking the place of traditional media. For the ABC‘s lineup of hit comedies, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Over the last few weeks, as season finales aired, ABC has announced the renewed seasons for six of their seven sitcoms (Modern Family, Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish, The Middle, The Goldbergs, and Last Man Standing) and Facebook video has been a big part of the strategy for each one of those shows, accounting for 33% of all posts by the pages of these six shows.

33% of recent posts by ABC sitcom pages are videos.

In fact, the ABC sitcoms have been posting visual content almost exclusively. Over the last week, all  but two of the 30  posts by these pages was either a photo or a video (the other two were links). This has helped contribute to a well-distributed presence on the Facebook that few networks have been able to achieve.

ABC Sitcoms on Facebook
ABC’s seven sitcom pages have almost 12 million fans combined.

How Does this stack up against other broadcast network sitcoms? Lets take a look.

Network Sitcoms on Facebook

With a few long-running hits ending this year (like CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, or NBC’s Parks and Recreation), ABC’s six returning shows are poised to have the lions share of fans and engagement going into the fall season.

Current and recently cancelled sitcoms from the big four broadcast networks.

While Modern Family is clearly the elephant in ABC’s room, with 8 million page fans, The Goldbergs, Black-ish, The Middle, and Fresh off the Boat have seen solid engagement and growing fan bases. Last Man Standing didn’t post during the week of 5/15/2015, but has a dedicated fan base that helped renew the Friday night show for the fifth season in a row.

Facebook Video That Works for TV

ABC’s sitcoms use Facebook video as a tool to drive viewers by promoting and hyping weekly episodes.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.04.50 AM

Other than ABC, the only other network to post videos during the week of 5/15/2015 was FOX. FOX’s sitcoms were also the most active across the board, seeing more than 20 posts each from Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man on Earth.

Lessons From ABC’s Sitcoms

ABC’s six renewed sitcoms take an integrated approach to digital marketing. Facebook isn’t a standalone network. The shows are promoted across the web, traditional media, and on TV. ABC builds brand awareness across every channel and promotes the broadcast episode prior to the air date. After the show airs, they switch to repackaging and promoting digital versions on their site.

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.19.47 AM

Promote > Release > Repackage

This is a framework that marketers can use as a part of any digital strategy, regardless of industry or product. ABC has this figured out, and has six returning sitcoms to prove it.

For more on what top brands do to move the needle on Facebook, download our full 2015 Facebook Industry Report below.

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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