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What “Better Call Saul” Can Teach Us About Marketing on Twitter

What “Better Call Saul” Can Teach Us About Marketing on Twitter

AMC’s Better Call Saul, a spin-off of the network’s legendary Breaking Bad series, wrapped up its first season on April 6.  Along the way, the series built a healthy buzz on Twitter, gaining more than 14,000 followers between 2/1/15 and 4/6/15, reaching over 80,000 unique people, and driving 240,880 total engagements.

What “Better Call Saul” Can Teach Us About Marketing on Twitter

While the peak period for @BetterCallSaul‘s engagement occurred during the premiere episode, engagement dipped but remained steady and respectable week-over-week during the season’s run.

Better Call Saul Engagement
This chart from the Simply Measured Twitter Account Report shows how @BetterCallSaul received peak engagement during the show’s first week.

I found three major (and perhaps counterintuitive) nuggets of wisdom that all social marketers should be able to use by looking at Better Call Saul‘s entire season span on Twitter. Here’s what you should know.

Activity Isn’t Only Happening During the Show

To build quick momentum for the show, Better Call Saul premiered on Sunday, February 8, then aired another episode on Monday, February 9. From that point on, all episodes aired on Mondays.

Better Call Saul Engagement
This chart from the Simply Measured Twitter Account Report shows how @BetterCallSaul received engagement based on day and time.

What’s interesting, though, is that only 39.6% of @BetterCallSaul mentions came on Mondays–when all subsequent Better Call Saul episodes aired. This means that the majority of mentions did not occur on the new episode airing days.

This tells us that people were tweeting about the show even on days when new episodes weren’t released, combatting the commonly held belief that most social users who interact with TV shows are usually doing so during premieres or limited-time TV events and speaking to the on-demand system by which most folks watch TV these days.

Better Call Saul Follower Excitement
This is a great example of how Twitter users interacted with the @BetterCallSaul handle outside of days when new episodes were being aired.

This time spread in engagement is also impacted by the vast amount of Tweets sent out during the course of the first season by the @BetterCallSaul social team — 5,535 in not even three months.

That’s about 79 Tweets per day, and every day of the week got a little love, which meant there was more of an opportunity for followers to interact with @BetterCallSaul daily. @BetterCallSaul’s drove engagement throughout the week by responding frequently to mentions of the handle with text acknowledgement and retweeting:

And even responding to mentions of #CallSaul on Twitter with mini-videos.

Better Call Saul Mini Video

This was an effective way of connecting with already-pumped fans of Better Call Saul and getting them to spread the word on their beloved show, on social and beyond.

Photos Are Still King on Twitter

Today’s common wisdom seems to be, the richer the content, the richer the engagement. On Facebook, videos win every time, but on Twitter, photos are still king, as the engagement stats for @BetterCallSaul prove again.

Better Call Saul Brand Tweets by Content
This chart from the Simply Measured Twitter Account Report for @BetterCallSaul breaks down the TV show’s most commonly sent Tweet types and engagement levels for those Tweets.

As you can see here, most of @BetterCallSaul’s in-Twitter engagement was derived from photos. The brand sent out 594 Tweets which included photos and received 126 engagements per Tweet on this content type. That’s 11,568% higher average engagement per Tweet than videos, which were @BetterCallSaul’s most frequently sent content type.

Let’s go a step deeper. Which photos were most successful for @BetterCallSaul, and why? This was @BetterCallSaul’s most engaging post, period. It received 3,879 Retweets, and 176 @replies — 4,054 in total engagement and 156 times @BetterCallSaul’s engagement average during this time period.

This Tweet did so superbly because it used an iconic image from the Breaking Bad series, featured a sense of urgency (TONIGHT), and, if I had to guess, received a little ad boost as the premiere neared.

@BetterCallSaul’s success with photos shows us that video content on social very much depends on channel context, and that you should be conducting your own brand-specific analysis to know what’s working.

High Organic Mentions Indicate a Healthy Audience

If your brand is racking up mentions without being prompted, you’re on the road to success. This is the kind of response @BetterCallSaul received. Most of the show’s engagement came from mentions — 86.8K during the report period, to be exact.

Better Call Saul Engagement Breakdown
This chart from the Simply Measured Twitter Account Report shows the breakdown of @BetterCallSaul’s engagement between 2/1/15 – 4/6/15.

This demonstrates that users are feeling a connection to the show that doesn’t stem strictly from brand efforts, which is a promising sign for longevity on social — and quick Twitter buzz-building when next season rolls around.

What Your Brand Can Learn

If you take away anything from this post, remember these three things:

1. You don’t know when the conversation is happening. You may think you do — after all, your event is happening during a specific time period, and that’s when people are paying the most attention, right? Wrong. Make sure to look at the data and find out when people are most buzzy around your brand.

2. The success of content is brand-specific. Sure, video is all the rage, but is it working for your brand? Which channels do your followers react best to video content on?

3. Take a pulse check with organic mentions. By discovering the level of mentions your brand is receiving when it’s not initiating the conversation, you’ll be able to build better content in the future around what your followers are organically discussing.

More Audience Insight

Want to know more about how users interact with brands on Twitter? The free report below gives a snapshot of several other important aspects of the Twitter user-base and helps answer some important questions.

  • Why do  users follow specific brands?
  • Which users are following brands, and what are their interests?
  • How often do users who follow brands Tweet?
  • Why is audience analysis so important?

It also uses the fashion brands (H&M, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton) as a case study for why competitive audience analysis can be beneficial for social marketers.

Click the button below to download the full report, and be sure to download our Audience Analysis Guide for tips about analyzing your own audience.

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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