Here’s a true story: last night, at 10:30 pm, I settled in to watch one of my favorite shows on television, “The League”, on FX. I was on Twitter at the same time, because I’ve seemingly become incapable of simply watching a show without multitasking. After the first segment of the show, I looked at the worldwide trends and tweeted, “5 Jersey Shore trending topics worldwide. Zero @theleaguefx topics. Shame on you, world.” I figured that would be the end of it, and I went back to watching the episode, which was centered around Ruxin (Nick Kroll)’s attempt to get his son into a private Jewish preschool by building a Sukkah for the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot.
But a few minutes later, @theleaguefx, the official Twitter home for the show, re-tweeted my comment to their followers, and my Twitter page was suddenly loaded with people with ideas for trending topics involving the show, many of which aren’t appropriate to repeat. After about an hour of people sending their ideas, @theleaguefx re-tweeted and commented on my post two more times, adding their own ideas for topics. A little while later, they started following my account and sent me a direct message asking for my address so that they could “send me some swag,” in their words. Score! My post saw more activity than ever before. No matter what “The League” team sends me, it’s a great gesture. I went to sleep a happy camper.
There’s a lesson to be learned here for all companies using Twitter to maintain a public image. Last month, I wrote about Amazon’s desperate plea to get Twitter followers when they offered $5 of Amazon Video credit to anyone who followed Amazon Video on Twitter and sent out a tweet saying they received the $5. The campaign felt needy and desperate and didn’t make anyone like Amazon any more than they did beforehand. People used Amazon for the credits they were handing out, and that was about it, like a kid in elementary school that nobody liked using his birthday party to gain popularity by having the biggest bouncy castle and best goodie bags. He might get a good turnout on his big day, but after the castle was bounced upon and giant pixy stix were eaten, he wasn’t going to make any long-lasting friends.
Instead of acting like that kid without any friends, “The League” came off like an approachable cool kid that may not be friends with everybody in the school (the show’s ratings still have room for growth), but has the respect of the student body. Nobody from @theleaguefx came begging to me for a mention or re-tweet. But once I approached them by mentioning them in my tweet, they were welcoming and interactive, and made me feel like a part of their community. They came off looking great without any hints of desperation. That should be the goal for all companies: to turn a relationship that once felt unapproachable (like the one between a TV viewer and the show he’s watching) into a communal bond. “The League” embraced that concept last night, and, thanks to Twitter, turned someone who already liked the show into a true fan that will shill for it whenever possible. So, on that note: Watch “The League”. New episodes are on Thursdays at 10:30 pm. Only on FX. You won’t regret it.