Mashable recently posted an article by Samir Balwani about 10 of the smartest uses of social media for big brands. In this list were some well-known names and campaigns. In that article, we examine Comcast who offers a reliable source for customer service through Twitter. IPhone owners cringed at BlendTec’s YouTube viral video of their company’s CEO demolishing the coveted iPhone in a blender. And who could forget Burger King’s infamous “Sacrifice” application which prompted Facebook users to trade in 10 virtual friendships for one delectable whopper. Yum.
Balwani certainly highlighted some tasty endeavors in the social media world, but there is one brand’s social media uses in which I am constantly in awe: Bravo Television. In recent years, this media company has incorporated more and more viewer interaction into every show they produce, both on television and online. But what has made them such an intangible force in the social media world?
The real secret behind their success is their extensive collection of various cast members’ blogs. This unparalleled anthology of written work by over 50 current and former Bravo stars has created a database of information for both Bravo fanatics and non-viewers who are seeking information about a certain topic.
The Bravo blogs give the media company an opportunity to increase their own brand’s visibility. For instance, Kenley Collins of Project Runway’s Season 5 critiqued weekly runway challenges on fellow Bravo television series The Fashion Show. NYC Real Housewife and natural food chef Bethenny Frankel provided commentary on the dishes from Top Chef Season 4. Ally Zarin, daughter of Real Housewife Jill Zarin, gave her take on the NYC Prep season ending high school dinner party.
Writing these blogs from the perspective of Bravo stars about other Bravo stars expands the reach of each television show. It creates a spider web effect that swallows up one audience into another, developing a new audience of viewers who are now knowledgeable about more than one show.
This collection of blogs also positions Bravo as an expert in numerous aspects of pop culture. It gives them a foundation off which to build their brand and increase their online following.
In his blog, Brian Malarky of Top Chef Season 3 talks about balancing tasty food and healthy eating. Trace, Jeff’s design intern on Flipping Out, gives his take on the latest fashion disasters in the industry. On a more personal level, Tamra Barney of The Real Housewives of OC offers her first-hand advice on parenting and teen pregnancy.
With their blogs, Bravo has created a unique environment where viewers can stay up to speed on what’s going on in their favorite TV series, as well as gain valuable knowledge of pop culture trends from reliable, familiar sources.
This brilliant, one-of-a-kind business model to promote their brand, their shows, and their characters all at once leaves me with just one word in response… bravo.