Best Use of Twitter in a Campaign← Go back to category
Game of Thrones - Twitter
Team members: Jim Marsh - Social Marketing Manager
About this entry
HBO identified that Twitter was hotbed of discussion for fans awaiting the TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” and immediately focused on establishing a rapport with these aficionados. This was part of a multi-phased social media strategy designed to win over existing fans and gain new ones by breaking the stereotypes of typical fantasy fare and reinforcing HBO’s unique take on the genre. @Gameofthrones was a powerful marketing tactic that engaged fans and fanned the flames of conversation leading up to and beyond the series premiere on HBO. The profile is meant to be extremely personal while appealing to a broad base of users. Followers came to relate to profile more as a friend than a promotional machine.
The case for why this entry should win a Shorty
The official Twitter profile @gameofthrones was launched in tandem with the official production blog and opened a two-way dialogue between the fans and HBO’s marketing department. The Twitter profile explicitly states, “Run by Jim: marketing manager and fan of A Song of Ice and Fire,” assuring fans they weren’t just speaking to a faceless entity, but to a fellow fan who knew the series as well as they did. As production neared the airdate, links to the official production blog were tweeted, leading followers to the high-quality behind-the-scenes videos that illustrated HBO’s respect for the source material.
Twitter proved to be an extremely important tool to help shape the conversation about the burgeoning series, drive traffic and awareness, and give the public a feeling that their voice was being heard. @Gameofthroneselevated notable fan responses, giving them recognition amongst the community and occasionally rewarded them with posters, T-Shirts and key chains. @GameofThrones was also one of the main pipelines of information for fans to participate in The Maester’s Path, a game that required fans to take clues and information from the virtual world to complete a series of challenges related to the first season in the physical world. The Twitter profile extended this offline marketing initiative by tweeting weekly clues about challenges and information about the time and locations of the food truck stunts. Fans paid close attention the Twitter feed and congregated at these events to get a taste of the cuisine of Westeros, crafted by renowned chef Tom Colicchio.
Jumping on this virtual-to-physical world connection at Wondercon 2011, HBO gave fans the opportunity to sit on an exact replica of the Iron Throne itself to have their pictures taken. @Gameofthrones provided live Twitter coverage of the event, enticing thousands of fans to come sit on the Iron Throne. Celebrity fan and star of “The Office,” Rainn Wilson even took notice of these tweets at the event and had his picture taken on the Iron Throne too.
The premiere of Game of Thrones found a strong audience of 2.2M viewers, and the series was immediately renewed for a second season.