As a subscription television channel, HBO's social media strategy isn't just about building buzz -- subscribers already know about the shows and have access to plenty of marketing material on the tube. Instead, the pay channel uses social media to leverage its subscribers' passions, which in turn helps imbue HBO's content with an aura that is somehow bigger and different than mere TV.
Take "Game of Thrones" for example. While HBO actively and effectively uses Twitter and Facebook, the brand isn't afraid to engage on platforms that aren't as well known for their marketing prowess. An HBO-created Tumblr page serves as a showcase for some of the best Thrones fan art on web. HBO also used Miso to enrich the content itself, giving Thrones fans a side-by-side second screen experience that allows them to delve as deep as they wish into the show's complex world.
In April, HBO premiered the second season of "Game of Thrones" to 3.9 million viewers -- a series high. But perhaps the best measure of HBO's social media success is that the second season premiere had so many check-ins on Get Glue that HBO fans actually crashed the site temporarily. "To put the 50,000 check-ins into context, the highly anticipated return of 'Mad Men'...brought in 22,000 check-ins," Mashable reported. "Meanwhile, the season two premiere of 'The Walking Dead' had 43,000, and the 2011 season premiere of 'True Blood' had 38,000 check-ins."