Three Examples Of Stellar Social Media Optimization

The networks have seemingly embraced online video full steam--but just porting TV shows to the Web isn't enough to generate the kinds of traffic, buzz and viewer loyalty needed to help offset the high production costs. Brian Brown illustrates how ABC, CBS and NBC have each used social media to create strong online communities around "Ugly Betty," the "CSI "franchise, and "The Office," respectively.

On the "Ugly Betty" site, viewers can watch full episodes, check out character bios and interact via message boards, as well as create their own, personalized "scrapblog," complete with show content like video clips and photos.

For all three of the "CSI " shows, CBS allows fans to collaborate and share knowledge via The Official CSI: Wiki--complete with intricate backstories and insight into the character's motivations, as well as a CSI Handbook that provides detailed info on the tools, tactics and procedures that investigators use when collecting evidence.

Fans of "The Office" can turn to the show's site for content like motivational posters and a video widget, as well as blogs of individual characters like "Creed Thoughts." NBC even created a Web site for the ficitional Dunder Mifflin company, complete with staff bios and merchandise--and viewers can even apply for jobs with the company and compete against other branch offices in weekly challenges.

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