It was easy to see the impact of social media within a few minutes of watching the newly re-launched series of Big Brother (BB) by Channel Nine. My Facebook and Twitter feed was littered with comments of praise or hatred fueled by the introduction of each new housemate. No longer did we need to wait for conversations by the cooler at work the next day, it was all happening live.
So how is social media helping the big brother relaunch?
1. Live feedback. Tweets using the #bbau hashtag are brought up onscreen during the show giving viewers a chance to see opinions on each of the housemates live. Producers are then able to see what fans like and what they need to work on or getting negative feedback.
2. Raising exposure. Social media is free, getting fans to engage in the BB brand and posting to their followers helps to widen the shows exposure. The BB Facebook page has more than 420,000 Likes, with weekly Superfan Competitions promoting engagement and raising the profile of each episode even whilst off air, they even remind fans when the show is about to start.
3. Adding value. Tweets from fans are often funny or scathing about a particular housemate, proving an additional layer of entertainment for viewers.
So will social media help bring back the ratings to the formerly flailing reality show? Last week BB was in the top ten in ratings each night it aired, will social media help save it from network eviction?