Archer’s 4th season premieres on FX on January 17th, but fans going through withdrawal have had something special to keep them occupied while waiting for the new episodes – FX set up some very entertaining social media accounts for three of the show’s main characters. In honor of the upcoming new season, we thought we’d take a closer look at this fantastic social campaign.
ISIS Head of HR Pam Poovey graces both Twitter and Facebook with her presence; Secret Agent Sterling Archer, whose Facebook page is the main page for the show, also has his own Twitter account; and the world’s most unsettling Head of Applied Research, Dr. Algernop Krieger is on Facebook and Twitter.
What’s notable about Archer’s social media is the amount of work put into these accounts. They all interact with each other in the voices of the characters. Some updates include new creative content that has been created explicitly for Twitter and Facebook; others include stills from past episodes of the show.
It’s not just snippets of text; it’s Pam taking a selfie in a Three Wolf Moon-inspired shirt.
The best part? This isn’t a social media campaign run by a faceless agency. Pam Poovey’s Twitter account is run by none other than the actress who voices her, Amber Nash, and voice talent Lucky Yates runs Krieger’s accounts. This makes the banter between those accounts so much more enjoyable; the actors get to have fun inhabiting their characters and taking them out for verbal runs at each other between episodes.
Tweets are often also automatically posted to Facebook. At least one fan seems to prefer to see different content on the separate platforms (danger zone!).
Sometimes posts will show up on Twitter that aren’t on Facebook, however:
This is probably related to the specific nature of the content. According to the Archer Live! Tour, the actors have been asked to tone it down a little to better fit within the norms of the social platforms.
The accounts post similar content to both Twitter and Facebook, but now try to fit the content to the appropriate channel. For example, the Archer Facebook page and the Archer Twitter account both responded to a tweet from Lucky Yates as Krieger, but the content was formatted differently for each site. On Twitter:
And the Facebook version:
This is an improved use of both platforms, since early tweets from Pam that also went to Facebook would simply cut off on a longer message, with a link to her profile to read the rest. Adapting the content to fit each specific platform is a smarter way to manage a transmedia campaign across multiple channels. Fans don’t necessarily want to switch from one network to another to read the full conversation.
While the accounts don’t respond to fans who reply to them, that hasn’t hurt the engagement at all. Fans use the #ArcherFX hashtag along with the characters and the channel’s official Twitter account, and more than a million people were reached through thousands of tweets during first two weeks of January leading up to the season premiere. Activity spiked on Saturday, January 12th, the night of the last Archer Live! Tour date. This final show of the four-city tour took place at Irving Plaza in New York City, and you can read a great recap of it on Uproxx, if you’re interested.
This sort of integrated social TV campaign is a great example of what many shows have started to do both between and during seasons. It’s an effective way to engage and reward loyal fans of the show by sharing behind-the-scenes content, while simultaneously drawing in new fans who might be intrigued by what they see and want to tune in to the new season.
Giving the voice actors the freedom to run social accounts for the characters they’ve been portraying for years is also ingenious. It feels more authentic for fans, who can tell when something is written in Pam or Krieger’s voice, which leads to higher engagement rates and increased enthusiasm for the upcoming season.
FX knows their audience well, and is doing great work in social media by participating in the conversation about their show – in the characters’ voices – where their fans are having that conversation. And it’s completely awesome. Definitely not babytown frolics.
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