With 11.8 million viewers, A&E’s Duck Dynasty season premiere on August 14 became the #1 non-fiction series telecast in cable history.
The show follows a family of duck-call millionaires and was also ranked #1 on Twitter the same night by SocialGuide, which measures social involvement in programs in real time.
This didn’t just happen organically; it happened because of an intensive A&E Twitter campaign to get fans talking about the show. The A&E team used a wide variety of apps and virtual games on Twitter to keep the audience talking, right up to the hour-long premiere.
The team also used the #RedneckRenewal hashtag to promote images in the runup to the show, giving fans and celebrities a “redneck makeover”:
It was something that other celebrities themselves adopted:
My son Jay is cracking me up. Just sent me this with caption Dr. Duck Dynasty. pic.twitter.com/vTynqquFVN— Dr. Phil (@DrPhil) August 15, 2013
This was combined with photos taken just for fans on Twitter:
As a result, the conversation was dominated by the hashtags originating from the show and from official accounts.
According to SocialGuide, the episode was ahead of last season’s April finale with nearly three times as many Tweets: 325,631 compared to 120,201. (Before last night’s episode, that was the show which broke record ratings for A&E.)
The big night for Duck Dynasty comes on the heels of a recent study by Nielsen, which we reported here, that found “statistical evidence of a two-way causal influence between broadcast TV tune-in for a program and the Twitter conversation around that program.”
Do you know of more innovative uses of Twitter? Let us know at email@example.com.