A town is trapped under an invisible solid dome, cut off from the world — which is watching and tweeting about the whole thing.
That is the premise of the new CBS serial Under the Dome, penned by horror writer Stephen King. The show launched with almost its entire cast live-tweeting, and the @UndertheDomeCBS account posting meme photos (images with text on top), show recaps, and key lines.
When it premiered on June 24, Under the Dome received 30,842 tweets, making it easily the most-social show of the night, according to SocialGuide. In fact, it delivered 53% of all Tweets for CBS programs for the entire day. There was an increase of 146.2% in total tweets about CBS shows that night, compared to the average for Mondays over the previous month. Under the Dome also had more Tweets per unique user than any other CBS show that day. #underthedome was also the channel’s top hashtag at the show’s launch — present in 31.9% of all Tweets about CBS content.
In fact, Under the Dome put CBS into the SocialGuide top 10 most-social primetime programs that day across all US TV, amongst major sporting events such as the Stanley Cup Finals and the established series Love & Hip Hop on VH1.
The show tweeted previews and images to get viewers interested beforehand, and ran a live Twitter chat:
This Tweet was the most retweeted of the day — showcasing both the @UnderTheDomeCBS account and the photo memes with a line about each episode.
Referring to a key scene in the opening episode, this Tweet was the most mentioned of the night:
Not sayin any cows were harmed on set that day but damn the steaks sure tasted fresh at lunch @UnderTheDomeCBS— dean norris ( @deanjnorris) June 25, 2013
The involvement of the cast is a key element of CBS’ Twitter strategy — with their Tweets driving engagement in the show. For the first episode, the most retweeted accounts were those of actors Colin Ford (@colinfordactor), Britt Robertson (@RealBritt_Rob) and Dean Norris (@deanjnorris). The actors saw their follower numbers increase — @colinfordactor, for instance gained 4,700 new followers over the first three episodes, a rise of 7% to over 76,000. And @RealBritt_Rob gained 4% to reach nearly 94,000.
By starting out with a strong Twitter presence, Under the Dome shows great promise for continued engagement among its growing fan base. For its second episode, it was again ranked CBS’ most social show of the night by Social Guide, collecting 40% of all tweets about CBS shows. By the third episode, on July 8, it was still CBS’ most social show of the night and Tweets for the network as a whole were still up on the average for Monday nights over what they had been the previous month. The television ratings also reflect the show’s popularity, as Under the Dome was the most-watched show of the night with 10.6 million total viewers, and been the top show all three nights that it aired this summer.