When Full Sail Entertainment Business grad Emily Murray read a glowing post on Twitter’s blog about Fox TV’s creative use of social media to attract fans to its fall lineup – particularly for new show Sleepy Hollow – she was understandably proud.
That’s because Emily is a Social Media Producer at Fox Broadcasting, and is responsible for the social media strategy for Sleepy Hollow, along with several other Fox TV shows. With the fall TV premiere season upon us, competition for viewers is increasingly taking place in the social sphere – on Twitter, Facebook, and the entertainment-focused GetGlue – and Emily’s job is to help start as much social conversation as possible about Fox’s shows.
The blog post noted that Sleepy Hollow was an early breakout hit on Twitter, collecting the most tweets per minute of any of the shows in Fox’s fall lineup. It attributed the show’s early success to a “comprehensive Twitter strategy, which included tweeting a preview of the show, engaging with fans and giving them a glimpse behind the scenes with the cast.”
Emily has worked for Fox Broadcasting for more than two years and described some of the strategies that make her social media team such a success. To begin with, each Social Media Producer is assigned a lineup of shows that somewhat matches their personalities and interests. In addition to Sleepy Hollow, Emily’s shows include The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bones, and New Girl.
“Each show has [its] different language,” says Emily. “We have to be sure to tailor our voice to the show.”
For instance, says Emily, the voice of New Girl is young and fun. “They like a lot of the edgier one-liners of the show. For New Girl, it’s fun to post a lot of quotes from the show, a lot of funny moments,” says Emily. “We have to be a fan of the show too.”
The team plans well in advance, watching the shows before they air and working with designers, public relations specialists, and the video production team to create assets Fox uses to engage their audiences, both on television and online.
“A lot of our initiatives are very collaborative. I think social media might be the only department where you get to work with every other department in the company,” says Emily.
On Twitter and Facebook, Emily stands ready with custom images, .gifs, or videos to post when the show is on the air.
“We try to tweet along with the show, and we try to engage fans – we’ll try and spark a conversation with them,” says Emily. “We also try to feed out those images of those iconic moments, and the quotes as well, to see if we can get some traction on that.”
As a Social Media Producer for Fox, Emily also works with TV critics, attends entertainment events, and gets to go on set and meet the actors of the shows.
“I do Comic-Con every year,” says Emily. “We get to live-tweet the panel, and I’m the press room person. I get to go on the red carpet and take videos for Instagram or Vine.”
What might be surprising to some people is that Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in Entertainment Business and an associate’s degree in Recording Arts.
After moving to Los Angeles after graduation, she initially worked with a major record label, and eventually moved to an advertising agency. During that time, Emily gained extensive experience in marketing, public relations, project management, and even budgeting; in many cases, she was doing jobs that nobody else wanted to do, such as handling social media – which she soon realized she really enjoyed.
A little more than two years ago, Emily was contacted by a former colleague, who wanted to recommend her for the Social Media Producer job at Fox Broadcasting.
“I hadn’t worked with that person in three years,” says Emily. “I think that even if I wasn’t in love with what I wasn’t doing at the time, I think that person saw that I was putting all of myself into the work.”
Emily continues that work ethic today, sometimes putting in 10- to 12-hour days during the peak primetime season. The summer is often a little slower, but there’s not really a “downtime,” she says.
“We just want to keep people interested so we’ll try to find some new crazy way to keep [viewers] interested when we’re on air,” says Emily. “We’re so passionate about what we do. Fox is the leader with social media and it’s amazing to be a part of that team.”