A television show based on graphic novels (comic books) on a cable television station that many people had never heard of becomes an international sensation.

While the concept of a Zombie Apocalypse would seem to appeal to a very small and specific niche, The Walking Dead has captured the attention of the world, making it not only one of the most popular shows on television, but also one of the most popular topics on Social Media Sites everywhere! So while I will admit to being a rampant fan of the genre, it is the Social Media aspects that have put me in awe of the creative talent that has made The Walking Dead a juggernaut, not only on the airwaves, but in cyberspace.

From the beginning the people behind The Walking Dead seem to have done everything right. While many television shows today embrace some sort of social media presence, for example providing a Twitter Hashtag or Facebook page, The Walking Dead has taken this a step further. Hashtags are used quite creatively. The Hashtags that that count down to each new episode give fans the chance to chat with each other about their level of excitement, and to exchange ideas on how the plot might unfold, while reminding them to watch! Also, using a DVR to skip through commercials is not an option, as the tweets posted in real time are a very important part of the experience for many viewers. (These posts become “spoilers” for anyone who watches a delayed version.) Unfortunately for sponsors, the commercials are often the time for Facebook updates and further tweets about the action.

The second screen experience on the AMC Website, as well as the Facebook Page, give the audience further options for interaction, as they are encouraged to add comments, and ask and answer questions. They can also learn interesting facts about how a scene was made and other trivia from the producers, as they watch the action unfold.

One of the most creative aspects of the show is the “after show” The Talking Dead. Celebrity guests and cast members come together. Comments and questions on social media sites are often discussed by the guests during this show. (It is also fun to listen to the British accents of the actors who speak with Southern drawls on the show!)

The show has over 21 million followers on the official Facebook Page and over 2 million followers on Twitter. It typically scores in the Top 5 Television shows for the week.

Without such a robust social media strategy, I wonder how successful this show would be.

However, what business owners should be wondering is “How successful could I be if I had an innovative, carefully crafted Social Media Marketing Strategy in place?”