Now, along with the cast members from upcoming programs walking across the screen and important news bulletins across the bottom, hashtags are beginning to gain screen time. Shows are using hashtags to encourage participation and audience engagement and to keep the conversation going long past the credits role. Reality television has made the hashtag the newest part of the genre.
The Lifetime show Dance Moms ran a Twitter contest for the “Top Mom”. Each of the moms was assigned a hashtag (like #DanceMomMelissa) where a person could avoid logging into the website for voting purposes by just sending out a Tweet with their favorite mom listed.
Season 9 of Project Runway hosted a hashtag contest to choose a favorite designer and award the winning designed $10,000 cash. They also hosted a live Twitter chat with designers and guests following a designated hashtag #projectrunway.
It’s not just reality TV that excels in use of hashtags. Late Night host Jimmy Fallon hosts a game called #LateNight Hashtags where he will give his viewers a hashtag and read the best Tweets on air.
The most fun I have had recently following a television program’s hashtag was for the SyFy Channel’s B-movie masterpiece Piranhaconda. In this case the conversations and 140 character hilarity (including Tweets from the Piranhaconda itself) was more entertaining than watching the actual movie!
As a self-professed “Twitter Girl” I love having this interactive method of getting involved with my favorite programs and the other people who enjoy them as well.
What is your favorite example of a TV show using a hashtag?
The show Project Runway takes the use of social & hashtags to the extreme with the “Real-Time Runway” tool. Check it out here