Exercise 1: SyFy Network
I decided to write about the cable television network SyFy because I’ve been following the network on Twitter for quite sometime, and I have always been impressed with the manner in which they relate to their fans and followers using that medium.
When the network decided to make the branding switch from SciFi to SyFy in 2009, the blogosphere exploded with critiques and complaints. The network soldiered on, however, and their fan base is stronger than ever – something I believe has come about from SyFy’s use of social media.
SyFy uses three methods of social media – Twitter, Facebook, and discussion boards. Fans use all three to talk about the company. A Google Blog Search of SyFy also shows that many people post about SyFy in their blogs, primarily to discuss new shows and favorite characters but also to lament the cancellation of fan favorites (like Eureka).
Syfy uses these methods of social media to provide information, but to the best of my knowledge only uses Twitter to converse with fans.
Craig Engler, a senior executive at SyFy, is running the Twitter account and is very active at not only providing information about the network, but also responding to questions (he even hosts a weekly Q&A via Twitter), retweeting other folks, and linking to information SyFy fans would find interesting, even if it isn’t directly related to the network. A sampling of SyFy Tweets from Sept 1 looks like this:
I believe that the use of all of these social media tools have helped the network build a solid fan base, but I think that the effective use of Twitter has really set the network apart as being accessible, friendly, and genuinely caring what the fans thing.