Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Success of Thanksgiving Live! Driven by Use of Social Media

This year, the Food Network decided to host a special show, Thanksgiving Live!, to celebrate the holiday feast. The two-hour premier was hosted by the renowned Alton Brown on November 20th from 12 PM to 2 PM, and it featured many of the popular Food Network personalities including Ted Allen, Sunny Anderson, Anne Burrell, Melissa d’Arabian, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli and Rachael Ray. The idea behind the show was that it would facilitate a question and answer session to prepare viewers for the holiday cooking; viewers would ask questions and the Food Network stars would answer. Most interesting, however, was how the show depended upon forms of social media to solicit questions from its viewers.

Thanksgiving Live! relied primarily on FoodNetwork.com to advertise and seek out questions for the show. A blog post on the homepage read, “From solutions to dry turkey and lumpy gravy to Food Network stars demonstrating helpful tips and delicious recipes, experts will be on hand to address perennial problems.” But that was not all. The show also took advantage of YouTube and posted an informative promotion video (click the link below).


Finally, the show’s producers used their FoodNetwork.com blog post to explain the process of how to ask a question to be answered on Thanksgiving Live! It specified that people could use a variety of social media applications. They could comment with their questions on the advertising blog post, Facebook, Twitter or email specified contact information to thanksgivinglive@foodnetwork.com so that Thanksgiving Live! producers could contact them to set up a Skype video conference or phone call. Ultimately, social media drove the show.

Shown below is a link to the blog for Thanksgiving Live!


The fact that there are 3,103 posts to the blog confirms the success of the show’s marketing and solicitation of questions through an online forum. After watching the show myself, I can validate that the Skype broadcasts, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and phone calls were all equally successful.

This Thanksgiving Live! phenomenon hints at the future of social media’s limitless capabilities and applications.