Behind @USA_Network’s 4x engagement bump

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

What do you do when you want to reply personally to your fans — tens of thousands of them? Through the SocialSamba platform, @USA_Network employed a new model of direct engagement to communicate with viewers of the show @Suits_USA.

Through SocialSamba, USA helped 93,000 fans experience the drama of the show directly on Twitter. They offered exclusive content on Twitter, creating new storylines extending from the broadcast, and used SocialSamba to script the conversations between the show’s Twitter accounts and fans.

The result was a 4x increase in Tweet volume for the seven hours before each episode aired, increasing buzz and reminding fans to tune in. Read on to find out how it worked.

Seven responsive accounts
Starting March 6 for all six episodes of the latest season, @USA_Network unveiled six Twitter accounts that were scripted to talk back to fans at any time. One was their standard marketing account (@Suits_USA), and the other five were accounts created for the most popular characters on the show (@HarveyS_Suits, @MikeR_Suits, @DonnaP_Suits, @RachelZ_Suits and @LouisL_Suits).

The conversations between the show accounts and the fans were scripted — written once by the producers and marketers of the show, and then automatically played back for each fan. The scripts were branching conversations that felt a little like a “choose your own adventure” story (because the fan determined where to go next despite all the possible paths being written up front). The @SocialSamba platform then played out the script, using its reactive storytelling engine and natural language processor to listen to individual responses and decide how each conversation should unfold.

Each fan who engaged with @Suits_USA received an automated reply Tweet from a “Suits” account with a question about what was going to happen in the next episode. 37% responded to their Tweet, which initiated their conversation with the show.

The individual then entered into a personalized conversation with the character, expanding on the televised storyline and teasing the next episode.

Massive fan engagement

  • 93,000 fans opted in to a conversation with at least one of the seven accounts
  • 203,000 Tweets and Retweets were sent
  • 3.1 million impressions were generated

Behind @USA_Network’s 4x engagement bump

Not only did the automated conversations significantly increase the gross engagement before each episode, but it also made the fans better ambassadors for the show.

During the fifth week of the campaign, USA Network used the SocialSamba platform to perform a randomized experiment: half the fans who engaged with the accounts got a scripted reply, and half did not get any reply. Then the behaviors of the two groups were monitored.

Behind @USA_Network’s 4x engagement bump

Fans who participated in the automated experience tweeted about the show 39% more often, were 19% more positive in their Tweets and mentioned the show to their friends 30% more frequently.

Responding to your fans in real time offers a clear boost in engagement rates. By offering customized responses, people feel a personal connection to the show and become more active viewers and evangelists. SocialSamba offers tools that let you scale your Twitter response strategy by developing scripts in response to certain prompts. You can learn more about their offerings by visiting

Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Write to [email protected].