Nearly a decade ago, HBO’s hit series, “Sex and the City,” ruled Sunday nights as Carrie Bradshaw sat pensively in front of her laptop and “couldn’t help but wonder” about the array of afflictions that could befall the single girl in Manhattan. Typing her weekly column for “The New York Star,” she narrated in voiceover, posing questions to her readers (and us viewers), in a stream of consciousness that magically managed to always resolve itself within an episode or two.
Fast forward a few years, and it’s easy to imagine Bradshaw as a popular blogger. She’s probably not savvy enough for Tumblr, but she certainly owns her domain name. And, of course, she tweets…(#SingleGirlProblems). But, whereas Carrie’s laptop replaced the scribe’s pen and paper, social media has completely altered the way society communicates. Frequently cited as the “Sex and the City” of this decade (in fact, a quick Google search of “Sex and the City HBO” reveals three hits referencing “Girls” on the first page alone), HBO’s new hit series, “Girls,” has seemingly embraced this new era in communication, integrating both Twitter and Facebook into the show.
Much like her character, Hannah, the writer/director/producer/star of “Girls,” Lena Dunham, is a 20-something living in Manhattan, and an avid user of social media. A prolific tweeter and frequent user of Instagram, followers of Lena know where she works out (SoulCycle), and that she just moved out of her parents’ place and into her own apartment (congrats!). While the distinction between the fictional Hannah and real Lena is clear, I couldn’t help but wonder why the digital marketing team behind “Girls” has not seized the opportunity to socially integrate their show, when so many fans are live tweeting during episodes and blogging entire recaps (complete with gifs!).
- • Create an official Hannah Horvath account, tweeting in character
- • Tweet in real time about what is happening to Hannah on the show
- • Use hash tags such as #BrooklynGirlProbs and #mistakesGIRLSmake (used by @girlsHBO, a marketing handle), and engage with fans around these conversations
- • Always tweet in character, never as a marketing device
Of course, there’s also Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+ Local:
- • Facebook: When Marnie’s ex-boyfriend finds a new girlfriend (after only two weeks!), the show’s Facebook page could have posted the album of Charlie and his new girlfriend that the girls freaked out about in the episode. Facebook stalking is a shared pastime for 20-somethings – an album would receive fantastic engagement.
- • Pinterest: Obviously Shoshanna’s go-to resource for inspiration for decorating her Nolita studio, with “Studio Chic” and “Listen Up Ladies” boards, not to mention the requisite “Happily Ever After” fairytale wedding board.
- • Tumblr: Hannah’s pseudo-intellectual boyfriend, Adam, is definitely a celebrity in this hyper-visual and introspective online blogging community. Who isn’t curious about his innermost thoughts?
- • Google+: Read Ray’s reviews of every hipster haven, plus the menu options at his venerable coffee shop – or, of course, break the fourth wall and host a hangout with individual cast members.
Last Sunday’s season finale coupled with numerous Lena Dunham sightings near Attention’s Soho office have left us all in a frenzy wondering what Hannah and friends will be doing in the off season, and most of all, wishing that they would tweet about it. Parody accounts have emerged, but they lack the strategy and clearly defined voice that comes with being affiliated with the actual production (although @AdamsChest is cute and clever, albeit inconsistent).
If social TV is going to be the next big thing, it is going to take more than the promise of GetGlue stickers and promotional tweets to capture the eyes of fans that are already split between two screens. @HannahHorvath, where are you? DM me for some tips.