We set out to make The L Word: Generation Q *the* most talked about show amongst LGBTQ+ audiences. Our Challenge: Our IP made our audience feel seen at a time few other television shows did. How could we mirror that powerful connection to extend online? Here’s how:
In Season 1, our Sr. Manager, Social Media, a diehard fan of The L Word hid behind the @SHO_TheLWord handles, was commonly being referred to as the anonymous intern in line with Internet tropes. However, as Season 2 neared, we set the record straight, letting our fandom in on who was behind the handles. Non-Intern Kelsey was born.
This season, we positioned the @SHO_TheLWord as a fixture of The L Word community, using Non-Intern Kelsey as our way in. We established ourselves as a member of the community, reacting and celebrating right alongside our fans. Non-Intern Kelsey became the #1 source and #1 bestie for super fans, giving updates on everything from a trailer, to a Premiere Date, to a first episode. She never let them down. Through hyper-shareable queer content, fan-first community management, and Non-Intern Kelsey’s community connection, we established @SHO_TheLWord as a staple within queer culture.
The L Word originally aired in 2004 and deeply resonated with fans, providing representation that had yet to be explored on television in this way. Extending this connection online was our #1 challenge and motivator.
Our strategic approach for Season 2 of The L Word: Generation Q was to establish the @Sho_TheLWord social handles as not only one of the fans, but the fandom’s very own friend and insider (Non-Intern Kelsey). Positioning the account in this way, allowed us to cultivate genuine connections with The L Word fanbase and the queer community as a whole, using community management to do it. Here’s how:
Always-On Community Management:
For every twist and turn, steamy moment, and cultural beat, we were right there reacting alongside our fans, while giving them the tools they needed to keep the conversation going.
With The L Word: Generation Q episodes streaming every Friday, weekends became a celebration for fans.
Fridays: LGBTQIA+ owned bars across the country hosted SHOWTIME-sponsored viewing parties – filled with trivia, swag, photo booths, and even surprise drop-ins from talent. Throughout the season, @Sho_TheLWord handles provided coverage for these events that rivaled any superfan, culminating in a face reveal of Non-Intern Kelsey at the finale watch party.
Saturdays: We gabbed our way through 60 minutes of queer content via deep dives into every episode with our fans, launching the #QmmunityBrunch hashtag that housed these episodic conversions.
Sundays: The party continued with Twitter Spaces conversations that highlighted the most jaw-dropping moments of the week and our theories on what would happen next.
Fan Engagement Stunts:
Throughout the season, we utilized engaging prompts and CTAs to foster a relationship with our fanbase, while furthering episodic plot points online. Examples:
Sourced favorite The L Word quotes from fans and used the responses to create an engaging video asset.
Tapped into a karaoke night plot point by calling on fans to give us their go-to karaoke song. We then responded with how their karaoke night went.
Used IG question stickers to have fans anonymously dish on their juicy personal lives.
Created a unique L Word Instagram AR effect for this year's PRIDE campaign. The screen first appeared as if you were waiting for a zoom call and then revealed the L Word Characters cycling in and out to all say “Happy Pride!” This resulted in a uniquely personal and highly sharable experience supporting our fans.
Through various community management tactics, we created a safe space for fan discussion and queer culture, enabling us to speak directly to our community. As a result, the @Sho_TheLWord handles continued to make this fandom feel seen
We quenched fans' thirst with fandom-forward community management tactics, forging genuine connections with fans while making every episode a must-talk-about party on social. These were our results:
Engaging community management stunts & an authentic approach increased our resonance.
We doubled our engagements season over season to 3.8M.
Named Showtime’s 3rd most engaged community and 4th most talked about series of 2021.
The Pride Lens connected with fans, resulting in 97.8k impressions.
We welcomed more fans into the fandom:
The L Word: Generation Q’s social handles grew by 45K new followers (8% SoS) throughout season 2.
Our Instagram handle hit a milestone of 200K followers during premiere weekend, making it the 3rd most followed Instagram handle for Showtime’s scripted series.
It was a success… just take it from our community:
“Whoever is behind the @sho_thelword social media accounts. You need a raise. That’s it, that’s my tweet.” - L Word: Generation Q cast member, Jillian Mercado
“The social/content manager for @sho_thelword has been putting in WORK all season long and has done such a great job connecting with the fans. Shoutout to them.”
“Just wanted to let you know you’re the best official show account. Your tweets and engagement make watching even more fun.”
“OMG, Kelsey our one & only favorite non-intern has gifted us with so much content this season & TONIGHT on the @SHO_TheLWord Instagram. YOU ARE THE BEST, K! someone give this person the reigns to the @Showtime channel. THANK YOU, KELSEY! XOXO”
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