The Walking Dead’s Social Media #FAIL

Just wanted to share a post that I wrote yesterday for my company’s Tumblr (Will This Go Viral?)- especially since its for one of my favorite shows.

We like to give out awards once in a while for the biggest and boldest social media fails, and this week, we have a clear winner: The Walking Dead!


Only a few moments after last night’s mid-season finale, the show’s social team posted a HUGE spoiler across their social channels. In an age where time-shifted viewing is so prominent, posts like this really shouldn’t happen.

After waking up this morning to a text from my good friend Pete, I knew an award was in order. Knowing I was in the industry, his gut reaction was to say, “You should try and get The Walking Dead’s social people fired. They posted huge spoilers, with pictures and everything, the second the episode ended… So irresponsible.”

Pete is the least of the show’s worries, as social chatter soared last night after the post. Here are a few of the most colorful responses:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3 RV

So, what’s the big lesson to take away? Wait a few days before posting spoilers about major events in your program. You should be enticing and encouraging fans to watch and catch up. In a recent Nielsen study, not only do they discuss the facts around time-shifted viewing in today’s audience, but also the impact of social chatter in +7 day tune-in.

Here’s a tip: try re-posting real-life fan reactions to a major event, that doesn’t actually state a spoiler, to generate viewer excitement. Fans want to be “in the know,” and will be reminded to tune-in after seeing posts online. However, fans do not want to have the show spoiled for them. Fans are the livelihood of TV programming. Let’s try not to piss them off, shall we?

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