“I’m your biggest fan.” Four words that can be both distressing and pleasing to the ears of celebrities, producers and writers. In the modern age, the success of a show is measured not only by official ratings but by social media engagement, which is often reflected by fandom. In short, fandoms are the community that surrounds a tv show/movie/book etc. Fandoms are often build on social media sites – for example, Facebook and Twitter. Users can join groups, pages and participate in discussions that concern a certain topic.
Fandoms are passionate, dedicated and opinionated. Indeed, fans are the toughest critics of the people they admire, they expect the best from their favourite heroes and claim a right to express their opinions on their favourite posts.
The increasing emergence of fandom culture, empowered by the internet and social media has vastly affected the way certain texts receive recognitions. Do you need something to start trending? Fandom can accomplish this for you. Are you looking to create a hype? Turn to fandom. Do you need your TV series to be renewed? A Fandom is a great resource for building support, keeping a following and helping to market your text.
Fandom is slowly but surely changing the way businesses create, share and distribute certain elements of a post. Media sectors are having to rethink their marketing techniques to interpret their fandoms and keep them happy. Some might say that we are all fans of some sort, we all identify with something and use this to build friendships, conversations and change the world around us. When we think of a fandom we may think of people who binge-watch TV series’ and Beliebers. One of the most famous fandoms globally is the Harry Potter fandom, which has some of the most diverse fans, from eight-year-olds to thirty somethings. It is these fandoms that incite change.
Fans can feel directly in contact with their idols, as part of their community and therefore more important and empowered than ever.
The Power of Poldark is a community fan page that has over 20,000 likes and 21,400 followers on Facebook. With the help of this fandom Poldark was awarded the BAFTA Radio Times audience award and the hype surrounding the series has helped to secure the filming of further series’. The fan base also continues to grow.
Many shows have now shifted their language and marketing strategies to target their ‘fans’ instead of ‘viewers’ and they have incorporated new strategies that are designed to drive engagement from these fandoms. Exclusive Q&A’s, images and quotes are just some example of the ways fandoms engage with and create hype.
Arguably the internet and fandoms have helped to solve the problem of successfully getting a series renewed. The general public can now not only comment and post opinions but they can also become the media itself. They can provide fan art and get other people talking about your show. Think about it this way, your show most likely won’t get renewed without a fandom. If enough people are not talking about it, it won’t happen.
Fandom is a relatively new phenomenon and there are many unanswered questions surrounding the topic. Why do some stories, characters, experiences, and brands give rise to strong fandom and not others? What sparks, sustains, strengthens and weakens fan communities?
If you play your cards right and incorporate your fandoms into your marketing strategy, fandoms can help you to do the work.
The success to fandoms? Be interactive, engage with your fans and keep them coming back for more.