Social media is inextricably intertwined with TV — from following along on Twitter and checking into shows to keeping up with the behind-the-scenes action in between episodes on Facebook and seeing Tweets as a part of your favorite show. At Discovery Communications, we recognize the power of social media to deepen our relationship with our viewers and we’re always looking for new ways to incorporate our fans into their favorite programs.
In a first for TLC, tonight’s premiere of What Not to Wear leveraged the input of fans on Facebook during the filming to guide the makeover mavens (while also being filmed for a first time in front of a live studio audience). Visitors to the What Not to Wear Facebook page on March 14 were able to weigh in on everything from suggested looks for the contributor (i.e., makeover recipient) to a very furry “keep it or toss it” contender (at right). Kristen Variola, Manager of Social Media for TLC, chatted with us a bit about the episode in the Q&A below, but you’ll have to tune in to TLC tonight at 9pm ET/PT to see the final result.
How did tonight’s special episode come about?
KV: What Not to Wear Executive Producer and TLC’s Senior Director of Production, Stephanie Eno, said it best in today’s Mashable interview: “What Not to Wear fans are incredibly passionate about the show and the overall theme of personal transformation, as can be seen by the year-round engagement on the show’s Facebook page. Knowing this, we wanted to give our viewers a special role in our season premiere and our contributor’s makeover.”
What was your role in the production?
I am fortunate to get to engage with our amazing What Not to Wear fans year-round on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. In a change of pace, I was in the control room with the producers for this shoot, posting outfits/hairstyles/”keep it or toss it” items for our fans to vote on through the show’s Facebook page. I would collected the results while we were filming, feeding them to the producers and, ultimately, our hosts for use in real-time!
Tell us about today’s Facebook takeover by Stacy and Clinton.
Stacy and Clinton were so excited for tonight’s episode that they decided to treat the more than 1.1 million fans on the What Not to Wear Facebook page by taking it over and giving them a peek at what they’re going to see tonight.
If you had to describe the What Not to Wear Facebook community in three words, what would they be?
Fashionable, fierce and fabulous!
Given the choice, would you rather be a nominator, contributor or expert on What Not to Wear?
Contributor for sure. The WNTW dream team (Stacy, Clinton, Carmindy & Ted) really know what they’re doing. I know I’d be in expert hands!