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Saturday Night Live has a buddy. And it’s social media.

/ Featured in Comedy, Digital, Television


Saturday Night Live’s 39th season (2013-2014) was one of fresh talent. Why so fresh? There were a lot of spots to fill. Lots of key players decided to carry-on the season prior (Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Jason Sudekis) as well as a couple fan favorites settling their leave the season prior to that (Kristen Wiig (!!!) and Andy Samberg).

Now, I know this was a big deal for you. Because those people really enhanced your decision whether or not to tune-in to the program each week. Especially Wiig. She was what they call “uncanny” and “very good.”

Could the show survive without all that talent?! Stay with me here!

Let’s think about how people watch TV today. People today watch a lot of TV, but the actual tube itself may not be the top device of choice.

Consider this: the idea of your TV as the “first screen” and all other screens as “second” or “third” is dead. A report from eMarketer says the first screen is whichever one you are looking at, and then all others fall into succeeding order.

This puts a twist on the idea of our “second screen culture.” Traditionally, or tradigitally, we have viewed smaller screens as the second screen, such as a mobile phone or tablet. But viewing time on those devices keeps going up, and will only continue to increase. So we must change our thought process.

TV shows today need to play nice for the social TV crowd.

A growing population makes their digital identity known by talking about TV content via social media. You could definitely put me in this group. It’s a culture shift that puts those with FOMO (fear of missing out) into a sweat storm. Don’t make me sweat! This means Sunday through Saturday, 2-4-7, people need to know what all the haps are on every single device they own. If these people are true brand advocates, they will share / like / retweet / favorite / +1 / reblog / pin / (man this is exhausting) content they enjoy and want others to experience joy with also. Social currency is a thing and face-to-face just doesn’t cut it anymore!

So for a TV show like SNL that seems to go through a trust barrier at the start of each season, a multi-device, web-friendly video content social strategy is one of those “no question” practices.

Even though it’s the off-season right now, I have to say, I love what Saturday Night Live has been doing on social media for the TV crowd. Let me explain why.

Video content on social media

Saturday Night Live is big just one day of the week: on Saturday night. It’s unlike other primetime shows that air Monday-Friday or on Sundays. Saturday is a unique day. Do you usually have plans Saturday night? Do I usually have plans Saturday night? Here’s my answer: Yeah, sometimes I do.

So if a lot of people aren’t going to tune-in for the live show at 11:30 PM/10:30 CST on the National Broadcasting Company network, SNL has to be on the ball. This means posting videos of their content right away for the Sunday crowd ready to catch-up on what they missed the night before.

SNL does this well, in addition to posting content leading up to the show each week. This is where the social TV audience is going to need their fix in order to keep engagement spirits high.

The show teasers always get me excited, like this one featuring Lena Dunham and Kate McKinnon. Spots like this are very important in order for the audience to connect with SNL throughout the week, not just on Saturday nights. I particularly like SNL’s backstage series. The videos are tailored for the YouTube club we all hold a membership to these days. The backstage videos are put into subcategories like #AskSNL and Follow Friday. I love these vids.

All of this continuous posting of content, and opportunity to share with our beloveds, keeps our undercarriages fired up for Saturday. Without an active social presence for the younger digitally-centered audience, I think SNL would fall flat these days. Each cast member has a backstory, and if you are eager enough to search, you’ll be surprised how funny and smart they are. SNL’s social media strategy lets us see the cast on a deeper level and get to know them as people. We also get to know the writers and producers – jobs that sometimes go unnoticed.

Go follow SNL’s Instagram account

On a final thought, SNL’s Instagram account is quite awesome. My favorite part of following nbcsnl on Instagram is seeing all of the behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Especially the photos of writers’ night and the table read-thrus. The plates of food (and I mean PLATES OF FOOD) on the table during the read-thru are interesting just on their own. Whoever is in charge of ordering all that food is going places in life.

View this post on Instagram

Final read-thru of the season! #SNL

A post shared by Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) on

My new life goal is to make my way into that room some day. And stare at the food. And sneak some into my pocket. And maybe tell a joke.

Anyway, SNL – keep up with the videos and behind-the-scenes content. Es muy bueno.