Yeah, Game of Thrones (GOT) belongs to the channel and yada yada yada, but, come on, would you believe it if I said that HBO’s official Facebook page had more likes (10,638,803 likes), than that of GOT (8,662,059 likes)? I mean, HOW? For the brand, of course, this is a happy case of win-win. Even so, it is interesting to note that the heavyweight channel’s official FB page has a dynamic that is quite different from those of its star, social media-driven shows- GOT and Girls. The page tries to be a reel-y nice reflection of reality, simply put. Does it succeed? Sure.

It isn’t, naturally, just a happy coincidence that HBO’s FB page is as popular as its channel. After all, the brand, which brought its social media marketing in-house in 2007, enlisted the services of award-winning digital agency 360i, to supplement its internal work, in 2013.

HBO is among the Top 10 Media Brands on Facebook and receives a plethora of awards every year- from the OMMAs to the Shortys. So of course, we thought it would be a good idea to see what the Facebook content on this page is like! Its page’s most popular week thus far has been January 5, 2014, and surprisingly, even though it is targeted at US and Canadian audiences, it is the most popular in Dhaka, Bangladesh! But then again – Facebook\’s like system has always befuddled many marketers.

Those in the age group of 18-24 years are its biggest fans. Not a huge shocker. The page itself has a formula in place. It either focuses on leveraging its shows- with trailers and teasers, or giving the everyday a TV touch. The page has a section called HBO FAQs, which is as informative as it blank. But, the rest of it is quite nicely done. Not aggressive, but nice and smooth. So what\’s their Facebook content like?

Here’s what the page functions as:

Your HBO guide

That’s right. If you’re a TV show addict who lives in the US or Canada, visiting this page will alert you to new seasons, new twists in the tale, new shows and even arm you with the line-up for the weekend. So, you can arrange for the popcorn and beer well in advance and prepare to vegetate in front of the idiot box. Yipee!

Functional Friend

So, let’s say you are someone who thinks the sole purpose of a social media page should be the delivery of to-the-point information. Well, if you’re on the HBO page, then, chances are you’re either looking for show timings or wondering how to get the channel. You’ll find both the answers here. If you don’t have HBO at home already, you’ll be guided as to how best you can view your favourite show, by clicking on Get HBO Now.

Reality Check

For some reason, I found this post super apt and hilarious. So, did a ton of other people too, obviously… going by the number of likes and shares. This post was put up sometime back, when the winter was just about to begin. See what I mean by ‘reel-y’ nice reflection of reality? No? Look at the next picture then!

 You gotta admit, they hit the jackpot with this one! Witty and pity.

Past Perfect

HBO has made an art of reminiscing. After all, it does have a long, rich history of nurturing couch potatoes… since the 1970s.

And, be ready to be taken by surprise. For example, this post (above), which was put up to pay tribute to The Sopranos, ended up also doubling as a tribute to James Gandolfini, who died last year. Equals double the number of likes.

Video killed no one

Here\’s where HBO lost me a little. Videos seem to work wonderfully on Facebook. Their official YouTube channel has a ton of subscribers and it\’s not like they don\’t have ready content available for them that they can use on their Facebook page. Scrolling down the HBO page – I noticed that there weren\’t very many trailers or videos, and had to back to November to find the first video.

Awards? Meh.

 The whole world is fixated with Girls and Queen Bey, isn’t it? Well, it sure doesn’t translate on this page. None of the posts about awards and awardees has gotten more than a few hundred likes. In fact, many such posts only get within 100 likes. It’s a mystery, this one.


So, in a nutshell, here are some Facebook marketing takeaways from HBO

  •  Wit always wins! Make sure it is in context though. If you think your product or service doesn\’t lend itself to humour, you\’re wrong. That\’s the whole beauty of humour- it can be found and incorporated anywhere… even in eulogies! Keep it tasteful.
  • Videos get the most hits. Not random videos, or ones that are made for the sake of it. Videos can be teasers, trailers, behind-the-scenes action…make them short and succinct. Remember, cyber citizens have the attention span of toddlers these days.
  • Stop boasting about your achievements. Yes, congrats, but not many people might care. I mean, if only 299 people in the world cared about Julia-Louis Dreyfus breaking Emmy records…. That said, a post or two lauding yourself won\’t do harm. Just don\’t go for the overkill.
  • Nostalgia will help you form an emotional bond with your customers. Think of different ways in which you can take them down memory lane, with your product holding their hands along the way.
  • Mark all or most special occasions/festivals with a clever post. Think outside the box for ideas- just a lame \’Merry Christmas\’ alongside a picture of a snowman won\’t do! The post needs to fit with your brand image.
  • Facebook doesn\’t really lend itself to newsjacking, but that shouldn\’t stop you from incorporating interesting bits of daily news into your posts. Context is king, bear in mind