The Martha Stewart Show: A Case of Keeping a Fresh Fan Base in the Offseason

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Article ImageCompany: Martha Stewart Omniliving Media, Inc.

It hardly seems necessary to explain who Martha Stewart is. She has been making her name synonymous with the word home since 1982. Stewart is more than just a homemaker. She has also built a brand and a media empire, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), over the past 30 years. Her multimedia empire comprises magazines, websites, and even a television show, The Martha Stewart Show, an hourlong talk show that appears exclusively on the Hallmark Channel.

Business Challenge:
The Martha Stewart Show needed to prepare for an upcoming fall season and wished to reengage viewers lost during the summer season reruns. So, The Martha Stewart Show turned to Facebook to reach out to its existing fans. In addition to reinvigorating and expanding the fan base, it sought to expand its mailing lists to promote the show as well as cross-promote its other diverse offerings. However, the company felt it needed more social marketing expertise and started looking outside of its offices for help.

Vendors of Choice: SnapApp
SnapApp, developed by Pangea Media, is a marketing platform that offers a relatively seamless integration with Facebook. In addition, SnapApp offers the ability to capitalize on the viral appeal of sweepstakes with proven lead generation and promotion via Facebook and Twitter. SnapApp also works with Facebook on mobile platforms such as iPhone and Android operating systems, further extending its reach.

The Problem in Depth
The Martha Stewart Show wanted to branch out beyond traditional marketing to bring viewers back for its new fall season, which premiered in September 2011. It also hoped to beef up viewership of reruns as well as reach new viewers in the process. In addition to television, radio, and print ads, the MSLO team, like other smart companies, recognized the importance and value of social media marketing.

The Martha Stewart Show marketing team looked to its Facebook page to reengage fans who had drifted during the summer hiatus. But it needed to do more than just post. The show was already operating an active Facebook page, which was complete with status updates reflecting upcoming shows. The page was a great starting point for an already-engaged fan base, but the task now turned to further engaging Facebook followers and broadening that base. So the show's team decided to offer a sweepstakes promotion and generate renewed interest in the new season of shows.

Seth Lieberman, CEO of Pangea Media, says, "For marketing purposes and this type of promotion, you couldn't ask for a better venue than what Facebook provides." Combining the power and reach of Facebook with the tried-and-true method of sparking interest by offering a sweepstakes made for a perfect marketing storm.

While the show may have lost some summer viewers, people continue to tune in to their Facebook pages no matter what the season. Many successful shows on television in both daytime and prime time encourage interaction through Facebook and Twitter and have huge social media presences, such as ABC's The View or Bravo Network's Real Housewives of Orange County. "What we really wanted to do is get people excited about the new season," says Sean Hendricks, senior project manager at MSLO, "let them know about the exciting types of things that were happening in the season ahead and let them know there was still some great programming during the summer months."

SnapApp's seamless integration into Facebook and ease of use was immediately appealing to The Martha Stewart Show team. SnapApp could provide help to the marketing team and quickly accomplish the goals.

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