social media expert interviewIn this video I interview both Mark Burnett, executive producer of successful reality shows such as Survivor and The Apprentice, along with Brian Reich, social media strategist at TLC.

Listen to Mark and Brian to find out how they use social media to get more viewers and create better viewer experiences for their reality TV shows.

While Mark shares how he came to create Sarah Palin’s Alaska show, Brian provides the content and social media strategies TLC uses to appeal to different audiences.

Once you’ve watched the video, be sure to check out the take-aways below.

Here are some of the key things to look out for from Mark Burnett:

  • How social media has a massive impact on increasing viewership on reality television.
  • Why the electronic water cooler is now social media.
  • What lies behind the fascination Americans have for reality shows.

Check out Mark Burnett’s latest project: Your Own Show.

Brian Reich goes into more detail about how TLC builds social media communities around Sarah Palin’s Alaska show. You’ll pick up how TLC uses:

  • 4 different blogs to cater to 4 different conversations around culture, media political and behind the scenes topics
  • A content strategy across these blogs to engage different audiences.
  • 2 podcast shows to get feedback immediately after the show and also give fans an opportunity to share their own experiences.

Read more about Sarah Palin’s Alaska show on TLC, Facebook, Twitter. And you can find the four blogs mentioned in the video on Sarah Palin’s Alaska website.

How does this example of using social media inspire you? Are there any take-aways you can easily apply to your business? Please share your thoughts below.

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  • Mike, I have a question for you (or anyone). My market (older golfers) are not on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve built both pages, and really tried to engage but it’s not happening. Do I throw the white flag up, and move on from social media? Why would I facebook and twitter if my market is not there? Would love for you (or anyone) to chime in. Great video with Mark by the way. Kudos to you for getting it :)Regards,Mike

  • Mike – I would say focus on the other big social media channel you have overlooked—blogging. Watch the second part of the video to hear how TLC has multiple blogs to connect with people. I am pretty sure your market is online, so start with a blog and see if that helps you get to a place where FB and Twitter are helping you. – Mike

  • Survivor and The Apprentice were indeed very successful and sharing strategies and skills is amazing , thank you for the interview , loved the point he talked about and how important was to focus on some remarks !! thank you for sharing this 🙂

  • Thanks Mike. I have 25 different golf blogs LOL! A couple of “main” ones, so I think I’m covered with the blogs. I just wanted to jump on the Social Media bandwagon, but if it’s not giving me a return on my time investment at all (since my market is not there), then I just wanted to know if I stop and just go back to what I’ve done for 10 years. Blogs, article writing, etc…

    I guess I wanted to think my market (older golfers) have progressed with technology (social media), but not yet 🙁

  • Hey Mike P — have you considered Facebook ads? It’s the most targeted traffic your money can buy. Besides, there is a massive market on 50+ men/women on Facebook! It’s a matter of finding them though. 🙂 I’m actually giving a keynote to a golfing organization in January in Orlando, FL all about social media/Facebook marketing. I think you probably have a huge market, it’s just a matter of time before getting serious traction.

  • PPSpeen

    Great perspective on Social media from 2 successful mavens. My only regret is giving Sarah Palin a platform and beautiful country setting to expolit her family . Eventually using clips of the show for her political campaign. She impresses me as very opportunistic. Now we have further blurring of News, Journalism & Entertainment.

  • Thanks Rahul!

  • I think I’ll reserve judgment on the pick until I see the actual show.

  • Best takeaway that I can apply to our company is providing exclusive post event content on our social media sites. It will drive those who ALREADY participating and those that have interest in the brand to stay engaged. Providing a platform for your fans to communicate and be heard is crucial. Great Interview!

    Kristen Sonsma
    Chief Business Development Officer
    Be sure to ‘Like’ us at

  • This is completely fascinating! Thanks for doing this interview. Now I don’t feel nearly so weird watching #DWTS while in a TweetChat room, yucking it up with @SamChampion and 00s of cool folks across the country!

  • It’s fun to see someone on the periphery of the main stream – like a TLC as opposed to the “Networks” attempt something so radical. I love his – Brain Reich – comments on surrounding a program with a fuller story. We, the consumer, are doing this any way; it’s fun to see it happen from the “head end” so to speak!

  • Thx for tutorial Mike, juts spotted you on twitter and hook up already.Social Media is strengthen to renounce voice of people that unheard by traditional media like TV and Radio.

  • Yep…been there and down that. The ads on Facebook were not effective at all. Unfortunately as I told Mike earlier, most of my market (older golfers) are not on Twitter for sure, and Facebook very little. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing or not. By my main, target market is golfers over 60ish. I don’t believe in giving up, so I’ll keep on plugging away, but go a different route, as social media for the time being is not effective.


  • Dshilly

    MIke I am in the golf business and feel your pain. What are you trying to accomplish with the use of the different types of social media? Thats the key?

  • Gotta agree with PPSpeen and thanks for the interesting info Mike, but from what I know Sarah Palin I’m a little bummed that she’s able to capitalize on these platforms. I can only hope that her show makes it obvious to viewers that she’s a few cookies short of the tin (and maybe- that hunting from helicopters is ridiculous and not sport)…but then again it’s not my country, so good luck guys.

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  • so cooool!

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