How MTV And Its Shows Got to 100 Million Facebook Likes

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week

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Ad Age 's editorial partner Trendrr, the social-media monitoring firm, works closely with MTV . In talking with both companies recently, I learned that MTV 's U.S. brand and show pages recently hit a rather astonishing combined total of 100 million "likes" on Facebook. How did that happen? Take a look at our infographic and then scroll down for some notes and context.

  • The "like" growth shown atop the infographic is just from Jan. 1 forward. (MTV and its shows already had close to 90 million combined likes at the start of the year.) The trendline looks pretty smooth because the measurement points shown are generally every three days (over the years on a daily basis the growth rate is of course more herky-jerky) -- though the last couple of data points cover the growth between Mar. 1 and Mar. 20.
  • Far and away the most tweeted thing on MTV in the past 8 months was the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards telecast last August.
  • Other than MTV 's main network page on Facebook, which has garnered more than 32 million likes, the biggest drivers of MTV 's popularity on Facebook are "Jersey Shore," with more than 16 million likes, and "Teen Mom," with more than 6 million likes.
  • Social-media commentary about MTV and its shows as measured by Trendrr skews positive (59%), but that negative slice in the pie chart (22 %) isn't exactly a cause for alarm. In my experience, networks that are heavily dependent on reality programming benefit from a certain amount of "hate" -- because people love to hate reality TV. For instance, consider this recent tweet: @Dayanaraxo: "I hate snooki & deena ... annoying ass chicks & they're mad ugly too." Yeah, sure, hate all you want, hater! Ever notice that you keep watching "Jersey Shore"?
  • The engagement data shown includes all the activities that roll up into Facebook's "People are Talking About This" metric.
  • Every network is thinking about so-called social TV these days, but MTV is one of the most obsessed -- and it has been for years now (even before social TV was really a thing). "As programmers to the first generation of digital natives, MTV has been hyper focused on growing our social ecosystem and putting cross-platform storytelling at the core of what we do," MTV President Stephen Friedman tells me. "For us it's about the powerful combination of linear and social, which together give us new ways to entertain and engage our audience, drive ratings , and provide powerful scale and connectivity for our advertisers."

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Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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