Using Social Content To Tap Into The Power Of An Active Fan Base

How we leveraged a passionate fan base to grow Fuzzy Door’s audience and engagement.

Using Social Content To Tap Into The Power Of An Active Fan Base

Work May 13, 2024

For any social content program, the Funkhaus content team is always thinking of how best to create success for our clients and strategizing accordingly — whether we come on board to manage already existing accounts, we’re tasked with building from the ground up, or we find ourselves somewhere in the middle. Head of Content Erin Himes shares how we leveraged a passionate existing fan base to grow our client Fuzzy Door’s audience and fan engagement on a brand new account through a March Madness style bracket on Instagram. 

Though Fuzzy Door, the production company from the mind of Seth MacFarlane, is a brand associated with beloved content and a strong fan base, this was the first time they set out to manifest their own social media presence. “From the start, our efforts have been about establishing Fuzzy Door as their own entity and pulling fans of individual shows deeper into their ecosystem of shows,” explains Erin. We knew that getting fans engaging with content related to shows they know and love would help solidify Fuzzy Door’s account as the place to go for updates on those shows, so we initially offered a plan of action that could take advantage of the content they already had at their disposal.

Just months after the launch of their Instagram account, we had already seen significant and sustained follower growth. To capitalize on that growth, and knowing that there were more fans to activate, we created a March Madness-style bracket for fans to vote on their favorite characters. Each day, we posted a set of matchups between individual characters from shows including Ted, Family Guy, The Orville, and American Dad!, and as fans cast their votes, we narrowed it down to the final two: Family Guy’s Stewie vs. Ted. 

Each matchup gave us an opportunity to tag talent and build visibility, and because of the extensive overlap across shows in the Fuzzy Door universe, we were tagging talent from current and past shows alike, which allowed sharing of new content to all audiences. We also saw a little friendly rivalry along the way, with both cast members and fans joining in on the fun. “We had the thought that a bracket might pit fan bases against each other in a fun, light-hearted way,” says Erin. “We’ve seen fan base involvement in some of the trivia content that we’ve created for them, so we thought this would encourage more of that type of engagement and would help pull more people into the brand’s orbit.”

Our gut check was right — Fuzzy Door added thousands of followers around the bracket and reached 10,000 people who didn't follow the account previously. Considering how light of a lift this was for the client — because we utilized existing content in a new way, we were able to take the reins on production and allowed them to focus on feedback rather than sourcing — that growth is even more of a win. “There's really no downside to doing something like this on a client level,” says Erin. “They're able to hand production off easily and the resulting content is easy to engage with.”

Though we anticipated growth as well as potential insights, some things surprised us as we watched the results roll in. “The matchups were interesting from Day 1, and we were excited to see that the entire cast of the recently released Ted did really well in this bracket, including Ted himself, who ultimately won,” says Erin. “Through that, we’ve learned that newer characters in the Fuzzy Door world are already beloved, which is valuable information for the Fuzzy Door team to have. In an application like this, we’ve found that oftentimes you're not only going to get information on social performance — you stand to gain other valuable insights about your business as well.” 

Just as important as knowing that an active audience exists is knowing where to find them.“As soon as we launched on Instagram, we saw quick and steady growth in our audience there, which led us to believe that this was the best platform for something like a bracket,” says Erin. “Searching Instagram hashtags and searching keywords on X are helpful ways to see what people are talking about and interested in, and can help make those determinations as far as which platforms to be working on —  you want to go where the activity is.” 

In cases where a client has a good bank of content, they always have a path toward engaging their audience. “Being willing to go to the well and engage fans of past work as well as current work can be really productive for growing your profile,” Erin says. For clients in that boat, stay willing to put a new spin on old content — it just may pay off.