Quick show of hands: Who plans on watching the Oscars? Now, same folks, who plans on using social media to discuss the Oscars as they are happening?
Obviously I can’t see you, but I’ll bet more hands went up for the second question than they did for the first question. More and more we are all turning to social media to share the events we are interested in as they happen: movies, television shows, concerts, sporting events, news stories. There is no end to the list of things we can share on social media, and so we do-every day.
The Oscars is just another example of how social media interacts, extends the reach of, traditional entertainment venues. Time was, those of us who watched the Oscars had to wait until Monday morning to discuss the show, critique red carpet performances, review acceptance speeches or gripe about who we thought should have won compared with who actually won.
Social media now makes fan interaction easier than it has ever been before. Social media monitoring tools also make it easier for brands to participate in these conversations; respond, relate or commiserate (as the case may be.) That means that not only can fans of your brand reach out to you, but you can reach out to them.
So far this year we have seen social media marketing pushing traditional ratings for the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and the NBA season (which was rebounding from a partial season lockout) higher than they have been in years. I expect ratings for Sunday’s Oscar broadcast will also break records, on television and online via social media. More than that I expect social media interaction will continue beyond Sunday as conversations and debates between fans go on even though the awards show is over.
As companies learn to wield the power of social media marketing tools I envision a time when traditional media finally ceases to view social media as the enemy and sees it as more of an ally.
The Oscars App
The Academy and ABC are offering an Oscar companion app available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Once you download the app you can get access to @TheAcademy and #Oscars social feed, original content, Oscar history and trailers from all the nominated films. Users can also use the app’s interactive ballot feature to predict winners and share their picks on Facebook. Download the free Oscars App in the iTunes App Store.
Let’s face it, simply viewing the show isn’t enough anymore. Today, people want to participate in their favorite live events, see what others are saying about it and, of course, sound off too. Enter the Oscars’ second-screen experience. On the day of, the “Backstage Pass” feature launches on Oscar.com and the Oscars App, through which views can pick and tune into more than 20 live cameras placed everywhere from the red carpet to backstage at the event to the Governors Ball. How important is a “second experience” to an awards show, let alone any broadcast content these days? According to Nielsen, roughly 40 percent of tablet and smartphone owners in the U.S. use their devices daily while watching TV. And of those, about 40 percent reported looking for show related content.