How to Prepare for Awards Season with Social

The 2016 Awards Season is already generating media buzz: over the weekend, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer made headlines with their attention-getting pledge to wear the same dress to the Golden Globes. Lawrence told E!, “She's going to have to wear Dior … I'm just going to have to have Dior make two of whatever they're making for me.” (Who wouldn’t love to be Dior at this moment?)

So now, commenters will be anxiously awaiting the Lawrence-Schumer pairing on the red carpet, helping to generate interest in the live event. Second-screen social platforms like Periscope and Snapchat are lined up to pull social media users into 2016’s most exciting live events, and the potential to reach new audiences has never felt bigger.

Media companies can harness the power of social like never before to increase TV viewers and bring in sponsors and advertisers. Capitalizing on awards-show excitement, like viral moments and trending topics, takes skill and careful planning, even for spontaneous participation. What media companies have to keep in mind and juggle at once includes:

  • how frequently to tweet
  • which hashtags to use
  • how to leverage the power of social participation to amplify organic reach, quickly build brand awareness, and ultimately drive brand love

Live Events and Social

During last year’s biggest live awards show events—like the Grammys, Latin Grammys, Golden Globes, and the Academy Awards—we saw tweets and retweets from media companies and personalities like USA Today: “Benedict Cumberbatch: the name you get when you ask John Travolta to announce Ben Affleck" (@ActuallyNPH); and Shonda Rhimes: “Stop asking women questions about what they wear to cover the containers they carry their brains around in. #AskHerMore.” Both capitalized on trending jokes and social movements to increase their online presence and further their agendas.

How Sponsors and Advertisers Capitalize on Social Momentum After Live Events

Last year, while Chrissy Teigen’s husband, John Legend, gave his acceptance speech for Best Original Song at the Globes, the cameras caught an unintentionally hilarious (and potentially embarrassing) moment: Teigen crying. But she wasn’t just crying—it was more like a frozen grimace (see above), complete with tears.

Like Kim Kardashian’s #cryface before, Teigen’s quickly became a meme, and Twitter lit up almost immediately with jokes: “When you found out Luke and Leia were brother and sister after they kissed,” @DepressedDarth, and “When someone asks if Pepsi is OK,” @lgreene91. Media outlets like NBC, Buzzfeed, and Teen Vogue reported that Teigen’s cry face was the “Best thing to happen at the Golden Globes,” and that her “Cry face took over the internet.” Teigen proved a good sport throughout, even posting another “cry face” photo with Legend later that evening, reinforcing her reputation (and personal brand) as someone who is game.

Moments like Teigen’s “cry face” are, by their very nature, impossible to predict ahead of time. But riding the wave of momentum and getting involved in post-production sponsorship and advertising is not unpredictable. When something unexpected (something funny, moving, even irritating) catches the attention of the audience at home during a live event, the moment can be capitalized on and extended through social platforms and sponsorships. Media companies can piggyback on hashtags through Twitter and Instagram, reaching audiences they might not otherwise: think, Kleenex tissue tweeting a lighthearted joke incorporating #cryface, or Covergirl promoting their waterproof mascara on Facebook with a Teigen tie-in. The possibilities are limitless.

As you prepare for the upcoming awards season, see how Spredfast can help you enhance your audience's experience through the second screen and navigate social data to make smarter, real-time marketing decisions that take true and actionable advantage of that perfect but unexpected moment.

Julia Eddington's picture

Julia Eddington

Julia Eddington is a freelance tech and personal finance writer and editor living in New York City.