If any of you missed it, the 85th Academy Awards was held just this past Sunday. Spoiler alert: Jennifer Lawrence is awesome. Actually, that’s no spoiler; everyone knows that. She is sexy, awkward and hilarious, all wrapped into one gorgeous package. But enough of my obsession with Ms. Lawrence (bit of a contradiction, I guess). What I really wanted to talk about was the impressive boom of social media action during the Oscars.
It may have been quite obvious that the social media would be abuzz with excitement during the Oscars, but possibly not with this much attention. This year saw 13 million mentions on social media, which is almost three times as many compared to last year, easily skyrocketing it to the top of weekly social media charts.
But this isn’t the only show that has seen such explosiveness; the Oscars only ranks third as the most social televised event! In second place with 17 million mentions is the always buzz-worthy Grammys (and the… erm… “flattering” fashion), and leading at the top with a whopping 52 million mentions is the Super Bowl (with its sudden blackout and fantastically meme-worthy halftime show - Sorry Beyoncé). Trendrr.TV does an interesting and cleverly organised job of representing the social activity of various media and advertising, with a good handful of infographics. As a follow up to our preemptive Super Bowl blog post, here is a neat infographic summarising the actual statistics:
So what is this link between TV and social media? As many have come to discuss the battle between old media and new media, I see it as more of how old media can adapt to the modern way things are done. TV inherently is a one way communication: the broadcast outputs to you, but you don’t talk back to the screen. New media, on the other hand, is all about the two-way interactions. It’s about the conversation, and bringing the audience into the experience. Social media in a way allows for this kind of interaction for television. It’s people talking and responding to television, and making them a part of the show.
For example, live tweeting is very common nowadays. Avid tweeters will tweet out that they’re going to live tweet a particular event (whether they are actually present, or just watching a broadcast), and their followers will know that for the duration of that event, they will be getting live updates of what’s going on and/or their immediate reactions, and this gives the followers an avenue to interact. Give it an appropriate hashtag, and there you have it: a two-way conversation. And this works for award ceremonies, sports matches, TV series… Anything. It’s a unique way of interacting with your audience in a very direct way: it’s as if they’re sitting right next to you, chatting during the show.
You can see the effect it has had. A lot of TV shows now have the host ask viewers to tweet in their responses or reactions with specific hashtags, and then later in the show go on to display or read them out (The Voice isn’t sheepish at all with the way they do it). It’s a prime example of TV learning and evolving to improve the communication.
So have you noticed yourself engaging more with televised events now that social media is such a big part of everyone’s life? Leave a comment below!*
* See what I did there? Two-way conversation!