I have posted before about how stadiums and sports organizations rally fans from all over to engage with the team (the brand) through social media efforts. Last week was the 47th Annual CMA Awards and it was another great example of how social media can be integrated into events and engagement can be taken to a whole new level.
Great American Country, the larger country brand of award shows and country music, united fans from coast-to-coast with exclusive online coverage, commentary from a variety of people, and plenty of dialogue via social media.
Events have an immense opportunity to leverage social media to increase viewership and build a greater audience through engagement. In order to be successful in social media initiatives for events, you have to be very verbal and almost annoying. You have to consistently tell people what hashtags, handles, and platforms to use. People are going to talk about the event, so you may as well mention your hashtags so that all conversations are united in one stream. The CMA Awards constantly showed the hashtag at the bottom of the screen and this time around, they showed the Twitter handles for each artist, which really gave the artists publicity and created a deeper connection with the audience and the event.
Another factor that you need is to provide and communicate the value that people will get from joining in on your social media efforts. The CMAs have done a great job of providing exclusive content all night including the winners, exclusive back-stage pictures, and even giving Scotty McCreery an opportunity to tweet through the official Country Music Association account (#ScottyTakeover). It is essential that events provide content to followers that you can’t see on the mainstream event because otherwise no one will want to join in on the conversations or follow what’s going on. All of the official handles were very active during the event and provided consistent engagement through retweets and replys of country music fans.
The last factor to be successful in leveraging social media during events is to talk about the event before, during, and after. The CMAs do a great job of talking about the event long before the award shows start and providing exclusive after-party content and interviews with the award winners. The CMAs had an exclusive red carpet pre-show and allowed viewers to get excited about the event by asking questions and creating buzz around the event. Not only is the event important, but creating engagement around the end of the show and continuing the conversation is just as important because those are the conversations that hold true meaning and provides the award shows with feedback on what viewers liked and didn’t like.
The CMAs capitalized on their social media efforts and used all platforms to showcase the event in a different light and provide access that is not shown by simply watching the show. Shazam partnered with the award show to provide even more exclusive content to those who used Shazam during the show. There is so much potential available for social media and integration of various platforms to increase viewership.
I would love to hear your thoughts about what you liked or didn’t like about the CMAs and how they used social media!