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How Social Media Enhanced the Academy Awards

The 84th annual Academy Awards was a chaotic event to say the least. Between Sacha Baron Cohen dumping “Kim Jong Il’s ashes” on Ryan Seacrest’s designer suit, the cast of “Bridesmaids” presenting their Martin Scorsese drinking game, and J.Lo’s debatable wardrobe malfunction, viewers gave up their regularly scheduled Sunday night programs to see what other vagaries might ensue. While I’d like to congratulate everyone who walked away with an Oscar on Sunday evening (congrats Meryl Streep!), we should also acknowledge one noteworthy contributor to the show’s success that made their “speech” through a different channel…social media!

According to Bluefin Labs, the Hollywood, CA event generated some 3.8 million comments on Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites during its ABC broadcast (compared to last year’s 1 million). This statistic places the Academy Awards just above last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, which produced 3.1 million social media comments. The only award show having received more commentary through social media was this year’s telecast of the Grammy Awards, which had an astounding 13 million comments!

An estimated 57% of the Oscars’ comments were made by women, with the remaining 43% coming from men. Bluefin Labs further analyzed the results to determine that 22% were positive, 16% were negative, and 62% remained neutral.

 

High-traffic moments occurred somewhat predictably throughout the evening:

 

1. The most-talked about moment was the Best Picture announcement for the nearly silent film, “The Artist.”

Last year’s Best Picture: An English dude who couldn’t speak. This year’s: A French dude no one could hear.” – Andy Borowitz author/comedian

I am officially announcing that I am re-making THE ARTIST with sound.” – Alec Baldwin actor

 

2. The second peak of social media commentary took place when crowd-pleasing comedians, Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper presented three awards. Cooper’s mustache created a lot of buzz while fans encouraged The Academy to consider Fey as next year’s host.

Tina Fey should host next year.” – Kelly Oxford writer/famed tweeter

Bradley Cooper is just in from robbing a train. #Oscars” – Hulu online service for ad-sponsored video streaming

3.  Octavia Spencer’s emotional acceptance speech claimed the third most popular spot for social media discussion. Spencer’s comments additionally ranked highest in positivity ratings.

Congratulations to @OctaviaSpencer for her Oscar win! You truly deserve it! God bless!” – Kelly Rowland singer

Yes!!!! Welcome to the family Octavia !! Congrats!!! Amazing!!” – Jennifer Hudson singer/actress

Other unique moments during this year’s Oscars generated additional online discussions, and continues to prove how real-time social media platforms are changing the face of awards show commentary, as well as television watching in general. One such example was the somewhat controversial exposure of Angelina Jolie’s right leg. Viewers immediately shared opinions of Jolie’s wardrobe choice and, almost instantaneously, a Twitter account was created for “AngiesRightLeg.”  The Twitter account currently has close to 35,000 followers and about 30 tweets.

The above statistics and results only reinforce existing research in support of the effectiveness of social media. Clearly, with active individuals across such a broad spectrum, sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. can all assist in amplifying anything – whether that’s celebrity limbs or your brand. Celebrities who utilize social media for public relations’ benefits also have the opportunity to translate the increased popularity of their profiles and pages into potential business success. Advertisements cost $1.7 million per 30-second commercial, but given the popularity of the 2012 award show, it’s likely that this was money well spent.

Were you commenting on the Academy Awards via social media last Sunday?  What was your favorite part of the show?  Do you think social media is changing the face of television commentary? Tweet us @451Heat or share your comments below!

-Katie O’Brien, 451 Marketing Marketing Intern

@KGOBrien

Katie is a senior at Boston College majoring in Communication.

Thanks for the images:

1. www.gradley.net

2. www.laist.com

3. www.hollywoodreporter.com

4. www.blogcdn.com

5. www.cbswbbav.files.wordpress.com/

6. www.laist.com

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The 411 on the New Facebook Timeline

A few weeks ago I began to notice some of my Facebook friend’s profiles were different. Immediately I began to worry because like most people I don’t like change, especially on Facebook!

Come to find out, this profile “upgrade” is the new Facebook Timeline. After doing some research, I discovered that on January 24, 2012 Facebook announced in their blog, that over the next few weeks everyone will be getting the new “Timeline”. Until recently, users were able to opt-in to Timeline which was originally announced in September 2010, however within a few weeks everyone will be switched over.

According to the social media giant, Timeline gives you the ability to browse through your entire Facebook, from your first friend to your most recent post. When I first saw it, it reminded me of an online scrapbook of your life because it shows all of your status updates, photos, friendships made, job history, marital status changes, and other information that you’ve recorded on your page since it launched.

As Paul McDonald, an engineering manager on Facebook’s Timeline said, “Timeline gives you an easy way to rediscover the things you shared, and collect your most important moments. It also lets you share new experiences, like the music you listen to or the miles you run.”

Facebook hasn’t specified how long the change-over will take, but as you prepare to be switched to the new Timeline design here are some helpful tips you should know:

  • There is a 7 day preview period during which you can review everything that will appear on your Timeline. Take this time to delete anything that you don’t want on your timeline, such as silly pictures or posts from high school when you first had your Facebook, because after the 7 days you won’t be able to delete them!

 

  • In addition to a profile picture, you now have a “Cover Image”, which is a large splash photo that you can change at any time. You can pick any photo to represent you or your life without it being the picture people see of you. Keep in mind that it is a very large space to fill so higher-resolution pictures look best! 

  • A new tool being introduced with Timeline is the Activity Log where you can see all of your posts from today all the way back to where you activated your account. You are the only one that can see your activity log, and you have the option to hide the posts you’d rather not share for privacy. 

  • You can edit individual posts so only certain people can see them and also separate your Facebook friends into groups and showcase only certain items to those groups. Surprisingly this a good privacy feature of the Timeline!

 

My hope is that after reading this you feel a bit more relaxed about the new Facebook Timeline and now have some helpful hints when it becomes your time to “switch over”! Because according to Facebook, whether we are ready for the change or not – it’s coming! Tweet us @451Heat to share your thoughts!

 

-Melissa Garabedian, 451 Marketing PR Intern

@M_Garabedian

Melissa is a senior at Merrimack College majoring in Business Marketing

Facebook > Google

Last week, Facebook ended a year of remarkable growth by overtaking Google’s popularity among US internet users. Last week’s industry data shows Facebook scored more visits on its home page than the search engine’s homepage.

Research firm Hitwise said that the two sites accounted for 14% of all US internet visits last week. Facebook’s home page recorded 7.07% of traffic and Google’s home page recorded 7.03%.

Although the difference is small, the implications are HUGE. This takeover is a sign that the web is becoming more sociable than searchable, and Facebook’s popularity is going to continue to grow rapidly. Do you agree? Do you think Facebook will soar ahead of Google.com in the coming months?

Google Dives into Social Media with Google Buzz

Google Buzz is all the buzz on blogs, Twitter and other social networking sites today, but in case you’re still unsure of the new service, I’m going to outline the best features.

Buzz is Google’s newest way of showing it is committed to making Google “as social as the web itself.” It’s also a way for Google to directly compete with Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s take a look at some of the cool feature of this new service:

Source: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/google-buzz-in-gmail.html

  • Buzz will work through Google’s mail service, Gmail. It will allow users to post status updates, photos, and links to “friends,” or the people users email or chat with the most on Gmail.
  • Users will be able to choose to make posts public or private, and they will receive new comments and updates in real-time.

Source: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/google-buzz-in-gmail.html

  • The service will also pull in activity on other sites like Google Reader, Twitter, Flickr and Picasa and have inbox integration, so updates will go directly to users’ email inboxes.
  • The coolest thing, in my opinion and no offense to any of my friends, is the “Just the good stuff” feature. With this feature, Buzz recommends interesting posts and weeds out info a person is likely to skip.

What do you think of Google Buzz? Do you like the idea of having a more socialized email account?

@cristinalepore

Non-profits: How Are You Using Social Media to Tell Your Story?

section_image_nonprofit2Bloggers, including the crew here at 451 Heat, have discussed at length how and why companies should be utilizing social media tools and social networking sites to their advantage. But it is important to also note that non-profits—charities, community service organizations, preservationists, and causes of all kinds—can also stand to benefit immensely from the tools available on the social web. Non-profits will find that there are a host of tools available that can enable them to express their mission by telling a story and establishing a dialogue with supporters, benefactors, and current and potential donors.

A blog, for instance, is an excellent venue to post testimonials of individuals and organizations that have received support from the non-profit. Blog content can be peppered with photos, interactive videos, background information, additional links, director bios, and other features to enhance the story and keep the conversation dynamic.

And obviously, there are plenty of other ways that non-profits should be using the social web to raise awareness for their cause and story. Idealist.org, one of the most popular online destinations for non-profits, recently ran their thoughts on the importance of managing multiple on-line communities to effectively build an online presence. The crux of their observations revolved around the importance of interacting directly with users to build a following and a conversation, while also making sure to tailor voices for each different social media tool. The site  echoes the importance of making sure that the overall approach is integrative (a blog with event listings, Flickr photos, and YouTube videos for instance).

Simple Google searches will demonstrate how specific non-profits have certainly been quick to recognize the benefits of social media. But there are certainly examples out there that merit more visibility. The Jenzabar Foundation, an organization that supports the service and humanitarian endeavors of students around the globe, is now offering a $3,000 grant specifically for a non-profit that can demonstrate how they have effectively utilized social media strategies and tactics to raise awareness and/or funding for their cause.

So, in light of this post, head over to the blog and submit your campaign for a nomination.

Not actively involved with a non-profit but have an idea for a campaign that could tear the roof off for one? Let them hear that too. Those ideas are also eligible for the grant.