How the Grammys Strategically Integrated Live TV and Social Media

twitter-tv-integrationLate last week, Megan reported that Twitter had purchased a start up company called BlueFin Labs.

If you don’t understand why that is such a big deal, keep reading and I’ll explain. It could mean a world of difference for how you allocate your marketing and advertising budgets.

Like it’s predecessor and competitor, BlueFin Labs is one of the select few social analytics dashboards focused on bridging the gap between how television programming and advertising guide the online and real time conversations of millions of consumers who stayed glued to their idiot box each evening.

One month prior to this acquisition, Twitter also announced it’s partnership with popular media measurement company Nielsen – a company that your probably already very familiar with if you’ve been involved in planning the ad spots for your brand.

This partnership was inked with the goal of creating what is now called the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating. This new index complements Nielsen’s existing ratings and metrics, but enhances the data to provide networks, brands and ad agencies with a new set of consumer insights that help them to understand how the TV audience engages in conversations driven by television programming schedules.

This sudden pattern of partnerships and acquisitions signifies what I believe are the first steps to a major shift in how mass media (classified as “passive media”) and Internet media (classified as “active media”) will converge, eliminating the silos between what is considered “mass-media marketing” and “digital marketing”.

It’s almost a no-brainer that in time, the convergence of these two schools of marketing will have a significant impact on how you plan and spend your brand’s marketing dollars.

How the Grammys Strategically Integrated Live TV and Social Media

Grammys 2013There’s a ton of strategic lessons that came out of the last night’s Grammy awards for corporate side marketers and advertisers, especially if you have a “V” or “C” in front of your title and your responsible for how your company’s dollars are spent on television and the web.

Based on what we saw last night, I’ll share some insights and tips that I think can help you get more from your advertising budget, when and if you take those all-important steps towards social media integration.

Social Media and The Grammy’s — 4 Strategic Hits

  1. Keep your hashtags simple. The production team at the Grammy’s did a nice job keeping the hash tag clean, simple and in tune with what television views would naturally associate with the programming. Using #grammys as opposed to #grammys2013 or #grammyawards as the official hashtag was a good move.
  2. Use live-on-air calls to action. About once a segment, good old L.L. Cool J made it a point to verbally announce and encourage the social media conversation on Twitter while the hash tag flashed in on the screen. This continuous prompting of the audience reminds viewers that there’s more to the viewing experience online and they may be missing it.
  3. Show that you’re listening. L.L. was prompted to open social TV calls to action by acknowledging that members of the audience were tweeting, even going as far as to read a few tweets on camera.
  4. Involve other television personalities when you can.  It’s not a secret that talk show host and comedian Ellen Degeneres is huge on Twitter, using her own account to talk directly with her fans and keep that brand connection strong.  Tweets from her (like the one you see below) added her own personality to the overall online buzz surrounding the Grammy’s and probably mixed a few of her own fans into the conversation as well.

Grammys tweets

Social Media and The Grammy’s — 4 Strategic Misses

  1. Don’t tell lies on air. Seriously, L.L.?!? There’s no way you are reading all those tweets.  More than a few times during the program, L.L. made the comment that he was reading all the tweets back stage. Either Mr. Cool J is the most efficient speed reader on the planet, or he was simply reading the words on the teleprompter. Unfortunately, this ill choice of wording in the script created a poor impression.
  2. Put viewers tweets on the screen. The Grammy’s missed a big opportunity to capture some of the live tweets – especially the funny and controversial ones – and edit them in as screenshots into the live broadcast. Can you imagine how you would have felt if your tweet ended up on international television?  For bonus points, the Grammys could have even gone as far as to identify online celebrities with lots of followers and featured their tweets.
  3. Take questions from the viewers in real time.  I was surprised that there were no backstage Twitter Q&A between tweeting viewers and Grammy winners. I willing to bet that promoting a chance to ask Adele a question about her music would have likely increased the TPM’s for the hash tag exponentially.
  4. Who’s talking back?  Perhaps the stream was moving to fast, but no where in the conversation did I see any call or response from identified Grammys community managers.  The presence of multiple designated Grammy Twitter community managers could have made a huge difference in creating deeper involvement with television viewers looking to be a part of the red carpet action from their pajamas and couch. For yet more bonus points, the Grammy folks would have made sure to have community managers that covered the multiple languages being tweeted during the program.

Your Brand, Television Budgets and the Conversation on Twitter

Folks, trust me when I say that this convergence of real time social media like Twitter and television programming and advertising is not going away.

The analytics that companies like Trendrr.TV and BlueFin Labs can pull data and insights that essentially give advertisers more intelligence on when, how and what type of television spots and sponsorships will have the greatest impact on their business KPI’s.

Where’s your head at when it comes to the integration of TV and Twitter?  Has your brand already jumped onto this band wagon as an early adopter or are you waiting for more proof in the pudding?

Share your opinions in the comments, okay?

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