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Super-Social Super Bowl

Super Bowl Social Media April Lynne ScottI’ve been a football fan since I attended my first game at 2 weeks old. [That’s right – I said “2 weeks old”] I don’t remember a time I didn’t love the sport. As a kid, my team wasn’t good enough to go to the Super Bowl, but I still remember the anticipation waiting for the big game every year.

My team didn’t make it again this season, but this year I have something else to look forward to: The SuperMediaSocialBowl.

Super Bowl 46 promises to score by diving in head first to social media. Brands are embracing content marketing, social community engagement and integrating social media into their advertising more than ever before.

Super Bowl Social Media Command Center
50 social media experts have been interacting with fans in real-time during the weeks leading up to the game. All the way through the big event they’ll scour the socialnet for tweets and posts containing selected keywords to respond and engage at a moment’s notice. Teams are participating in Google+ hangouts, and fans are already responding by flooding social channels with virtual cheers.

These are not your daddy’s Super Bowl ads
Brands are going beyond adding silly little social media icons to the bottom of the TV screens. Toyota will request hashtag participation via twitter and then respond in real-time to tweeting fans. No word who will end up naked in the GoDaddy commercials this year, but they will incorporate QR codes into their advertisements. Coca-Cola, no stranger to the world of social media, will debut their famous polar bears as official commentators during the game. Although skeptical about this approach, I am anxious to see how it is received and if Coca-Cola views it as a success.

User-generated content is big again. Doritos is running a Crash the SuperBowl contest. NBC’s Jimmy Fallon is partnering with Subway to push Subs Across America showcasing user-generated video.

The Super Bowl is always must-see TV. This year it will be much more than that. Some will be venturing out to sports bars. Others will be drinking beer, tailgating, or having Super Bowl parties decked out with team paraphernalia. As for me, I will be hunkered down at my own command central – 3 screens, a TV, and a smartphone – cheering my team on to victory – and, also pulling for the underdog, social media. My fingers are crossed this will be the year social media will finally show up strong and prove the naysayers wrong.

[Go Giants!]

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Social TV: Media + Conversation

Social TV: Media + ConversationRealizing they’re arriving a little late to this party, entertainment marketers are scrambling to find new ways to join the social media event. From awards shows to the upcoming Superbowl, show check-ins via GetGlue and TV tagging with Shazam, their aim is to increase fan loyalty and audience viewership in order to [fingers crossed] see a positive ROI – but are they just spinning their wheels?

The one-Way Conversation:
TV Check-ins are popular and slowly sticking to the industry’s marketing plans. While offering value (of sorts), check-ins come up empty in other important areas. TV Tagging is fun and also offers value through exclusive video, playlists and the like. Games are interactive and offer competition among fans. Twitter and Facebook community destinations are commonplace. Google+ and Pinterest are gaining steam, and hashtags grace the bottom of nearly every television screen these days.

Steps in the right direction? Yes. These are tools to target your audience. These are great ways for your audience to interact with each other. They are not ways to engage in conversation. This is what your audience craves – a conversation… with you.

Integration and the Two-way Conversation:
Entertainment marketers have proven to be fairly good students in the rapidly changing world of social and digital media. There’s something they’re just not getting. It’s fair to note that it isn’t just the entertainment industry missing this point. Even early social media adopters miss the “conversation” opportunity. Here’s what they’ll need to get started:

1) Take a Risk… Be Creative

It’s hard to believe that an industry in the business of make-believe lacks imagination. Whether it’s a lack of education about social media or fear of investing the time, money and resources, it’s inexcusable. This is television’s moment. It’s do or die – literally.

2) Integrate – Engage – Interact

Thank you, television, for allowing us – your loyal audience – to tweet about you during your show. Why isn’t anyone tweeting back? Hello? Is anyone out there?

Networks must find ways to integrate social channels into their broadcasts, engage in real time, and encourage audience interaction. We are here. We are waiting.

3) Knowledge is Power

Let’s be honest, this is a massive undertaking. Television networks are not small. Programming is 24/7. This is not your father’s entertainment marketing. Hire knowledgeable leadership. Build passionate teams.

Listen. Learn. Create. Connect. Respond. Repeat.

Social media is capable of saving TV. It’s doing a pretty darn good job on its own, but it could use a little help. Television’s future is bright considering it could have easily been lost to social media or replaced by the internet. The industry just doesn’t completely understand how to capitalize on social media…. yet.

Social Media + Celebrity: Taming the Wild, Wild West

2011 was a year of epic celebrity engagement on social networks. Lady Gaga became the undisputed queen of Twitter and fans around the world follow her tweets; waiting with bated breath the see if the twitter queen will reply to or retweet their digital adorations.

Taming the Wild West on April Lynne Scott's WordPress blogSocial media cannot be denied as a viable and effective channel for celebrity branding. Enter WhoSay, a new social platform already boasting more than 900 celebrity members. WhoSay aggregates content from a celeb’s social media accounts on his or her WhoSay Profile. The content on the site is copyrighted by the celebrity making it a useful way to disseminate statements, photographs and other breaking news. The Associated Press has recently formed a partnership with WhoSay so celebs can license content directly to the media through the new platform.

Social applications like WhoSay are popping up everywhere giving celebrities even more reason to engage through these new media channels… and they are. Hollywood’s A-List stars (Justin Timberlake, Bono & Lady Gaga to name a few) are devoting time & money to social business while celebs like Michael J. Fox are devoting their use of social media to drive awareness to causes like Parkinson’s research and other charitable organizations. Like any other business in today’s world celebrities know that they have to embrace new media to survive.

Even with these positive advances in the social world for celebs, 2011 was also been a year of epic celebrity failure on social media. Celebrities can’t stop themselves from spewing an inappropriate social stream of consciousness resulting in bad PR and a big mess for their publicists and managers. Celebs are using social media the same way the rest of us do, but their reach is far greater… and the damage far more costly.

From the novice celebrity tweeter to the Twitter-maestro himself Ashton Kutcher, celebrities are guilty of sending the wrong message. These social faux pas have proven costly both in terms of their finances and their reputations.

Social Media is PR in an instant. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher have realized their brand can be damaged by a single tweet and have taken themselves of the social game. As much as fans and media crave these intimate, candid moments, social tools have to be used properly and with the same care and discretion given the other areas of their careers to be beneficial. What we must understand is that a celebrity’s brand can be damaged just as much by inappropriate management of their social brand as it can by handing over the management of that social brand to a handler.

Celebrity social media Paparazzi April Lynne Scott WordPress blogThe goal of social interaction is to connect with media, fans and friends and create stronger relationships, increase fan engagement and keep the star relevant  n the media. These social relationships will not be effective if they are not delivered (at least partly) in the celeb’s own voice. The celebrity’s personal interaction must be carefully balanced with those of the handlers & managers monitoring their social channels. So, how can celebrities and PR professionals walk this fine line?

I have to wonder why celebrity social media has been left unsettled and ungoverned – dangerous & deadly – much like the wild west. Celebrity managers and publicists would never consider leaving any other part of a client’s business unplanned or without strategy. Social media is no different.

Social media is a real, viable, critically important channel for the world of entertainment and it’s time we start treating it as such. Fans & media already understand that managers & publicists play a large role in every aspect of the celeb’s brand… why not this one? We must be well-versed in the tools of new media. We must be completely aware of the risks involved and prepared to handle the consequences in real-time. News is made and reputations are damaged in a social instant. It’s high noon and there will be a shootout. Are you armed with a plan?

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