How Social Media Changed Award Shows

The BET Awards are this Sunday. Of course, I’m excited. I’ve watched it every year since the very first show in 2001 (I missed last year cause I was in the Dominican Republic, but it was wack.) I’m excited this year not for the performers or the surprises or that Beyonce and Jay-Z are going to be there. I’m excited to live tweet.

I still remember the first time I live tweeted an awards show. It was probably the 2009 BET Awards and I was amazed at how every person on my timeline were watching the same thing and making hilarious jokes about it. It felt like I was watching the show with a room full of people instead of being by myself.

Some of the advantages of live tweeting a television event like an awards show is the ability to use the hashtag to have your tweet seen by everyone that is following along. In this case the official hashtag is #BETAwards. You can gain followers and find new interesting people to follow as well.

BET is also using social media to promote the awards and get fans involved. They have an active Twitter page for the awards, an iPhone and Android app that fans can download, a Facebook page and behind the scenes videos and photos on the official website. They are also running contests through these social media platforms, giving away tickets to the show. This will drive even more people to like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.  The online community needs to be engaged in order for them to be excited to watch the show. Right now, two days before the awards, Stephen Hill, executive producer of the show is using his Twitter feed to tease surprises and spoilers for the show to get people talking. Blogs are speculating who will perform and who will show up. There has to be moments that people will want to watch on YouTube the next day.

Television itself has embraced social media. It is common to watch a show and see a hashtag in the bottom of the screen, encouraging online conversation. Most people today watch television and tweet or blog about it while their watching. It is a new trend that I really enjoy.

Follow me on Twitter at @Amanda_Akousa for my commentary during the BET Awards this Sunday July 1st at 8pm!

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