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Is Social Media Predicting the Oscars? Or are the Oscars Driving Social Media?

It’s all over the blogosphere right now — social media is predicting the Oscars(!). Everyone wants to get in on the game, and predicting awards contest winners is as old as the contests themselves. We have the originals like GoldDerby, which polls a number of insiders from Hollywood to media experts, to infographics and analysis from so many social media and analytics companies I think I’ve lost count.

Our favorite infographic so far is the one here, from Flowtown. This graphic says it correctly — if social media could predict the Oscars. We know we can track the buzz! But the Academy decides the Oscars, and the 5,765 members vote on the real winners.

Social Media Predicting the Oscars?

But no matter who wins the Oscars Sunday night, social media is coming out a winner. Not only are we talking about the social media predictions, but the Academy itself is working hard to increase social media buzz about the awards. The Los Angeles Times this morning featured an article on the Academy’s social media push, stating:

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC television network have been posting comedy bits on YouTube, designing interactive games for Facebook friends and installing cameras backstage to give Internet users a behind-the-scenes peek of Sunday’s 84th Academy Awards. A “thank you cam” will be positioned off stage for Oscar winners to gush for fans who are watching the show on TV with a “second screen” — a smart phone, tablet or laptop — in their hands” (read the full article).

The article continues to discuss the importance of engaging a younger audience, especially to the advertisers who are spending around $1.7 million for a 30 second spot. The Academy Awards could use a boost of social buzz, and it seems so far they’re getting it. The Wall Street Journal elaborates further on how ABC and the Academy will incorporate social media into this year’s broadcast:

“During the broadcast, viewer tweets using the hashtags “#oscars,” “#redcarpetqa” and “#bestdressed” will appear on Oscar.com and the Oscars app. …Even snarky comments from viewers can be used to the network’s benefit. ‘If everyone is going crazy about one event or moment of the telecast, we know what video clips to post to the site,’ Ms. [Karin] Gilford,  [ABC’s senior vice president of digital media] says” (read the full article).

No matter who wins this year’s Academy Awards Oscars, it seems that social media is a clear winner. So social media might not be predicting the Oscar winners, but the Oscars are counting on even more encouraged buzz from young audience members watching on their tablets or TVs with iPhones in hand. Enjoy the show, and don’t forget to tweet about it!

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