Sunday night, the cable network BET had their annual awards show, the BET Awards. The network's Social Media Director JP Lespinasse had said that it would be "the most social awards show ever." While that can be debated, no one can say that BET did not effectively integrate social media into the awards show, with a reported 500,000 tweets shared about the awards show.
It all started with a "fandemonium" challenge launched earlier this month on one of BET's flagship shows, 106th & Park, which posed social media-themed challenges to viewers to vote for their favorite artists. After some confusion, the winning artist, Chris Brown, was announced at the awards show.
The social media integration continued into the day of the awards with a "social media lounge" and social media host Lala. In the lounge, tweets from viewers using the #BETAwards hashtag were shown in real-time on a screen. Footage from the lounge and backstage areas were streamed live online, and winners were revealed by the award presenters using HTC Evo View 4G tablets.
BET also held a contest for audience members via Twitter, providing viewers with a real incentive for joining the social media discussions of the show. At the top of the broadcast, a secret hashtag was revealed, and any Twitter user who sent a tweet with the hashtag was entered to win a Ford Focus.
While my Twitter timeline always goes crazy during an awards show, I definitely noticed a difference in how my friends and followers were discussing the show. Reading my personal timeline as the awards show was happening, it seemed like more users were using the official hashtag, mentioning the BET Awards Twitter account, and generally were more involved in the social media discussions of the broadcast. Whether you watched the broadcast or not, have you noticed more discussion of it on social media sites compared to other shows and events?