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Beyonce and the VMA’s: What can we learn?

The news that Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement sparked the largest spike ever in Twitter activity—far more than major news or sporting event—prompted this reaction from many people: “What is wrong with society?”

I heard that response about five times today. I saw it on Twitter about 100 times.

The reality that Beyonce’s “baby bump” could lead to 8,868 tweets per second (TPS) seemed shocking, especially when the final minutes of the women’s World Cup Final generated 7,196 TPS and breaking news of terror leader Osama bin Laden’s death lead to 5,106 TPS.

We know that Beyonce is a star, but still, a new Twitter record seems bit much. Until you consider some of the contributing factors.

Beyonce’s announcement came immediately after her performance on the MTV Video Music Awards, which integrated Twitter throughout the show, the pre-show and the promotion leading up to the broadcast. MTV knows its audience falls in the category of heavy social media users, and MTV uses that to its advantage.

During the East Coast broadcast of the VMA’s, there were 10 million VMA-related tweets, the most of any awards show to date. Overall, the VMAs have been the most discussed television show in the last week, generating nearly five times as much social media chatter as the second-highest ranked show, Jersey Shore, according to the social television rating service Trendrr.tv.

And it wasn’t all Beyonce talk. The information from Trendrr shows that Beyonce wasn’t even one of the top five most popular hashtags, evidence that the VMA social media success extended far beyond her big announcement.

The television broadcast was certainly aided by the online discussion, as the VMA’s scored MTV the biggest audience in network history, with 12.4 million total viewers.

Television records. Social media records. It’s hard to say if one of driving the other, but it’s nearly impossible to argue that they aren’t related.

All of these factors show that the VMA’s were the perfect example of audience engagement. And more television stations and news organizations should take note.

MTV knows its audience and encouraged its viewers to be part of the show by interacting on social networks throughout the broadcast. Television is no longer a one-way medium, and MTV showed the ability to connect an audience of active viewers.

What if other organizations could follow suit?

Category: Branding, New Media Thoughts, News, Social Media, Television, twitter

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