MTV Networks (@MTV) is a global leader in entertainment content. The annual Video Music Awards (VMAs) is always one of the network’s highest-rated shows.
Since 2007, MTV has pioneered the use of Twitter at the VMAs, and ratings soared when the network began to integrate Twitter even more fully to drive engagement. Leading up to the annual awards, @MTV wanted to take their social TV approach one step further and create groundbreaking interactive experiences.
@MTV worked with Twitter’s content and programming team to develop interactive experiences that allowed viewers to engage with and actually influence the live broadcast. A custom Twitter Tracker website and mobile site increased viewer interaction for the VMAs. @MTV then used a Promoted Trend on Twitter with the hashtag #VMA to amplify the conversation. The same hashtag was shown on-air, on MTV.com and on the Twitter Tracker site to maintain a consistent audience experience.
The Twitter Tracker site integration had three major components: Buzz, Paparazzi and Hotseat.
Buzz encouraged viewers to tweet about VMA celebrities. The Tweets influenced an online and on-air Buzz experience with pictures that grew and shrank based on the volume of Twitter conversations about those celebrities.
The Paparazzi feature on the Twitter Tracker site distributed backstage photos to users in real-time and encouraged viewers to retweet those photos. The most retweeted photos were showcased during the live program.
The Hotseat was a seating chart of the theater that showed where celebrities were tweeting from during the broadcast. By clicking on a seat, viewers could see a celebrity’s real-time Tweets.
“The combination of Twitter and television is powerful. Developing Twitter engagement during a show is now just as important as pre-show promotional activities.”Thomas FishmanSocial Manager, MTV
The VMAs with the Twitter Tracker integration and Promoted Trend drew the largest audience for any telecast in MTV’s history to-date. The incredible volume of over 10 million Tweets contributed to the broadcast’s increased viewership and social media success.
3 keys to success
Work with Twitter to create customized experiences.
Engage followers with integrative techniques.
Create multi-platform experiences to engage users both online and on-screen. #VMA was shown on-air, on MTV.com and on the Twitter Tracker site for a consistent audience experience across channels.
Boost engagement throughout your event.
Fill low-viewership times with compelling content. @MTV actively tweeted to keep viewers engaged throughout the show, including during commercial breaks.