The most popular topic on social media this weekend must be Oscar. In the old days, Oscar watchers would look to Los Angeles to get a quick breakdown of who were mostly likely to take home a statuette at the awards night. Today, people can guess the potential winners, as well as gain actionable insights on how to better market these nominees’ films, via a process known as “social listening,” which means an automated analysis of mentions on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
A content marketing and social media manager at Cision said, “Share of voice analysis is something that public relations agencies have been doing for 60 or 70 years”. In the past, people collected clippings from a newspaper to figure out how many news hit one brand had. However, people now can do it in real time with social media. Therefore, instead of a bunch of analysts over many weeks, one analyst is enough over an hour to collect millions and millions of messages.
Usually, the data merely confirm what is already known or suspected. For example, “The Revenant” leads the Oscar field with 12 nominations, and it is also No. 1 on social media buzz. Last year Amobee, a global marketing technology company, correctly predicted the winners for best picture in all four major acting awards by analyzing data from the first week after the Oscar nominations were announced and comparing it to the social media activity around the time each film was released. However, placing bets on the Oscars based on social listening data still could be risky. Because the major users of social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram are a younger subset of the general population, while Academy voters constitute an older sampling of the film community.
Thus, it’s not feasible to use social listening data in order to directly influence the Oscar vote. But studios can look at such information connected to the awards, because it gives insights into timing of promotional activities. For example, studios can think about product placements and ads to increase and sustain buzz around a movie, that also equals to potential revenue somehow.