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Did Social Media Really Give Oscar That Much of A Boost?

 It seems like we're overestimating the influence of social media these days.

The fact that Lady Gaga uses social media must mean that it's social media that has propelled her to super stardom, right? Of course not. Most artists use social media exactly the same way. It's Gaga's music and overall brand experience that has propelled her to super stardom.

Social media is word of mouth. Nothing more and nothing less.

This week's example of hyperbole comes with the help of Oscar. Which, of course, amped up its social media efforts and saw record viewership. One to one correlation? Perhaps. But it probably has more to do with the global phenomenon known as "Avatar" that pushed the show into record viewership.

Chances are, the Twitterers behind 200,000 tweets per hour during the award show, the users behind three million viewers on a branded YouTube page, and the 90,000 fans of a pre-telecast Facebook page would have watched the awards show whether today's variants of social media existed or not. 

It's also worth noting that offline brands are the biggest successes in social media, further reinforcing the notion that social media is a natural extension of word of mouth, rather than some mysterious new component in the marketplace.

Yes - it's hugely important, and brands need to be figuring out how to use social media to their maximum benefit. But let's be careful about assigning it far, far too much importance relative to its real impact.

Read more about Oscar's soc-net success here





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