If you watched the 86th Academy Awards Sunday night, you saw Ellen DeGeneres, the host, leave the stage and ask actor Bradley Cooper to take a “selfie” picture of her and several other stars including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt.
She quickly uploaded the picture to Twitter causing Twitter to crash for about 20 minutes. Long before midnight Sunday, the photo had been retweeted more than 2 million times, breaking the record set by President Barack Obama with the picture of him hugging First Lady Michelle Obama after his re-election in 2012.
Twitter sent out an apology Sunday night saying all of the retweeting Academy Awards disrupted service for more than 20 minutes after 10 p.m. ET.
Social media usage has become an integral part of what we do. A Feb 2014 survey by Influenster reported 97% of female internet users planned to use social media while watching the Academy Awards.
The survey reported that US internet users who accessed social media while watching cultural events on TV did so to see other people’s reactions or because it made the show more entertaining. More than half of respondents also logged on to social sites as they viewed events because it made them feel like part of a community.
More than four in 10 respondents said they were likely to interact with brands tweeting during televised cultural events, and an additional 48.42% said they would do so if the brand said something funny or interesting.
Guidelines for Sweepstakes and Contests on Twitter
Sweepstakes and contests are great tools to engage your followers on Twitter.
Sweepstakes and contests on Twitter may offer prizes for tweeting a particular update, for following a particular user, or for posting updates with a specific hashtag. If you’ve been thinking about hosting a contest using your Twitter profile, here are some simple guidelines to follow to ensure your contest doesn’t ask anyone to violate any of Twitter’s rules or guidelines:
• Discourage the creation of multiple accounts
• Discourage posting the same Tweet repeatedly
• Ask users to include an @reply to you in their update so you can see all the entries
• Encourage the use of topics relevant to the contest. You may ask users to include relevant hashtag (like #contest or #yourcompanyname)
• Follow the Twitter Rules and guidelines
• Applicable Laws and Regulations still apply including posting Official rules. Because of limited real estate disclosing rules may be a challenge. Consider use of tiny URL to house the rules
• In addition, before starting any contests or sweepstakes please ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. As a Sponsor compliance with such laws and regulations is your responsibility; please let us know if you have questions about legal compliance.
Food for thought….
• Sweepstakes cannot require a purchase and must be carefully designed to achieve objectives,
• Legal regulations governing sweepstakes are subject to varied interpretation and enforcement,
• Beyond legal requirements, consider the PR impact of the promotion especially as situations occur.
I appreciate your comments, suggestions and input and invite you to share this material with friends and colleagues you think may have an interest in this area of promotions.
Thanks for reading and for your interest!