How iHeartRadio Generated 14 Billion Social Impressions for its Awards Show

Instead of sticking to just their native site, Facebook and/or Twitter, iHeartRadio embraced a variety of platforms, including Snapchat and Periscope. This gave fans a behind-the-scenes look.

Social was arguably the biggest driver of conversation around the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards, which celebrated Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake and some of the other biggest names in music.

The radio app company was able to generate more than 14 billion social impressions before, during and after the ceremony — beating last year’s mark of 8.5 billion, and more than the 5 billion social impressions generated by the Academy Awards this year.

How? Instead of sticking to just their native site, Facebook and/or Twitter, iHeartRadio embraced a variety of platforms, including Snapchat and Periscope. This gave fans a behind-the-scenes look.

Chris Williams, Chief Product Officer at iHeartMedia, talked with SocialTimes about the company’s social strategy during the awards show:

If there’s a cool moment — Madonna and Taylor Swift on stage together — the first time you see an image of that, it’s not going to be on our website. It’s going to be on social. The website will be the recap the following day, memorializing what happened at the event. Everything started social first, and the website became the second priority, which is the exact opposite of the way that we approached every event that we’ve done over the years.

iHR SnapchatKnowing that fans would be checking social for reactions, updates and backstage photos, iHeartRadio made social the priority and engaged with the viewers in real time. The iHeartRadio Awards had an “Our Story,” on Snapchat that was viewed more than 600 million times. On Twitter, the awards show was the top trending topic of the night (and the week), beating the Kids Choice Awards and the season finale of The Walking Dead.

Williams also said the company also embraced the use of Periscope, which had launched through Twitter only three days before the show. Through Periscope, iHeartRadio gained more than 110,000 stars and 5,438 for its first usage at the ceremony.

Williams talked about how Periscope was a perfect fit for the awards show:

Periscope went live and we had been a part of their beta community for several weeks leading up to the awards. The timing was such that they had launched to the public the Thursday or Friday before awards and we were able to integrate that. We had Periscope backstage, seeing the band that was playing, and (fans) may have not been able to see otherwise. We had Periscope on the red carpet and people were really tuning in. People were just really interested in seeing what happens with the artists backstage.

Readers: Were you impressed with how the iHeartRadio Music Awards spread through social?

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