An interview with Facebook’s Nick Grudin about making Comic-Con more social than ever before

By Natan Edelsburg 

Photo from @snoopygrams on Instagram.

Comic-Con in San Diego felt like a giant IRL social media chat about your favorite TV shows, movies comics and more. Among the many big players that participated this year was Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook). The social giant, which recently launched hashtags and a partnership with Trendrr went above and beyond to bring Comic-Con to life and to millions who couldn’t attend. We interviewed Nick Grudin, who oversees strategic partnerships for Facebook’s brands about their impressive activations and partnerships in San Diego.

Facebook had an exclusive partnership with Entertainment Weekly‘s major presence at Comic-Con and with InstaStop, a place for stars to take Instagram photos and videos. They were camped out in the EW green room at the Hard Rock. As stars would stop by they would stop by, snap photos, and it would automatically upload to the @entertainmentweekly Instagram feed. They also partnered with Zac Levi at NerdHQ (one of the hottest venues in San Diego from the former Chuck star). They also ran these hilarious Instawalks (tagged with #instawalk) with stars like Jena Malone from Hunger Games. They also held a party for the industry with a automatic post to your timeline-step and repeat. Here are more details of the partnerships from Grudin and why Comic-Con is important to the largest social platform.
Lost Remote: Why does Facebook think it’s important to be at Comic-Con?
Nick Grudin: People use Facebook to connect and share about what’s happening in their lives, whether it’s a family photo or their favorite movie, and Comic-Con is certainly one of those moments that generates wide and passionate interest. In fact, on Thursday and Friday, #SDCC San Diego Comic-Con International was the top trending hashtag on Facebook. Whether it’s watching an exclusive trailer or getting the chance to ask an actor from your favorite show a question during a Q&A, Facebook offered fans around the world direct access to what was happening on the ground in San Diego.
LR: What was the strategic thinking behind the partnerships Facebook engaged with?
NG: Facebook is a place where people can connect directly to the actors, actresses, films and TV shows they care about most. And Comic-Con is all about bringing fans together with content creators. 
For example, Entertainment Weekly used Facebook to host live chat sessions with actors, enabling fans to converse directly on Facebook with Vin Diesel and Divergent stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James. 
LR: How has Instagram become important to the Comic-Con experience?
NG: Instagram is about capturing and sharing the world’s moments, and at Comic-Con, it provided a unique window into what was happening behind the scenes. Entertainment Weekly and NerdHQ offered fans glimpses of stars having fun at backstage InstaStops, taking photos and videos and sharing them in real time. Instagrammer Jena Malone (@jenamalone) invited fans on an #Instawalk, taking fans behind the scenes as she visited Comic Con with the Hunger Games: Catching Fire cast, as did Snoopy, whose Jumpstagram photo alone garnered more than 8000 likes.