How TV brands are honoring fans with social awards

By Natan Edelsburg 

If you thought the conclusion of the 2011-2012 TV season would mean a lack of social TV news, the space isn’t slowing down a bit. Now that summer shows are beginning and much of primetime TV is coming to a conclusion until the fall, TV brands are looking for a way to keep their fans entertained and engaged. A new trend has emerged around fan-focused awards shows.

NBA TV launches the first ever ‘NBA Social Media Awards‘:

In the thick of the playoffs, the NBA has announced that they’ll be launching the first ever awards shows specifically about social media. The awards will celebrate, “NBA players, teams and fans for their social engagement throughout the 2011-2012 NBA regular season.” Awards include “The Social SLAM Award” (which will stay upon until the live broadcast on June 20th) where fans will vote on their favorite dunk and “The FanNation Award” for the team who’s had the highest increase in followers across all platforms. Voting will happen via their Facebook page and mobile site.

“Our fans have created a global community through social media where they can engage directly with other fans, hundreds of players, and all of our teams,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver says. “The NBA Social Media Awards are a great way to celebrate their passion for the game and recognize some of the best moments throughout the season,” he added. The league currently has 277 million followers and likes across Twitter and Facebook. launches the first ever “CBS Fan Awards“:

CBS hasn’t stopped with Connect, their new social platform. The broadcast network with the highest linear ratings has just announced an opportunity, “giving fans a chance to vote for their favorite moments of CBS’s 2011-2012 primetime season.” Categories, which can be voted on via Facebook or Twitter hashtag include, “Best Use of Corpse” and “Most Unexpected Hookup” (which is definitely not Barney and Robin). The voting is simple and sleek and will last through July 11th.

“CBS had another outstanding season this year, and the popularity of our shows was definitively reflected online,” Marc DeBevoise, SVP & GM of Entertainment & Lifestyle at CBS Interactive said in their release. There’s no indication that any event will be happening but the catchy-video intros for each category make you feel like you’re experiencing the awards while you watch.

BET ramps up social for the “2012 BET Awards”:

In addition to a brand new app for the BET Awards that’s received great buzz, the network is ramping up the ways they’re going to make the big event more social than last year. “As always, we will be putting our fans at the forefront of BET AWARDS this year,” BET’s Director of Social Media JP Lespinasse told Lost Remote. “We have migrated from thinking about the live-show – to a more long tail approach this year – with robust integrations across numerous social platforms,” he added.

He described Fandemonium one of their major social activations that help extend the awards to fans weeks before they air. “Six celebs’ fans will participate this year to crown the 2012 FANdemonium award winner, with challenges featuring our new BET AWARDS app, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Get Glue and Google+ and more,” Lespinasse explained. “Trendrr will be our partner helping us pull social data in real-time to ensure all votes are counted,” he added.

To allow fans to predict who will win the awards they worked with Prediculous on TOO BIG TO PICK, a “Facebook-enabled social game that asks fans to weigh in on what will happen come awards night,” Lespinasse detailed. During the broadcast itself on show day they’ll be working with Mas Relevance to curate tweets. Lespinasse told Lost Remote that, “we will surface social comments from fans via two dedicated segments within the show and a surprise social manifestation will take place when winners come on stage.” They’ll also be Instagraming throughout the night.

Shorty Awards (the ceremony I produce) TV partners:

Since the beginning of the Shorty Awards (honoring the top content producers on the social web) in 2008-2009, TV fans have always played an important role. Carrie Bugbee was revealed as the person behind @PeggyOlson as she accepted her #Advertising Shorty Award from an AMC executive on stage. As the Shortys have grown we’ve now worked with BIO, A&E, The Weather Channel, Showtime and more to honor fans and communities of influencers across the web.

Leveraging awards platforms during the off-season:

Whether honoring fans, enabling fans to decide on winners, or giving them an opportunity to be a big part of a major awards television production, TV is clearly learning how valuable this type of entertainment and engagement can be, especially during the off-season.