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Julio Viskovich, an Adjunct Professor with Sauder’s Marketing and Behavioural Science Division, has been the brain behind social media strategies for some of the world’s leading brands, including Microsoft, IBM, Rogers and Hootsuite.

In this Q&A, he discusses how businesses will be utilizing social media during the Oscars to reach consumers.

Julio ViskovichHow have the Oscars been changed by social media?

Social media activity surges during the Oscars and provides an avenue for brands and general audiences to engage in real time while the awards are going on. This has changed the way the world watches the event.

How are brands using the Oscars to reach consumers?

If the Super Bowl is a place where brands show off their newest commercials, the Oscars is where brands can show off their wit and capitalize on the real-time buzz created on social media. The Oscars allows for brands to add colour throughout the entire show. Brands have to humanize themselves and the Oscars provide a perfect venue for brands to do this.

Which social network has emerged as the most engaged with the Oscars?

Without a doubt, the network that takes the Oscars by storm is Twitter. It provides the channel that allows information to flow quickest, and with a 140-character limit, it allows brands to practice real-time marketing and capitalize in real-time by having a voice during the Oscars. Since it’s a private event, the use of photo and video sharing networks have less impact.

How do you foresee social media’s continued immersion with the Oscars over the next few years?

I see the Oscars drawing more and more social media immersion over the next few years. In fact, this year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is planning a $5.5-million social media campaign to drum up viewers of the Oscars.

What are some successful uses of social media at the Oscars?

There’s no science to going viral on social media at the Oscars – some brands have been lucky enough to be served up a lob and were listening (like Miller Lite after Matthew McConaughey mentioned their beer in his speech), some brands tried to force their way into the conversation without context (like Red Bull), and others attempted to pre-plan campaigns during the event (like Snapple).

Red Bull tweet