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And The Award Goes To... Social Media

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Social media rules the Awards season. And the Bowl season, as in Super Bowl. And the primary season, as in GOP.

The simple fact is that social media is upending the predicting game completely. Entertainment critics, political pundits, technology trend watchers, and maybe even bookmakers, are having a hard time these days "projecting a winner."

Especially if they don't take Twitter and other social media seriously. Ladies and gentlemen, true democracy has arrived. The people's voice is loud and incredibly close.

These days, whether it's politics, fashion, or sports, pundits say the same thing when asked 'who's going to take home the award'. Social media has thrown a new monkey wrench into the mix, and well, it's anybody's guess.

That's not entirely true, if you factor in the power of real-time social streams. Starting with tonight's first Golden Globes winners - Twitter and Ricky Gervais. NMIncite, the social media tracing company, found that Ricky's return to the Golden Globes is driving Twitter traffic.

The company, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, recently posted this: "This Sunday's Golden Globe Awards kick off the 2012 entertainment awards season, and NM Incite found that Ricky Gervais' return as the show's host is driving buzz mentions of the awards on Twitter. Roughly one-fourth (26%) of messages from users highly anticipate his performance, both on-stage and backstage through his Twitter account @rickygervais."

As the GOP primary camps move from New Hampshire to South Carolina, it is astonishing to see how accurate social media has become. Brandwatch - another social media monitoring company -- released numbers recently that show Twitter buzz for the candidates reflected the eventual outcome of the New Hampshire primary.

Updates shared an hour before polls closed were proportionate to the final tally of the vote, with Romney dominating the conversation with more than 50 percent of primary tweets mentioning him. He won New Hampshire by 39.3 percent. The percentage of tweets for the other candidates was almost exactly the percentage of votes they got.

We shouldn't be surprised. Back on April 9, 2010, HP Labs released a report entitled Predicting the Future with Social Media. This report details a study done at HP Labs that showed how Twitter can predict box office revenue - not just popularity - with 97.3% accuracy. Wow.

Here we are just shy of two years later and social media is proving itself to be one of the most intriguing prognosticators we've ever seen. It's prompted The USA Today to ask "...To what extent will Twitter, and other social media platforms, influence the 2012 presidential election?"

Well, one thing for sure. You better know what social media is and why it's relevant to be able to weigh in and follow along.

Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit and the Co-Author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. Gravity Summit;s next event on February 22, 2012 will address social media in sports & entertainment. She also teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension and lectures at Anderson Business School. Email her at beverlymacy@gmail.com

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