Cable nets are ready to hit this year’s SXSW, which kicks off Friday, with a greater social media presence compared to previous years. The annual festival has already generated plenty of social media buzz: Over the past 14 days, mentions of SXSW have reached more than 337K total posts across platforms, according to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. While Twitter leads the conversation with 90% of the volume, Facebook has produced more than 21K SXSW mentions.
 
Showtime is sponsoring the SXSW Go Mobile app, which allows attendees to view, plan and share their schedule, network with others, and navigate the convention once they are on the ground. Created exclusively by the net, a new tool in this year’s SXSW GO app, “Trending Now at SXSW,” will highlight the hottest things happening at the festival. The app’s schedule banner links users to a map that includes the top check-in locations around Austin, powered by Foursquare and Google Maps APIs. The tool will also aggregate the most discussed SXSW topics via Twitter.
 
Nat Geo is going to SXSW for the first time, bringing its new series “The ‘80s: The Decade That Made Us” and throwing an ‘80s party on Sunday featuring a performance by music group Girl Talk. There will also be various street team activations, including iconic cars from the ‘80s (see full story in CableFax Daily). At the party guests will be able to take photos in an ‘80s-themed photo booth and share their snapshots across social media platforms using the hashtag #NatGeo80s, said Hayes Tauber, the net’s new svp, marketing.
 
Social media is always a big part of SXSW, said IFC’s svp of marketing, Blake Callaway. “What’s a better way to leverage social media than SXSW?” he said. It’s about having smart conversations that don’t oversell, he said. It’s also a chance for people who can’t attend the festival to experience the spirit, he added. IFC is back on the ground at SXSW for the 4rd consecutive year. The net’s IFC Crossroads House will showcase live comedy events and exclusive music showcases.

Bravo is committed to interactivity, a fundamental component of the net, said Ellen Stone, head of marketing. “It’s all about creating conversations,” she said. The net will be leveraging various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. The net’s bringing its late-night talk show, “Watch What Happens Live,” hosted by Andy Cohen, to the festival for 5 shows.

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