And The Winner Is...Social Media

In the summer of 2012, MTV’s Video Music Awards generated 12.8 million comments on Facebook and Twitter. This year, the network decided to take advantage of their viewers’ social media savvy and revealed several categories of nominees using Instagram and Vine videos.

The first six-second animated video went live on both social networks at 8 a.m. ET on July 17, announcing the nominees for Video of the Year. Videos revealing the nominees for Best Female Video, Best Male Video and others were released each hour throughout the day. The effort was part of MTV’s #RoadtotheVMAs campaign, which began in March with a series of Instagram photos detailing the event’s move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

MTV was the first to use social media videos to announce its nominees, but social media has played a role in publicizing awards shows and engaging viewers for several years.

According to’s interview with Evan Greene, chief marketing officer of the Recording Academy, social media marketing around the Grammys started in 2009. Since then, the number of platforms used for the Grammys has almost tripled and now includes Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr, among others. Followers and views and the impact they have on the shows have soared.

In the interview, Greene provides insight on what the Recording Academy has learned since social media became a marketing option. “The universal truth we discovered is that people are fundamentally looking for two things: discovery and community. If there is discovery, that leads to enhanced community. Boiled down to its essence, it's really about the conversation,” he said.

The Recording Academy fueled the conversation during this year’s Grammys with an app that allowed viewers to follow Twitter feeds from fans and artists. During the Academy Awards, advertiser Samsung delivered exclusive content from the red carpet and backstage through its social channels. With these tactics and others in play, the two awards shows saw well over 22 million tweets from viewers combined.