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The Social Media Awards Season: Which Awards Show Won Online?

Published by Engagement Labs March 03, 2016

Glitz, glamor and glory can only mean one thing - awards season. Starting with the Golden Globes in January all the way to the Oscars this past week, March marks the end of the flashy season and it’s finally time to hang up our red carpet looks.

Three major awards shows were broadcasted over the months of January and February, so Engagement Labs couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hand out our own awards for the ‘host with the most’.

With millions of viewers watching and millions of sponsorship dollars being spent, awards season is primetime for the various academies and associations behind the shows to step up to the social media podium to engage with viewers who want to know more about the awards and who’s nominated.

So ladies and gentlemen, I hope you have your acceptance speeches ready, as we’ve looked at each awards show leading up to their broadcast and here’s how they performed on social media:

Top Performing Awards Shows on Social Media | Engagement Labs

And The Best Use of Celebrities Goes to… The Golden Globes

Telecast on January 10th, 2016, The Golden Globes was the kick-start to the crazy awards road. Known for its high-profile guest list, The Golden Globes focused on its A-list star power and moulded its social media strategy around this concept.

Award-Winning Techniques

The week leading up to the event, the show name-dropped celebrities here and there, posting about the latest presenters to join their impressive roster. Generating up to 35,900 likes on Facebook on their most engaged post and thousands of likes on their Twitter live updates, it was safe to say audiences were loving these announcements.

More presenters have been announced: Chris Evans, Kate Bosworth, Tom Hanks, Jonah Hill and Andy Samberg will join us at...

Posted by Golden Globes on Friday, January 8, 2016

On Twitter, the show expanded beyond announcements of celebrity guests, by hopping on board with Amy Poehler’s #SmartGirlsAsk campaign. Encouraging fans to submit their questions for winners or presenters with the hashtag #SmartGirlsAsk.

Improvements for Next Year

To see their Twitter star shine more, the Golden Globes account should take to the channel to respond to submissions that were selected, so as to keep the user in the loop regarding their chosen question, encouraging them to tune in live to the Golden Globes red carpet.

And The Best Behind-the-Scenes Looks Goes to… The GRAMMYs

Music’s biggest night took over television screens and social media on February 15th, 2016. Posting similar announcements to the Golden Globes regarding performers and presenters, the GRAMMYs also focused on providing us a behind-the-scenes look of the show.

Award-Winning Techniques

Bringing fans into their world through behind-the-scenes posts using social media heightened fan excitement. Fans felt as though they were part of the GRAMMYs build-up and come airtime, they felt as though they were a part of the event.

One more day to go!⬆⬆ This way to the #GRAMMYs stage!

Posted by The GRAMMYs on Sunday, February 14, 2016

The show’s social media strategy didn’t stop there as the GRAMMYs spotlighted several of its nominees, highlighting their roads to success. For instance: 

  • On Instagram the second most engaged post was looking back at 13 years of backstage GRAMMY portraits of winners holding their awards
  • Another highly engaged post on Instagram was a flashback to Jay-Z’s win at the 2013 awards show, gaining 10,900 likes
  • Twitter looked at Taylor Swift’s oral history to get to her Album of the Year nomination
  • Twitter also looked back at red-carpet fashion by Lady GaGa over the years

Improvements for Next Year

Another technique used by the GRAMMYs was to leverage an interactive pinboard leading up to the show that brought fans the latest images and videos of VIP events that occurred before the show.

Calls-to-actions like this are perfect for engaging with your fans, however, it needs to be leveraged more frequently. Posting this pinboard on their various channels more often, the awards show could really have amplified their engagement and continued their inclusive streak of social media engagement.

And The Best Visual Storytelling Goes to...The Oscars

Plagued in controversy this year, The Oscars had a lot of groundwork to lay before the show this year. Airing February 28th, 2016, Tinsel Town’s biggest night performed well when it came to social media.

Award-Winning Techniques

Ensuring they tied in everything Hollywood with their social media strategies, some highlights from the Academy Awards’ social media channels include:

  • Showcasing behind-the-scenes looks of the show from stage-set up to rehearsal moments
  • Using video content to show quick tours of the arena
  • Taking audiences back to the planning stages by posting an album on Facebook of the sketches used to design the stage
  • Using popular movie characters such as C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars and Minions in their social media posts

Taking a very visual approach to their behind-the-scenes looks, the Oscars tied in movie references with their awards shows to build a genuine connection with their movie-going audiences, as reflected by the high engagement seen on their channels.

Improvements for Next Year

The Oscars offered exclusive merchandise, while attaching themselves to the popular #MondayMotivation hashtag. Promoting their Oscar notebook filled with advice from past winners, the show posted links to purchase the book on their Facebook channel resulting in great engagement. 

Need a little #MondayMotivation? Get a limited edition #Oscars Notebook with advice from past winners!

Posted by The Academy on Monday, February 22, 2016

To really make the most of such promotions and links, the show could have showcased snippets from the book on their social channels to provide audiences a more in-depth look into the different merchandise that can be purchased from the Academy.

The Closing Remarks

While one might think it must be easy for awards shows to promote their events on social media thanks to the huge appeal of their A-list guests, it can be quite the opposite. These shows have to put in the work in their social channels and hone in on the interests of their audiences.

While A-list celebrities and performances will get fans talking, maintaining that buzz is the key. Providing more call-to-actions and showing the event beyond the guest list will be how mass-media events such as awards show will get their own shiny trophy for social media accomplishments.

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