A Very Social Affair


(from Billboard Magazine, February 23, 2012) On the morning of the Grammy’s, five social media professionals from the Recording Academy made their way to a suite behind the Los Angeles’ Staples Center to begin tweeting about the event. This year’s ceremony had a social media-driven marketing campaign.  During the broadcast, there were between 12.8 million and 14 million Grammy-related tweets.

Although the broadcast ratings went down significantly this year, the Academy was pleased to know that social ratings increased. Some ratings, however, were not so glamorous. Some viewers were displeased with host LL Cool J’s frequent instructions on which hashtags to use on Twitter during the show. The Academy is still evaluating this year’s show to determine if similar tactics will be used next year. Recording Academy Chief Marketing Officer, Evan Greene, said, “Integrating social in a meaningful way into the body of the telecast only helps, and only makes the show more relevant and more engaging for people that are experiencing it with a first, second, and third screen.”

The Grammy’s in-house social media team measured success on a Tweets Per Minute (TPM) metric system. Some of the most talked about moments during the broadcast included Jay-Z, the Dream, Frank Ocean’s acceptance speech for best rap/sung collaboration, and Rihanna’s performance of her single, “Stay.” Other moments bringing in over 100,000 TPM were Prince announcing record of the year and fun. winning best new artist. This year’s Grammy award show was the second most tweeted about event of the year, coming in second only to the Super Bowl.

Although Twitter is a main source for measuring social success on a live TV broadcast, other platforms like Shazam and Get Glue have other ways to engage fans. Shazam measures sound tags, and over half a million tags were completed during the show. Get Glue measures activity within its platform, such as check-ins and interaction with the broadcast.

This year the Grammys used a “Twitter Mirror,” where performers and presenters could go backstage to tweet and share photos during the show. This effort by the Academy proved their commitment to breaking new ground in social media.