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The Impact of Social Media on the Award Show Season

Do you remember watching award shows such as The Oscars and Grammys and having to wait until the following day to read headlines or discuss the show with coworkers or friends? It feels like a bygone era. Social media gives us the ability and freedom to immediately voice our thoughts and opinions to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. What impact has this had on the way we interact with the major award shows?

Social Media Interactions

Before we can discuss the influence that social media has had on modern award shows, it is important to understand the magnitude and number of social media interactions that the big award shows pull in. The Nielsen Company shared some insight last year on numbers and stats for social media interactions of the largest award shows. According to their data, the top 3 award shows for social media interactions were The 61st Grammy Awards, The Oscars, and the 2018 MTV Music Awards. These shows saw interactions of 26.2 million, 17.7 million, and 12.2 million interactions across social media, respectively.


Some of the content that many of us are interested in when it comes to award shows is what celebrities are wearing on the red carpet. Within seconds of a star’s outfit broadcasting on TV, you can be sure you will read about the good and bad on your social feed. Social media allows users to quickly voice their opinion about celebrities’ more-than-likely-bespoke designer outfit. Whether a user is saying they love Janelle Monae’s outfit or describing their distaste for Laura Dern’s gown at The Oscars, you’ll read about it.

The Red Carpet has always been a big deal for the designers dressing celebrities such as Prada, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Valentino, etc. Social media gives these designers an even greater reach to show off their couture fashion, especially on Instagram, which is a very visually-focused social platform. Between the posts by celebrities, news outlets, fans, and the designers themselves, the best and worst fashion is sure to receive much more exposure for each designer than just the short time it appears on TV.

With this expanded exposure for fashion, the need to stand out has grown significantly. While a simple, classic gown can make an elegant statement, social media demands fashion that grabs the eye, which, in turn, has placed emphasis on unique styling for red carpets. Do you want to just look good or do you want your outfit to go viral? Fashion is a great opportunity for celebrities to stand out at the show. Social media has placed such great attention on red carpet fashion that many believe the clothes that celebrities wear to the award show is more important than the awards that they actually take home. 

Award Announcements

You’re watching the award show, and you probably have opinions about who just won. Thanks to Twitter, you can quickly post about whether you think the person who won deserved the award or not, and you probably have something to say about their speech – especially if they get political. With social media, opinions – good, bad, and ugly – are all free to be shared immediately. 

Celebrities (or their social media team) can capitalize on engagement and exposure by sharing a post or image in a timely manner about their win. Twitter provides a great platform to quickly share the news about a Grammy or Oscar moment. Fans can like, share, and retweet celebrities’ posts about their award win and share the excitement. 

The award show experience has undoubtedly changed since the boom of social media, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Social media gives fans the opportunity to engage with these star-studded events in ways that were unimaginable just 10 years ago. Social media also gives networks and the award programs, themselves, new means of exposure and reach. You can’t forget the significant influence that social media (Instagram, in particular) has had on award show fashion. How do you think the ways we engage with award shows will change in the next 10 years?

Your business may have nothing to do with award shows or celebrities, but there’s no denying that a strong social media presence is important. If you need help creating engaging content for your social media, contact Smarter Searches to learn how we can help with your social strategy!