Social Media Opportunity That the Grammys Completely Missed

Posted on February 12th 2013

Social Media Opportunity That the Grammys Completely Missed

ImageIt would be remiss to not start this post by stating the obvious; that the 2013 Grammys were a social media juggernaut.

15.4 million social interactions (source:

88% of all Grammy-related messages sent were from a mobile device, a 31% increase from last year (source:

2.6 million uses of the official #GRAMMYs hashtag (source:

Beyond the stats, there were many positive lessons to be learned from the Grammys social media performance. Such positives include relentlessly promoting official handles and hashtags, highlighting the value social media participants could expect by following along online, and being active on various social media networks during the event.

There was, however, one incredibly glaring missed opportunity.

Despite all of LL Cool J’s promotion, social media fan engagement failed to play a meaningful role in the Grammy Awards television broadcast.

With so much online discussion and participation, the only social media commentary that made it to the airwaves were a few shallow comments that were both lacking in substance, and resulted in the provision of virtually no added value. Why do we need to be read a tweet about how hot Taylor Swift is? We don’t.

Instead, imagine how awesome it would have been if the social media managers behind the Grammys were identifying and responding to tweets and comments on the air that would have altered the programming in an interesting, entertaining, or educational way. Tweets and comments that a response to which would generate further social media discussion and commentary, or that would give social participants a sense of being rewarded for their interesting questions, comments and discussion points.

It would have been amazing if discussions in social media resulted in an impromptu behind the scenes look at the Grammys, an interesting interview question being asked to one of the hundreds of artists in attendance, an unique perspective or prediction being shared, or something of the like.

In the end, despite the amazing number of discussions that were occurring online, the on air impact of social media turned out to be little more than LL Cool J repeatedly imploring fan participation. It would have been nice to see all of those conversations, and all of those voices, result in something more meaningful.

What is your take on the Grammys social media performance?

Do you have any killer examples of a live televised event that has used social media to positively impact or influence the broadcast?

Image by DFree /


Matthew Peneycad

Matthew blogstweets, and posts as RGB Social with the aim of sharing his advertising agency experience in social media and digital marketing with businesses and brands of all sizes.

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James Meyer
Posted on February 12th 2013 at 6:15PM


Good article, thanks.

I watched about 70% of the Grammys and actually felt LL Cool J asking, almost pleading, for fan participation was an intrusion and didn't feel natural or fit the flow of the show.  It was a real turn off.

If the concept and reward of following on social media is direct access, (or the illusion of direct access) then the Grammys should have asked for questions for a few performers to be sent in via Twitter or Facebook. If your question gets picked you win a prize like an autographed CD, or something more personal to the event like a signed picture from the show and the performer could answer the questions on the air and directly to the person asking the question using their screen name or twitter handle.

Just a rough idea. The point is is social media is supposed to be personal and allow access, then it should be used in a way that is personal.


James Meyer

Posted on February 13th 2013 at 5:30PM

Hi James - I agree with you, LL's 'asking' for involvement on social media did seem an awful lot like pleading. It certainly was a bit over the top. 

RE: your ideas for rewarding people who were getting involved in relevant discussions online, I think they're great. Thanks for sharing. 


Posted on February 17th 2013 at 9:30AM

I agree - it turned me off watching LL Cool J continue to plead almost every chance he gets for people to participate on Twitter. When I checked the conversations, it was just a lot of noise and nothing really that enticed me to participate.