BET Wins on Twitter: Analysis of #BETawards

BET Wins on Twitter: Analysis of #BETawards Adam Schoenfeld Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

The 2010 BET Awards took place last night, and they drew a significant amount of Twitter chatter.   Using RowFeeder, we tracked over 250,000 tweets with the hashtag #BETawards during the show and the following day (~168K during the telecast). The star performers and presenters were heavily mentioned along with the #BETawards hashtag.   Virtually in hiding since his abuse scandal with then-girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009, Chris Brown performed “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror” in a tribute to Michael Jackson, his musical hero.  Just a few verses into “Man in the Mirror,” Brown broke down (literally) in tears  as the audience finished the rest of the song.  Whether Twitter’ers believed Brown was sincerely mourning the death of his icon combined with his own painful past 15 months, or if the tears were merely a PR ploy, led to much Twitter chatter about the performance.

As you can see in the time graph above of the show’s Twitter activity, at 9:35 (EDT) during Chris Brown’s performance, 51% of the total tweets regarding the #BETawards mentioned Brown.   Tweets regarding the top 5 most-mentioned performers (Chris Brown, Prince, Alicia Keys, Drake, and host Queen Latifah) seemed to spike while the performer was on stage, while Queen Latifah, the host, drew consistent mentions throughout the telecast.  In the pie graph below, you can see that Brown indeed ruled Twitter with over 1/5 of performer mentions being about him, followed by Prince (who won the Lifetime Achievement Award), Alicia Keys, Drake, and Queen Latifah.  The “Others” category comprised of the rest of the featured performers, which included the likes of Kanye West, Usher, and T.I..

The Awards drew, as expected, a substantial amount of tweets from the large metropolitan areas like New York (which had residents like Alicia Keys and Diddy perform), Los Angeles (host city), and Chicago.  However, there were some anomalies in the data regarding city population vs. # of tweets about the show.  For instance, 11% of the total tweets came out of Atlanta, whose strong hip-hop culture along with homegrown performers like T.I. and Ludacris led to much Twitter activity throughout the show.  Other smaller cities with signicantly high number of tweets were musically rich Memphis, TN, and Tallahassee, FL, which has a population of 185,000 but was the #14 most tweeted city about the awards.   Conspicuously absent from the list of most-tweeted Metro Areas was the San Fransisco/Oakland Bay Area, usually a giant player in Twitter chatter yet was relatively silent during the awards.  The presence of smaller markets on Twitter, combined with the heavy activity around this pop culture event, suggests that Twitter is indeed becoming mainstream.

Adam Schoenfeld

Adam is the Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Simply Measured. In 2010 (aka the dark ages of social marketing), Adam joined Damon Cortesi and Aviel Ginzburg to found "Untitled Startup, Inc" with the goal of helping marketers and analysts use social data to do their best work. The company quickly evolved to become Simply Measured and the trusted leader in social analytics. Outside of Simply Measured, Adam is a golfer, breakfast enthusiast, and long-time data geek.