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Why Is Social Media so Important to MTV?

Their audience is young, and social media is hip.

End of story right? That’s all there is to it. Okay maybe it’s more than that. We’ve been following MTV as part of our Interbrand 100 series of studies over the last year, and the massive media outlet doesn’t take any component of social lightly.

This Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards are the most recent and robust example of this commitment.

MTV is not only promoting the event through social media, they’re involving fans in the voting process with social media, creating a sub-award series for social media, and developing an entire second-screen engagement component of the award show experience with social media.

How are they doing it? We broke down several components using Simply Measured’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook account reports. The level of dedication MTV’s social team has shown around this event is very impressive.

Pieces of MTV’s “Movie Award” Puzzle

Hashtag Voting on Instagram & Twitter: The media giant has over 1.2 million followers on Instagram, and 7.6 million on Twitter. The massive Twitter account has grown by 100 thousand followers over the last week alone.  

MTV Instagram Follower Growth

On Instagram, where MTV was the first brand to crack 1 million followers, the media company has grown by 42 thousand followers over the last month, and continues to add to that total as they begin their pre-event sharing of event material.

MTV Movie Awards Instagram VotingIn an effort to leverage these audiences – and grow them – MTV has created a hashtag-based voting process for the “Best Hero” category. Fans are encouraged to post Tweets and Instagram photos with one of the following hashtags: #VoteSnowwhite, #VoteBilbo, #VoteBatman, #VoteIronman, or #VoteHulk. On Instagram, fans are asked to get creative with the photos they post, with a promise that MTV will display the best ones during the award show.

The most interesting part of the social voting campaign is that MTV has partnered with Instagram and is tracking Twitter to show real-time results (as of this morning, it’s neck and neck between Bilbo and Snow White, which are both approaching 1 million votes).

Facebook Cam: MTV is also partnering with Facebook for their “Thank You Cam” which will be backstage capturing winners’ “thank you” messages for the fans that voted for them. They’ll broadcast these clips at the awards, as well as on the MTV fan page, where it will find 44 million more fans who engage with the brand’s content on a regular basis. Over the past week, two of the page’s top three posts promoted the event, and saw a combined 70 thousand likes, 5 thousand comments, and 800 shares. 

MTV Movie Awards on Facebook

Insta-Razzi: MTV has employed a fulltime iphone-photograper to capture every part of the event for the MTV Instagram account.

Social Celebrities: Selena Gomez has agreed to document the entire night on her Facebook page, and the @MTV Twitter handle has had flings with several big-name celebrities over the last month as they prepare for the night. Ne-Yo, Channing Tatum and Snooki rank among the most followed users to interact with MTV. In addition to singers, actors, and reality stars who are famous for reasons I can’t understand, other media properties are also joining in the hype. ABC, VH1 and several record labels have interacted with @MTV in the last week.

MTV Engaged Twitter Celebrities

.GIF Awards: Not to be out-meme’d, MTV has announced the first Giffies, which will take place during the award show. MTV will create GIFS from the ceremony and post winners to several prestigious categories like “Sexiest Lip Licking” on their Twitter and Tumblr pages.

GIF giffie awards

Tried and True Twitter: The brand hasn’t abandoned proven models for these new social tactics. The media company is already promoting the #MovieAwards hashtag across Twitter, and seeing a swell of engagement to go along with their promotion. That engagement peaked on Wednesday with over 30 thousand mentions, @replies and Retweets, but is expected to continue moving up and to the right as we get closer and closer to the event.


Tying it All Together: MTV is poised to have the most successful award show of the year – and arguably – of all time. We’ll be tracking the event on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Check out our Free Report Marketplace to track accounts of your own, and be sure to follow @simplymeasured for interesting data and analytics.

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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