The Grammy Awards: Lessons in Social Media Management

The 2012 Grammy Awards were the most-watched in history–but last night’s 2013 event may have been even bigger in terms of influence thanks to a communications team much more engaged in the art of, well, engagement. Seems like they finally got the message: social media buzz is now crucial to running a successful event.

So here are some lessons we learned from the Grammy’s social experiment:

1. Build the buzz: Many of the night’s biggest nominees didn’t tweet about the show beforehand because they didn’t need to: Mashable‘s infographic tells us that they just happened to be the biggest social media influencers as well, so their fans were already well aware of the event.

But of course the Grammy’s account aggressively promoted the ceremony well before it started, live-tweeting Saturday’s entire rehearsal event and making sure to share any relevant content from fans and nominees.

2. Make sure your audience knows how and where to find you: Repeat your handle and hashtags often, especially if you’re representing a big brand or event. This repetition may annoy some obsessive tweeters, but it will make the whole experience more user-friendly.

3. Actively engage and make sure everyone is following the same script: In keeping with #2, last night host LL Cool J not only made sure everyone knew who to follow, he also repeated the hashtag, told fans to expect exclusive content and–perhaps most importantly–read tweets pre-selected by the event’s social media team on the air to give followers a greater sense of participation.

4. Don’t miss a beat during live events: A quick scroll down the official Grammys Twitter feed shows how directly the brand was engaging fans, followers and viewers with messages that not only commented on the action as it occurred but also re-posted relevant tweets and included questions/RT requests as calls to action.

5. Build a great Instagram profile: This one is incredibly obvious for a visually-oriented event/brand like the Grammy’s. Now will the Oscars follow suit?

6. Go visual with your social media messaging: In case anyone missed it, this pre-commercial message reminded all viewers once again to follow the event on every relevant social media channel.

7. Stay on top with relevant content: The Grammy’s didn’t just include lots of good pics on its Instagram page: it also took the opportunity to re-tweet relevant images during the night, like releasing backstage photos of Ziggy Marley just after he performed a tribute to his father, Bob (notice the hashtag visual).

8. Use the event as an opportunity to get more intimate with your followers: It wasn’t just the awards themselves making the most of the occasion: Carly Rae “Call Me Maybe” Jepsen and others posted behind-the-scenes shots, allowing followers to feel a little closer to their favorites.

9. Follow up (but try to keep it modest): Rihanna’s tweet celebrating her Grammy win was more a gift to fans than a brag. We like how she used “we” to spread the love to her producers, managers and the dozens of others involved in her success behind the scenes.

And here’s a great one from the event feed itself:

What were our favorite social media moments from the 55th Grammy Awards?