The Emmys 2020: 5 Social Media Takeaways

If the allure for many people of award shows is seeing famous people getting dressed up and interacting with each other in the same room, how interested is the social media audience when all those celebrities are also watching the show from home? Based on the insights from our social media analytics platform, here are 5 key takeaways ListenFirst found about the social media response to Sunday’s social distanced version of the Emmys.    

Insight #1: The Audience Is Less Likely To Follow Awards Shows On TV And More Likely To Follow Them On Social 

While television viewership of the Emmys was at an all time low this year, it appears that how people are experiencing the event is what’s changing, as opposed to there necessarily being a drop of interest in the event. There were 826,346 Tweets mentioning the Emmys on September 20, 2020 which is a 17% increase from the volume of Tweets mentioning last year’s ceremony on September 22, 2019. Additionally, as both the NBA playoffs and NFL games conflicted with the Emmys for the first time ever, there were even more people following the Emmys through social media on a second screen. 

Expect similar patterns around upcoming conflicts in the coronavirus altered TV schedule, where the audience is more likely to watch live sports and follow award coverage on social media.

Insight #2: Schitt’s Creek And Euphoria Generated More Social Media Interest Than Any Emmy Nominated Show Last Year 

Emmy Nomination Shows That Generated The Highest Interest Score The Day Of The Show 

RankEmmy Nominated ShowListenFirst Interest ScoreMovement YoY
1SCHITT’S CREEK (POP)285,7841419.72%
2EUPHORIA (HBO)222,6201143.62%
3WATCHMEN (HBO)116,604949.16%
4SUCCESSION (HBO)58,508522.43%
7MRS. AMERICA (FX)20,087238.91%
10THE GOOD PLACE (NBC)17,415162.00%

Methodology: ListenFirst Interest Score is measuring the Emmy nominated programs that generated the most search and conversation (Wikipedia page views and hashtag & handle mentions on Twitter) on September 20, 2020 compared to September 19, 2020.

On the day of the Emmys this year, Schitt’s Creek had a ListenFirst Interest Score of 285,784 and Euphoria had an Interest Score of 222,620. Not only did those two shows generate more Twitter conversation and Wikipedia page views than any other nominated show this year; they also generated more interest than any Emmy nominated shows last year. In contrast with the big winners of the Emmys last year, Game of Thrones had a ListenFirst Interest Score of 213,994 while Fleabag had an Interest score of 170,290 on the day of the Emmys.

There were a few reasons Schitt’s Creek and Euphoria were so successful on social media, even aside from Schitt’s Creek winning nine Emmys and Euphoria’s Zendaya’s surprise win for Best Actress for a Drama Series. With Zendaya, she’s especially beloved on social media with 33 million social media followers. Euphoria’s Instagram post congratulating Zendaya on her win generated 642,572 responses, more than any other television social media post on the day.

Meanwhile, Schitt’s Creek was especially aggressive on social media, sharing 34 posts on the day of the Emmys. That includes posting a screenshot on Instagram of Mariah Carey congratulating Dan Levy while Levy from his personal account also shared a video on Twitter of his sister’s real-time reactions to Creek’s wins, a clip that’s gone viral. The Emmys this year was missing the excitement of showing the audience reaction to dramatic moments, and both Schitt’s Creek and the Levy family found ways to use social media to share the excited response to their multiple wins.       

Insight #3: Winners That Represented Diversity Generated The Most Conversation On Social Media 

Looking at the three Emmy winners with the highest ListenFirst Interest Score on the day of the Emmys; Schitt’s Creek was created by and starred an out gay man; Euphoria stars a Black woman; while Watchmen was a show about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. Meanwhile two Black women, Zendaya and Jasmine Cephas Jones, who along with her father Ron Cephas Jones became the first father/daughter duo to win Emmys on the same night, were each mentioned in 5% of all the Emmy Tweets Sunday, the highest percentage for any individual around the ceremony. Additionally, there were 8,720 Tweets that mentioned both the Emmys and Black Lives Matter on Sunday, including a Tweet by Sandra Oh that generated 176,709 responses, pointing out that her Emmy outfit said Black Lives Matter in Korean. 

The social media audience was talking about minorities Sunday night, and unlike during some awards shows in the past, it was around their accomplishments, not their exclusion

Insight #4: Nominees Can Win on Social Even When They Don’t Win an Award

Typically during an awards show when a nominee doesn’t win, they have to clap awkwardly as someone else walks to the podium, and that’s pretty much the last time they’re on camera for the rest of the night. However, around virtual awards, both shows and celebrities can be more agile in how they articulate their defeat. For instance, The Good Place received 31,327 responses to an Instagram post where they graciously congratulated Schitt’s Creek for beating them for best comedy, while being unable to say the name right because there’s no cursing allowed in The Good Place. 

Meanwhile Ramy Youssef shared a video of an Emmy intern in a hazmat suit seemingly walking off with the Emmy he didn’t win in a Tweet that received 237,007 responses; while Full Frontal With Samantha Bee shared an unboxing video where Samantha was discovering what the Emmys delivered her as a consolation prize which generated 1,356 responses on Facebook. There are inherently more losers than winners around awards shows, and planning on a creative way to poke fun at your defeat on social media is a great way to stand out even without a trophy. 

Insight #5: The Social Audience Still Cares About Red Carpet Content Around Award Shows 

Seeing as there was no official red carpet at the Emmys this year, it’s no surprise that there were 75% less Tweets discussing the red carpet on the day of the Emmys in 2020 than there were in 2019. Still there were 14,461 Tweets mentioning the Red Carpet on September 20, 2020 as nominees shared their red carpet looks on social media. For example, Tracee Ellis Ross received 10,349 responses for a Tweet where she shared a video of her in the makeshift red carpet she set up in her backyard.

Red carpet outfits drew even more attention on Instagram, such as Issa Rae receiving 242,740 responses to an Instagram Gallery where she showed off her Emmy dress at SoFi Stadium, which was opened up exclusively for the cast of Insecure, while an Instagram gallery by Regina King in her Emmy dress generated 131,729 responses. Red carpet fashion will continue being a great promotional tool to raise awareness around nominated TV shows; the looks will just be shared by the stars themselves on social media, as opposed to through in person interviews. 

If success is preparation meeting opportunity, having the right social media analytics is critical to properly amplifying audience interest around award season. Winning a trophy might require some luck, but with ListenFirst helping identify best practices around the social media audience, you’ll have a winning awards night social strategy either way. 

Want more tips on how to use social media analytics to better understand coronavirus related trends? Request a demo today!