MTV combined its Twitter, Tumblr and second-screen savvy to break social media records during its 2011 VMAs, driving +76% more traffic than the previous year's broadcast. MTV had its most social VMA day ever in 2011, with social networks driving +76% more traffic than the previous year. The 2011 VMAs also broke a Twitter record when popstar Beyonce announced her pregnancy live, causing a spike of 8,868 tweets per second (out-tweeting Osama bin Laden’s capture in May, and the Royal Wedding in April!). MTV's innovative Twitter Tracker allowed viewers to track the popularity of the various VMA performers and presenters over the course of the night as the subjects' images grew and shrunk, according to how many times they were mentioned on the social-networking site. A new virtual map feature of the auditorium's seating chart allowed fans to see when and where a particular star is Tweeting, and just how quickly and where the photos were spreading virally via Twitter. Additionally, photos taken by MTV during the pre-show and throughout the main show were published directly into the visualization and tracked for retweets. The Twitter Tracker was also integrated into the linear broadcast of the VMA Preshow. As a result, Twitter saw 10 million @MTV #VMA-related Tweets on August 28 during the East Coast airing of the show -- more Tweets than any award show to date. On Tumblr, MTV live Tumbl’d GIFs of the show’s shocking moments, performances, hilarious celeb facial-reactions and even random Britney Spears moments – each image earned an average of 30,000 notes (‘likes’ and ‘reblogs’), and MTV’s Tumblr footprint literally doubled from 15,000 to 30,000 followers in one night. This also allowed MTV to be first to the platform for breaking all the night’s iconic moments, including Beyonce's famous baby bump rub. In sum, the 2011 VMAs brought in 12.4 million viewers, the biggest viewership for any show in the 30-year history of the cable channel and continuing the upward ratings trend for the annual awards.
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