WHO CARES ABOUT AWARDS SHOWS?: Awards Shows and Brand Visibility on Social Media

Image Credit: MasterTux via Pixabay

We are now deep in Awards Season. The Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and the BAFTAs have been and gone, with film buffs hotly anticipating the Oscars on 4th March. These ceremonies all generate a huge amount of hype, with lots of conversation on social media. Fans and armchair pundits come out in droves to discuss the best films of the year, their storylines and their stars. Awards shows themselves also attract analysis, as nominations, winners and speeches are debated on social media.

Awards shows have a huge number of stakeholders: organisers, broadcast networks, filmmakers, studios, actors, writers and producers, as well as the official sponsors of the awards show. We used Brandwatch to look at Twitter conversation relating to them, specifically focusing on posts about Frances McDormand, to discover how much awards can really affect the perception of a brand or nominee when they are indeed associated with these types of events. We discovered lots of passionate, engaged and emotional conversation, showing just how powerful awards can be in increasing social media engagement, reach and brand visibility for any of the awards’ many stakeholders, particularly the nominee themselves.


A critically acclaimed actress known for her roles in films such as Fargo, Frances McDormand has recently received a Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA for her lead role in Three Billboards from Ebbing, Missouri, with fans eagerly awaiting the Oscars in anticipation of further victory. As a key part of conversation surrounding all of these awards shows, looking at conversation around her allowed us to see a snapshot of awards show chat.

McDormand is not on Twitter, so we used Brandwatch to search for her name as well as the hashtag #FrancesMcDormand from 1st Jan – 23rd Feb in the UK. We did not include any search terms relating to the awards shows, so as to see whether conversation about her was affected by her association with them.

When were they talking?

Mentions Over Time by Day: Brandwatch 

The above chart shows the number of posts about McDormand by day, indicating clear spikes on the dates of key awards shows: the Golden Globes (7th Jan), the Screen Actors Guild Awards (21st Jan) and the BAFTAs (18th Feb). This is, to some extent, expected, but the sheer size of these spikes is significant, particularly given how dramatically conversation dropped between the SAG Awards and the BAFTAs. This strongly suggests that Frances McDormand gaining more traction on social is specifically due to her nominations for these awards, as well as her appearance at the shows themselves.

How are they talking?

Mentions by Type of Post: Brandwatch

 The above chart shows the volume of posts by day broken down by the type of post – an original tweet, comment or a retweet. The high number of retweets is to be expected and shows the importance for stakeholders to create shareable content for fans on social media.

But what about the rest of the conversation?

Mentions by Type of Post Excluding Retweets: Brandwatch

Excluding retweets from the chart shows a high number of original posts, rather than replies or comments. Film fans are therefore not engaging much in conversation with each other, but rather posting their own, original content about McDormand.

But what are they saying? We found a huge amount of emotion, humour and creativity, showing the vast potential for high social media engagement with this audience. 

What are they talking about?

Image Credit: Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV

Conversation from fans expressed intense emotions about McDormand, her performance in Three Billboards and her speeches at awards shows:

Want your heart ripped out through your chest? Call Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

#FrancesMcDormand is a fierce queen

Life goals. Be more like Frances McDormand

Fans also used humour to react to McDormand:

Well I mean REGARDLESS of how brilliant Frances McDormand is, unfortunately those three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri were unreasonably typeset in Impact and literally that means the film is ineligible for Oscars

I love how Frances McDormand can play any role except Woman Who Is Pleased To Be At Your Awards Show

Frances McDormand reminds me of that one dinner lady in infants school you were always scared of #GetWhatYourGiven #IfYouDontLikeItThenTough

This shows that film buffs posting about McDormand on Twitter are highly engaged and creative, motivated to produce original, witty content. This all contributes positively to McDormand’s visibility on social media.

McDormand also appears to have almost unified fan opinion – although the ceremonies themselves were sometimes praised and sometimes criticised, there was almost universal admiration for her:

Well that was an unusually moving #GoldenGlobes ceremony. Hats off to Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Frances McDormand et al

What a boring #GoldenGlobes. Backslapping, self-indulgence, copious amounts of worthiness, But Gary Oldman looked the dogs in all black, Frances McDormand is glorious and nobody has a face like Angelina

But most interesting, perhaps, were those posts that expressed support for the fact that McDormand is gaining more traction, with some expressing disappointment that they had missed out on her work previously:

Frances McDormand is low-key one of the most underrated actresses of her time

I’m pissed that I just discovered Frances McDormand thanks to 3 billboards outside epping Missouri. . This woman is incredible

So glad that I first thought Frances McDormand was the bomb about 20 years ago—& she’s still AMAZING!!

This suggests the importance of high profile, prestigious events such as awards shows for social media engagement and visibility. This presents an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders of awards ceremonies, and could also provide insights for awards nominees and winners in other sectors to grow their own brand visibility.


If awards shows promote brand visibility for nominees and positive content from an audience, how can this be fostered by those nominees, both superstars nominated at the Oscars and the less well-known honoured in smaller awards ceremonies for their particular sector? How can brands or public personalities seek to encourage positive conversation about themselves online and take advantage of the greater brand awareness created by such awards? Social media listening may have the answer.

An in-depth tone of voice and thematic analysis of conversation from your potential audience online can provide insights into your own content creation, by pinpointing not just what people are talking about, but how they are talking about it. What key words or phrases are being used? What is the tone of voice and how can you engage with it?

For example, film fans were also posting content with both intense emotion and witty banter. These insights can help you to create brand comms that match the themes and tone of voice with which your audience is already familiar, potentially leading to greater positive engagement from your audience on Twitter and therefore greater brand visibility.

Awards nominations can open the door to greater opportunities, whether you are an actor looking for film roles or a business seeking to attract new customers. By being aware of how people are talking and being proactive in that conversation, this could positively affect the perception of your brand on social media, leading to greater engagement and better brand visibility online.

This research was powered by our pals at Brandwatch