The article that I read pertaining to social media and the Oscars explored whether the “buzz” generated around the nominees correlated with the winners of each award. This was not the case, but they did find that social media was used to communicate with the fans when those that created the most buzz were not chosen by the academy.
In the end, the fans do not have a say in determining a winner of the awards, so it does not become a popularity contest. However, I was led to another article that explained that the Oscar buzz could indeed be used for savvy marketing purposes. For instance, the article explained, if there is a high level of interest in Bradley Cooper’s performance in “American Sniper,” a beer company may tweet out something like, “‘Bummed about Bradley Cooper losing? Have a beer on us.'” So in the end, it could definitely be useful to pull and follow these types of trends before and after a social event such as the Oscars.