Spike gets social for 2011 Video Game Awards

When the 2011 Video Game Awards go live this weekend, Spike TV (s VIA) hopes to build buzz for the show with a number of initiatives aimed at harnessing the conversation on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and GetGlue.

While awards will be given to top games and publishers at the VGAs, Erik Flannigan, EVP of digital media for Viacom’s Media Networks Entertainment Group, told us in a phone interview he expects most of the conversation to revolve around trailers premiered during the show. More than just an awards show, the VGAs also have increasingly become a place where publishers show off brand new video game trailers for their upcoming games.

Spike expects more than a dozen new games trailers to be premiered, and hopes to amplify that conversation through a number of online initiatives. Once they’ve been broadcast on the show, those trailers will become available not just on the VGA site at vga.spike.com, but also on GameTrailers.com.

Going where its audience is already chattering, Spike and VGA host Zachary Levi will live tweet throughout the show with the hashtag #VGAs. Spike will also sponsor VGA-related promoted tweets and is offering up exclusive stickers through a partnership with GetGlue.

Like most of its other awards shows, Spike is making a live twitter tracker available to keep tabs on all the conversations happening around the VGAs. The Twitter Tracker, which is sponsored by Verizon, (s VZ) will stream those tweets directly on the Spike VGA site.

On Facebook, the network is adding a “Video Game Awards” tab to its official page and allowing viewers to vote for the Game of the Year directly from the social network. The Facebook page will also have videos and highlights from the show, and has introduced an events page that will allow viewers to set a reminder for when the show goes on air.

The 2011 VGAs will be broadcast live on Spike, MTV2 and even live streamed on the Internet, beginning Saturday evening at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Flannigan said that while the broadcast is where most viewers will tune in, the live stream will be instrumental for reaching a certain section of the hardcore gaming audience.

“Getting to [the core audience] can be a bit elusive,” Flannigan said. “So we knew that getting multiplatform reach was key.”