Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Turns Out Social Media Has Some Predictive Value

We've recovered from our Oscar party to find that we did pretty well in predicting this year's winners. Or, I should say, the social media data we analyzed did a pretty good job of predicting this year's winners.

We nailed three of the five categories we projected: Best Picture (The Artist), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) and Best Actress (Meryl Streep). On the other two categories – Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor – the data pointed us to a projected winner, but also told us to choose a "potential winner" as the results we're somewhat mixed. In each case, our "Potential winners" took home trophies. Our Best Supporting Actor “potential winner” Christopher Plummer won for his part in The Next (Jonah Hill was our “projected winner”) and Best Actor “potential winner” Jean Dujardin was recognized for his role in The Artist (Clooney, the eternal Oscar bridesmaid, was our “projected winner”).

To briefly recap, we analyzed social media conversations around the Oscar hopefuls and landed on three metrics we thought might help predict which would win. Those metrics were total social media buzz, total influencer buzz, and a sentiment metric that tracked what percent of social media mentions were positive (compared to the recent that we're negative).

While total buzz and influencer buzz were certainly important, positive social media seemed to be the best indicator of success. In three of the categories, the winner was the person or film that garnered the highest percentage of positive social media buzz from the time the nominees were announced. The two exceptions both came among the women. Meryl Streep won Best Actress where the most likeable entry was Michelle Williams, and Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress even though Jessica Chastain held an advantage in the positive sentiment metric. But in both cases, the amount of positive buzz for Mss. Williams and Chastain were relatively low. Seems while they were certainly liked, they were not liked by enough people.

One other thing we learned was that when we analyzed the full year’s worth of social media buzz, the results were dramatically different. It was also not nearly as accurate at reflecting winners as the buzz from the few weeks leading up to the Academy Awards show. Seems recency of opinion has much influence on a voting event. And people are fickle.

The implications of this fun little exercise for brands are obvious. Having people like you and talk well of you is important. In fact, it seems to be more important than just being in the conversation. That would imply that the adage of “It’s better to be known a lot and disliked than to not be known just a little” for a brand may be misleading. It appears that being held in the public’s good favor means that people like you. And they like you now not just then, as our exploration of recency indicates.

Turning the goodwill of positive public opinion into success means that people are talking to others about you – all of our projected and potential winners were near the top of the buzz categories (an unfortunate learning for Williams and Chastain). But if you’re a brand today, whether you’re trying to win an Oscar or just more customers, getting people to like you appears to be a very important part of the puzzle.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And The Oscar Goes To... [UPDATE]

So we noticed an interesting thing when looking through the social media buzz generated by this year's Oscars. It's made us re-think the winners we projected in my post yesterday.

When we first looked at the social media data, we made sure to analyze a full year's worth of conversations. The actors and pictures that took the biggest share of total buzz, the most buzz from the 'In Crowd', and the most positive buzz in that original analysis are noted in that post below.

But when we looked only at the buzz generated since the nominations were announced just a few weeks ago, the story changes dramatically. By the three metrics we've chosen to follow, there is MUCH more consensus around who the most likely winners will be.

Here are the results of that new look at the data. As with you, we will be watching this Sunday to see if Oscar buzz from the entire year or from the weeks leading up to the event is a better predictor of success on awards night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And The Oscar Goes To...

It's Academy Awards weeks and every year at this time a seemingly unanswerable question emerges:  Will the winners be those who receive the most public attention, those who are endorsed by the 'In Crowd', or those who simply earn the most positive reviews?

I've made a habit of watching the Oscars the last several years and will be glued to my television this Sunday while the event unfolds. Watching the Academy Awards is always a lot of fun, but I have never been too successful at predicting the winners. When the envelopes are opened I find myself in stunned disbelief more often than not. Seriously...'The Hurt Locker' was the Best Picture of 2010? Two years later and I'm still unable to explain that one.

In an attempt to ease my troubled mind, we here at Draftfcb's Customer Intelligence team have set out to see if we could find a leading indicator of this year's Oscar winners using social media data and some good old fashioned data analysis.

We have analyzed the social media buzz generated by the Oscars over the past year and have found three metrics that may point to winners:  total impressions (i.e., public attention); influencer impressions (i.e., attention from the 'In Crowd'); and positive vs. negative sentiment (i.e., positive reviews).

For the top five Oscar categories -- Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Leading Actor, and Best Picture -- we have projected winners based on the top performers for each metric. Our projected results are below and we will be back next week to see which of these metrics turned out to be the most accurate indicator of success.

Enjoy your Oscar parties and we will see you next week.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Whatchu Talkin' 'Bout, GOP?

I can't say which way the GOP primary will turn out but do know a bit about what the candidates are saying, thanks to Jake Carter-Lovejoy, Almond Loh and Jill Solarczyk.

Jake, Almond, and Jill -- all here at Draftfcb's Customer Intelligence team -- combined to produce this great piece of analysis that investigates the topics discussed during the GOP debates, who said what, and how frequently.

The result is a very interesting insight into the attention given by each candidate to the various issues of today and which they feel most passionately about.

Right-click and open the image in a new tab to see a larger version.

Analysis by Jake Carter-Lovejoy, graphics by Almond Loh & Jill Solarczyk