Engelbert Humperdinck v The Buranovo Grannies
March 15, 2012 Author: James Christie
A look at how social media monitoring software can determine what online communities really think about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest entries
One of the jobs of digital marketing agencies is to track social media mentions of our clients and their competitors.
We use several ‘tools’ to identify social media mentions – where they are made, by who and what the sentiment is.
This data helps inform marketing strategies and decisions. The BBC might well have used similar tools to research how the decision to let Engelbert Humperdinck sing this year’s UK Eurovision song would be greeted.
We used the Brandwatch social media monitoring system to see what the social media world thinks of the news that the 75-year-old crooner is to represent the UK at Europe’s biggest music competition. It was also interesting to use the same tool to look at social media reaction to the Buranovo Grannies; six grandmothers with an average age of 75 who have been chosen to represent Russia.
The Brandwatch social media monitoring tool collected online mentions of the buzz surrounding the key phrases ‘Engelbert Humperdinck’ and ‘Buranovo Grannies’ over the past week. Within a few minutes, this handy tool can tell you the exact places on the internet where conversations about specific topics are occurring and, most importantly, what the sentiment behind them is.
The word cloud above shows the key words and phrases most associated with online mentions of Engelbert – the bigger the phrase, the more times it has been mentioned in relation to him. Instantly noticeable is the fact that ‘Buranovo Grannies’ are often mentioned in the same breath as the singer when his name crops up on Facebook, Twitter and other online sites. This is proof of how the Russian 70-year-olds have already started to overshadow The Hump.
By clicking on the phrase ‘Jason Donovan’ I was able to find out why the former star of Neighbours is involved in so many online mentions (191 in total) revolving around Engelbert. Apparently, Donovan was asked to represent the UK at this year’s competition but turned down the offer.
Brandwatch also told me that the greatest volume of Humperdinck mentions came from online news channels; forums also generated a lot of buzz. Twitter was the individual site with the most mentions (182) with Facebook (64) in second place and the BBC website well down the list despite the fact that the BBC chose Humperdinck to represent the UK.
The graph above shows that mentions of Humperdinck peaked on March 8th; just as news of the Russian Grannies’ singing talent broke – it seems like the two acts’ fate might well be linked. By the way, the green line shows positive sentiment, the red line shows negative sentiment, the grey line is neutral and the blue line shows total mentions.
The pie chart above shows that most mentions about Eurovision Engelbert are neutral. Nine per cent are positive and just two per cent are negative.
The word cloud above shows the buzz words doing the rounds regarding internet mentions of the Buranovo Grannies; for me the phrases ‘girl band’ and ‘traditional peasant’ catch the eye.
The time-line graph above shows that there were far more mentions of the Russian grannies than there were of Engelbert Humperdinck over the past week. This is perhaps only to be expected as the announcement of the grannies’ participation broke a week later than news of Humperdinck’s.
However, Humperdinck just edged the grannies in terms of sentiment – the Russian ladies’, as you can see from the pie chart above, collected almost as many negative mentions (three per cent) as positive mentions (four per cent). Engelbert, in contrast, attracted nine per cent positive mentions compared to two per cent of negative mentions.
This sarcastic comment on Facebook seems to sum up some people’s reaction to the Russian entry: “Just seen the old Russian grannies representing their country in the Eurovision. Probably bloody win it too lol.”
So it seems like Humperdinck’s professional status is over-riding his age and winning him more online support than the amateur grannies.
But will this trend for supporting a seasoned pro be replicated when the Grand Final takes place? You’ll just have to tune in on 26th May to find out!
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