Can social media predict a Super Bowl winner?

Falcon Social, a leading social media management platform, is investigating the social race to the Super Bowl to see if fan engagement can predict the winner of the biggest football game of the year.

As more and more football fans take their excitement to social media, Falcon can track which teams might be propelled to victory thanks to large and supportive fanbases. And there is a way to name a winner in the popularity contest: use a data-driven social media-monitoring tool. Falcon looked at which team is the most popular online, then took a look at which of the four teams survived the cut to assess the correlation between a team’s online presence and its stamina on the field.

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So, which who is winning on the social front?

Since the teams entered into the January games leading up to the Super Bowl, Seattle Seahawks fans have been louder on social than New England Patriots fans. Seahawks fans have posted a variation on “Go Seahawks” 31k times on social, compared to the Patriots’ 25k.

Far and away, these fans are posting the most on Facebook. 53% of the total football fans are posting on Facebook; 20% on Instagram; 10% on Twitter; 10% on blogs and comment boards; and 2% on Google+.

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Seahawks fans were loudest on social on January 18th, the day the team came from behind the Green Bay Packers and scored in the last minute of the game. Fans used variations on the term “Go Seahawks” 8k times, with a sharp spike at 5pm EST with 2,442 cheers.

55% of Seahawks fans are posting on Facebook; 17% on Instagram; 13% on blogs and comment boards; 8% on Twitter; and 2% on Google+.

The top trending keywords in the Seahawks’ fans’ posts are “Aaron” and “cheese,” both referring to their recent competitor, the Packers (Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the popular Packers headgear, the Cheesehead). The data suggests there may have been a lot of competitive language being used!

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Patriots fans were also cheering the loudest on social this past Sunday, January 18th, with 6k mentions of variations on “Go Patriots.” Rather than a sharp spike, the mentions were continuous between 5pm and 8pm EST, suggesting a steadier game of scoring.

Patriots fans are choosing to post slightly more on Instagram than Seahawks fans. 52% of Patriots fans post on Facebook; 18% on Instagram; 11% on blogs and comment boards; 8% on Twitter, and 1% on Google+.

The top trending keywords in the Patriots’ fans’ posts are “watching,” “Miami,” and “Ray.” Watching is self-explanatory; Miami is a team they beat on December 14th; and Ray refers to Ray Lewis, the controversial quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots had defeated the Ravens on January 10th.

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