Can Social Media Predict the Super Bowl?


It’s that time of year again when trash talk reigns supreme and your best friend might become your worst enemy. That’s right. It’s Super Bowl time.

Whether or not you feel robbed because the Green Bay Packers lost and the Seattle Seahawks are in the Big Game, or if you’ve been glued to the disaster that is “Deflate-gate,” it’s fairly likely you’ve been following along on social.

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.

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” 31,000 times on social, compared to the Patriots’ 25,000.

Far and away, these fans are posting the most on Facebook:

  • 53 percent of the total football fans are posting on Facebook;
  • 20 percent on Instagram; 10 percent on Twitter;
  • 10 percent on blogs and comment boards; and
  • 2 percent on Google+.

Seahawks fans were the loudest on social on January 18, the day the team had a come from behind win against the Green Bay Packers and scored in the last minute of the game. Fans used variations on the term “Go Seahawks” 8,000 times, with a sharp spike at 5 p.m. EST with 2,442 cheers. Of these:

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

The top trending keywords in the Seahawks’ fans’ posts were “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!

Patriots fans were also cheering the loudest on social January 18 with 6,000 mentions of  variations on “Go Patriots.” Rather than a sharp spike, the mentions were continuous between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. EST, suggesting a steadier game of scoring.

Patriots fans are choosing to post slightly more on Instagram than Seahawks fans:

  • 52 percent of Patriots fans post on Facebook;
  • 18 percent on Instagram;
  • 11 percent on blogs and comment boards;
  • 8 percent on Twitter; and
  • 1 percent on Google+.

Who are you cheering for this weekend? Will you be live posting on social during the Super Bowl?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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