REPORT: The Comic-Con effect. #sdcc and Social Media.

Comic-Con International San Diego Logo

Image via Wikipedia

The more I learn about numbers, tracking, and analyzing social media stuff, the more I love it. Yesterday, I posted the analytics from a conference that I attended and was really humbled by the responses I got. Some, pointing out my errors, and others showing interest. I want to do the same thing but on a much bigger scale for one of the most popular conferences on the planet. San Diego Comic-Con International. This conference is HUGE, it sells out every year without fail and brings about the most interesting people, in full costume, might I add.

My colleague Lucas was doing some investigation into the event and the impact that it has on social media. When he started monitoring the event hashtags (#sdcc & #comiccon) on around July 5th, we were all blown away at the sheer mass of mentions on Twitter. There were 19,00 mentions in the previous 30 days which is massive. I think we both assumed that by the time the conference had actually begun, there would be close to 19,000 mentions per day.

Boy, were we wrong.

On the preview night alone there were just over 26,000 mentions of the #sdcc hashtag. Sheesh.

Here is a word cloud from the conversations that were happening on Day One.

Word cloud (Day One). The bigger the word, the more volume it has.

You can see by looking at the wordcloud that the most popular term was “#comiccon”. In combination with the #sdcc hashtag there were 14,855 mentions.  There was also a lot of mentions of the smash hit show Dexter (one of my favorite shows) on the first day. So it would be interesting to see what the themes of those conversations are:

What you do notice from digging deeper in the individual keywords is that you can actually learn what happened that day (sifting through the hundreds of thousands of Comic-Con tweets a week later would be no easy feat). There was about 2000 posts in relation to Dexter on day one – some announcing the season six trailer, some about Mos Def joining the cast, and others complaining about traffic and such. What greater way to market a new TV show, though? Holding off until Comic-Con for these announcements is a brilliant marketing strategy for Showtime to out in place, because they create so much social media buzz around the premiere of the show.

Moving on…

Still thinking about day one, wouldn’t it be interesting to estimate how many of those 80,000 tweets came from the event itself? The reason I ask this question is because I think it’s equally important to look at how many people are enjoying the conference from the comfort of their own home and the power of Twitter. I’ve split up the mentions of that day by region, to put it all in context:

Breakdown of Tweets on Day One by region

If you click on the chart above you can see that the majority of the tweets came from the United States (about 65,000). This does not mean that every person in the US who tweeted about Comic-Con was actually there, but it’s tricky to tell. Let’s look at a completely different area, Brazil. 2,714 of the posts on Day One came from Brazil. So what were they talking about? Take a look:

Now, I don’t read Portuguese, but I cam tell you that Twitter fans of Comic-Con in Brazil were living the event through Twitter – not through a magazine 3 days later (Note: the above feed is sorted by highest amount of Twitter followers).

The first day of Comic-con generated 81,677 mentions of the #sdcc hashtag. One of the clear big winners in terms of buzz at Comic-Con was definitely Twilight. I hate to admit it, but I am a devoted fan to the series, no matter how corny it might seem That is why it is of particular interest to me to dig a little deeper and understand what news and exclusives were released.

#sdcc vs. Twilight keyword group

During that first day, mentions of Twilight, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Breaking Dawn were mentioned 7900 times out of the 82,000 tweets. That’s HUGE considering the other events that were going on that day. People were discussing the Twilight panel, Robert Pattinson’s hair, the Breaking Dawn trailer, all exciting things. What I find interesting, though, is that this panel is held every year at Comic-Con, pre-movie-release. Another excellent marketing strategy if you think about it. The two movies were filmed at the same time, but are releasing a year apart – in my opinion so that they can get another wildly successful panel at Comic-Con 2012.

Day two was filled with popular topics such as #trueblood (a cast-panel was held this day which generated 2476 mentions for the Trueblood hashtag). You can also combine this with the 169 RT’s of @TruebloodHBO’s tweet:

All in all, there were many topics covered at this year’s Comic-Con that I won’t get into for the sake of your eyes, but I just thought I would share a few more interesting insights:

Most ReTweeted Users at Comic-Con:

Conan O’Brien was the most retweeted Twitter user in relation to Comic-con saying things such as “I have arrived at @Comic_Con. The air is thick with the smell of Cheetos and celibacy #sdcc”

Summary of entire event:

Slide pictured above courtesy of @lucas_powell

The buzz was not isolated to Twitter, either. Comic-con also generated 912 blog posts (that included the keywords we had entered, I’m sure there was a LOT more), as well as various other media types.

Overall, Comic-Con International was a HUGE social media success, with over 400,000 tweets over the entire conference. As a marketer, I would suggest that if you can tie your product in ANY WAY to what happens at Comic-Con, you attend Comic-Con 2012 next year, and  be prepared to tweet… a lot.

What do you think of the impact of events like Comic-Con on social media?



  1. Trish · July 27, 2011

    No doubt that Comic-Con is huge and tying your brand to it can certainly help – if that’s your niche. Look at the show Big Bang Theory for example, they soared from a Neilsen rating of 59 in 2008 to a rating of 12 in 2010 due to their social media efforts and participation at Comic-Con (see: Pretty amazing! Speaking of amazing, all those Radian6 reports! Always awesome to see how others are using our platform and the sheer volume of tweets around the event is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    All the best,
    Community Manager | Radian6

  2. Pingback: Comic-Con recap Friday – Saturday & Giveaway « The Reading Date

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s