England cricket fans have dominated the social buzz around this summer’s Ashes, but they’re only active when the matches are in progress.
That was one of the key findings of Adobe Digital Index analysis of social media activity around the series of Test Matches between England and Australia (Adobe is CMO.com’s parent company). ADI used Adobe Social to analyse more than 1.1m social media engagements around the Ashes series, on sites including Facebook, Google Plus, Reddit, Twitter, Dailymotion, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, VK, Disqus, Foursquare, Metacafe, Wordpress, Youtube, and blogs.
Comparing the level of buzz between Test Matches with that around the Rugby World Cup, which doesn’t begin until 18 September, shows the two events almost equal, at around an average of 4,000 mentions a day. But during the cricket matches, social mentions increased by 26,000, and at the beginning of the conclusive Fourth Test Ashes mentions increased more than five and a half times compared with the day before.
“The point is that cricket fans hammer social media when the Tests are on,” said Simon Morris, director, demand marketing EMEA, Adobe Systems Europe. “The data shows marketers should think of using social media marketing toward cricket fans only during the match.”
England fans accounted for 55 percent of the social media buzz around the Ashes, mentions, while Australian fans accounted for a third of that at 18 percent. This reflects the fact that Australia has a third the population of the UK and a third as many social network users; 11.6m compared to the UK’s 34.9m.
As part of their dominance of the social space, England led the chart for Total Player mentions two-to-one. And despite Australia winning the second Test, mentions of the Australian team as a whole remained relatively unchanged during the series.
“Analysis of social sentiment revealed that Joy, Admiration and Surprise remained the tone of The Ashes,” Morris said. “However, England supporters were very vocal in their displeasure over their side’s losing performance at Lords, delivering the highest percent of Sadness during The Ashes.”
Australian fans, meanwhile, could not shake the social blues. They averaged 43 percent Sadness across the first four Tests, and were consistently 10 percent lower than England’s Joy and Admiration numbers.
The one area where the Australian fans topped the social media charts was in social sledging. Sledging is a cricketing term referring to players verbally abusing or intimidating the opposition; ADI looked who was doing the most sledging in the social space. Australians accounted for 44 percent of uses of the hashtags around sledging, with England fans contributing 29 percent. In a reflection of the popularity of cricket in India, Indian fans were the third most prolific social sledgers, accounting for 17 percent of mentions.
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