Which Brands Do Car Enthusiasts Care About Most?

The internet has seen vast forums open up for hobbyists and fans from all kinds of fields, from bronies.

Realizing that the list of our more obscure analyses of niche groups was beginning to outweigh the more common ones, we decided we’d take a look at car enthusiasts. Mainly because that’s a normal thing and we want to look normal, but also because there are thousands of self-identifying car enthusiasts online and exploring their preferences and demographics seemed like an interesting idea.

So, the Brandwatch React team went in search not of Swifties but, instead, car enthusiasts.

Identifying car enthusiasts

Using a nifty tool called Brandwatch Audiences, it’s easy to find people who are fans of particular niches simply by searching for people with words relating to that niche in their Twitter bios or tweets.

For this analysis, we looked for people based in the US with “car enthusiast” (duh), “love cars”, “love classic cars”, “car crazy” etc. etc. in their Twitter bios. Audiences returned us a list of 8,774 people, ranked by how influential they are.

The most influential car enthusiasts on Twitter

So, to give you a quick idea of who might be included, here are the top 10 most influential car enthusiasts we found. They’re an incredibly mixed bunch.

Twitter Handle Bio at time of writing Influence score
RalphNortham Virginia’s 73rd governor. Husband, father, doctor, and veteran. Classic car enthusiast, defender of Virginia values. 75
jeffdunham Comedian. Ventriloquist. Car Enthusiast. Tech Geek. Toy Collector. Happy Husband. Proud Father. Get tix for the Passively Aggressive Tour 73
axelbraun Doting dad. Car Enthusiast. Award-winning adult film director. 69 (somewhat ironically)
roddywhiteTV All Pro Wide Receiver, The Excellence of Execution, Car Enthusiast and founder of Keep The Faith Foundation 66
Stu_Mundel Aerial photo journalist KCAL & KCBS. Blessed & love my job. Husband GRANDPA & father to 4 Observer of life. Carpenter & car enthusiast. #Streetstothesky 65
sharkyrkk San Francisco Native,classic car crazy,Internet Marketer, blogger, social media, dog lover, craft beer lover, wine taster, Giants, Dubs #MemoryofShawna 61
david_disckind Mopar muscle car fan – now selling surplus parts and mopar collectibles. Also selling antiques and other collectibles. Antique German stein collector. 59
RealAceBowers acebowers.com  Author. Blogger. Tech leader. Sports car enthusiast. 57
rsboles Retired President of R J Corman RR . Love My Wife Suzanne , Car Enthusiast,Father, Grandfather, Blessed by God and the Love of Jesus. 57
joeykramer Drummer of Aerosmith / Author #HitHard/Coffee Mogul @RockinRoastin/Car Enthusiast faster the better 56

The full audience, much like the above list skewed heavily towards male authors (Brandwatch analysis found that roughly 85% of gender-categorized authors were male).

We also found that the audience over-indexed against the general Twitter population for interests like sport, family, games and technology.

Top 10 car brands car enthusiasts follow

Using Brandwatch Audiences we’re also able to look at the followings of Twitter accounts. Crossing this over with our car enthusiast data, we were able to see what percentage of the car enthusiast audience also followed major car brands.

We searched for 37 major car brands (chosen for their presence in online lists of valuable car brands and prominent logos), using both their global and their USA accounts, or either if only one exists. This helped us find the top ten most followed car brands among our car enthusiast audience:


Audi came out on top, followed closely by Porsche and Lamborghini, while there’s an interesting mix of brands best known for their luxury cars vs more affordable options.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email react@brandwatch.com for more information

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Eurovision 2018 Data: Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know

It’s not often that I volunteer to work Saturday night, but I couldn’t resist bringing the Eurovision 2018 data to the people. The data they deserve.

We’ve been live tweeting all evening with the stats as the competition went on, and in this post we have a full run-down of the biggest data points.

I am full of popcorn. I am slumped in a beanbag in the Brandwatch office and it’s way past bed time. This post may contain typos. Deal with it.

Here’s all the data you could possibly want on Eurovision 2018:

Eurovision 2018 data: Methodology

The methodology was simple. We searched for Eurovision and related phrases and hashtags across public social media posts online.

We searched within English language conversations. All of these results are measured from the beginning of the Eurovision broadcast to the end of the final song (Italy) unless stated otherwise.

Top line stats

  • There were 1,353,393 mentions of Eurovision online from the beginning of the day up until the final song.
  • Twitter mentions during the show’s air time (8-10:10pm UK time) were primarily by women. 54% of gender-categorized authors were female, 46% were male.

The top moments

Here are the moments that caused the biggest mention spikes along the way:

9.20pm – Denmark’s performance (14,857 mentions) : People were comparing the performers to characters in Game of Thrones

9.56pm – Netherlands performance (14,049 mentions) : People seemed to have a lot to say about the big singer

9.52pm – Israel’s performance (13952 mentions) – People were making plenty of Bjork comparisons

The top countries

Overall, the top-mentioned countries competing in Eurovision were thus:

  • UK ( 60,015 mentions)
  • Australia ( 27,075 mentions)
  • Israel (18,725 mentions)

That said, the countries who caused the biggest mention spikes during air time weren’t necessarily the top mentioned overall.

Hungary, Moldova and the UK had the biggest mention spikes and the numbers are impressive – each saw more that 2.5k posts in a single minute.


The biggest emojis

This very serious song contest requires very serious data analysis. So here are the top used emojis ???


Graham Norton’s biggest hit

And no serious analysis of Eurovision would be complete without a look at the incredible commentator Graham Norton’s performance.

His jokes are always a hit, but his comment about the Spanish couple did particularly well this year.


That’s it for our Eurovision coverage tonight, although if you’d like some more up to date post-point awarding data we can sort you out.

Email us at react@brandwatch.com for more information.

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How Fortnite is Bossing Reaching Mainstream Audiences With High Profile Collaborations

Do you remember the happiness you felt as a child on a sandy beach, the tide three miles from the shore? Your ice cream has sand on it, your shoes have sand in them, your clothes are covered in sand, the sum of all your earthly possessions are drowning in waves of sand. But you sit there, stupid grin on your face, sandy ice cream in one hand, plastic spade in the other and you feel happy.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? The butterflies in your stomach, the lump in your throat. Every waking thought consumed by the object of your infatuation. You see them every time you sleep. You know you want to spend the rest of your life with this person and they feel the same. Do your remember that? Do you remember how happy you felt?

Yeah, they have nothing on the feeling of winning your first game of Fortnite.

Heart racing, palms clammy, forehead sweating, deathly silence in the room, eyes bloodshot with concentration. A well placed snipe and then it happens.

/> Yes, I took a picture of me winning.

Controller flying. Howls of joy. Tears of joy. Absolution for the 300+ games you’ve lost. Worth it.

Like a lot of people at the moment, my life is currently split between going to work and playing Fortnite so I decided to marry these two activities and look at how people talk about Fortnite on social media.

The unstoppable rise of Fortnite

Mentions of Fortnite were collected on Twitter between October 1st and March 31st. A 10% sample was taken.

One of the most notable things about Fortnite is it’s rapid rise to become part of internet culture. Between the memes and the streams, Fortnite has cemented its place in internet lore.


Figures in this chart were multiplied by 10 to account for the 10% sample, so they represent 100% of the mentions.

Drake expectations

March especially was a major month for Fortnite, although for very different reasons. On March 15th, rapper Drake joined legendary Twitch streamer, Ninja, for a few games creating massive publicity for the game. While mentions of Drake only accounted for 31% of all posts, the total number of Fortnite posts increased by 143% in the week after he played compared to the previous week as the game became mainstream with his endorsement.

The other major peak in volume was due to severe server outages that, it’s fair to say, more than riled up some of Fortnite’s loyal fanbase.

“Where we droppin’?”

This simple phrase represents unity in division, co-operation in chaos, hope in these uncertain times.

Despite this, you all know already the answer, don’t you? The question doesn’t need to be asked. You’re going to Tilted Towers. One of you will get beaten to the green pump and downed straight away, while another gets shot in the head by a John Wick with a regular revolver as another gets swarmed by a squad of pickaxe-wielding maniacs and suddenly you’re alone. I hope the pickaxe’s remorseless swing can bring some comfort to you.


Using Brandwatch custom rules, we looked at people talking specifically about where they land on the map and unsurprisingly Tilted Towers was the clear winner, with 64% of people saying they land there. Surprisingly Lonely Lodge was second, however I reckon if you’re the kind of person to consistently land at Lonely Lodge, you’re also the kind of person to talk about landing at Lonely Lodge.

Mighty mashup: Fortnite + Avengers: Infinity War

Recently, Fortnite switched things up by adding a new game mode into the mix.

When the biggest game in the world merges with the biggest movie in the world you know there’s going to be a huge reaction, and when the creators of Avengers: Infinity War got together with Fortnite to create “Infinity Gauntlet Limited Time Mashup” we found 1.2 million mentions across social in the first two days of release.

The mash-up means players are able to play as the impressively chinned Thanos from the Infinity War movie. You know, that all facets of popular culture right now.

Since the film has such a massive audience we expected to see it broadening the game’s reach to new audiences. While it’s generated a huge amount of hype, it’s done nothing to improve Fortnite’s concentrated male audience on Twitter.


That aside, Fortnite’s ability to generate interest and collaboration from mainstream pop culture icons like Drake and The Avengers says a lot about where the gaming industry needs to be if it’s to stand out and get its products in front of a mainstream audience outside of the siloed core gaming community. In many ways, Fortnite is totally bossing it.

And finally…

Of course these charts are all very pretty and interesting but you came here to find out how you too could get that feeling of pure ecstasy, total nirvana upon getting that Victory Royale. Well that’s simple…

Just build, lol.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email react@brandwatch.com for more information

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Color Analysis: A Twitter Data Rainbow, and The Rise of “Rose Gold” as a Thing

Ever since they were invented in the 1950s, humans have been going nuts for the colors of the rainbow. Color TV, color photography, colorful clothes and colored hair.

Gone are the sepia tones of old, now only referenced in plandid Insta shots, and in are vibrant colors anew.

What would Netflix be like in black and white? What would our Slack conversations be if they weren’t in glorious technicolor? I shudder to think of it.

The Brandwatch React team love bright colors. Just check out our logo.

And, with new colors entering the rainbow all the time, like space grey and rose gold, we wanted to take stock – what are people’s favorite colors?

We looked at two months of Twitter mentions of red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink, orange and (new entry) rose gold to see which was the favorite.

We also investigated the rise in popularity of rose gold, with an unexpected twist involving a curious group of influencers surrounding the color.

Twitter’s favorite color

Admittedly, this was not the most scientific analysis the team have ever done – we simply typed colors into the query box and then looked at how many mentions they got on Twitter between 1 March and 27 April 2018.

Here are the results:

Red, the color of love, passion, fire, blood and Manchester United wins. Well done, red.

We also took a look at notable days for each of the colors. While red just sort of trended all the time, the other colors saw notable moments of shining.

For example, green peaked strongly on St Patrick’s Day. Blue saw a peak when BTS’s ‘Blue Side’ saw a boost alongside the #iHeartAwards.

Purple got a spike in mentions with the new Spyro trailer.

Orange, in a totally non-ironic way, had a peak caused by President Trump:

Meanwhile, rose gold didn’t have any huge spikes but this did very well when a magical lucky pigeon descended to Earth.

How rose gold entered the rainbow of public consciousness

You may have noticed that much of this blog post has been a little tongue-in-cheek, but there’s nothing silly about the intentions behind our rose gold research.

It’s a versatile color with a history that might be more lengthy than you think. Rebecca Mead writes in The New Yorker:

When employed by jewelers, rather than by extremely savvy marketers of digital devices, the term “rose gold” refers to an alloy of gold to which copper has been added. In appearance, rose gold is warm and flush—what yellow gold would look like if it suddenly suffered an embarrassment. The phone may be new, but rose gold has been around for a while.

A look at Google’s “Ngram” analysis tool shows how the term has been used in books over the last 200 years – it saw a big rise in interest around 1930 and began to peak again after the year 2000. As Katy Perry says, it’s in then it’s out, it’s up then it’s down.

While we can’t get Twitter data going back to the 18th Century when jewelers were using rose gold, we can see how popularity surrounding the color has manifested itself over the last few years.

A dip in rose gold interest, and discovering an odd group of rose gold influencers

We found two significant spikes surrounding “rose gold” going back to September 2015 when a new iPhone release saw mentions of the color spike to the tune of 129k in a single day. the second was in September 2016 when conversation around a rose gold Pandora ring saw huge interest.

These spikes have a curious commonality – both are driven in large chunks by multiple accounts with enormous followings tweeting exactly the same words.

Prepare yourself for a short tangent.

At the time of writing, @TheTumblrPosts has 3.17 million followers, @JustAGirIThing has 1.61 million, and @girlydose has 219k.

Out of interest, we plugged these three accounts into Brandwatch Audiences to see what their followers look like, finding that they are, predictably, mostly female. Curiously, we also found significantly less followers attributed to these accounts in Audiences than are shown on their Twitter pages. Here are the numbers, followed by a potential explanations for this.

Follower count displayed on Twitter at time of writing Number of followers we found in Audiences at time of writing % we didn’t pick up
@TheTumblrPosts 3.17 million 1,605,740 49.3%
@JustAGirIThing 1.61 million 874,922 45.7%
@girlydose 219k 191,005 12.8%

Firstly, Audiences looks at active accounts, and if authors don’t appear in our search results it means we haven’t seen those accounts tweet since 2015 based on a 10% sample of all tweets. (So, basically, if they’ve tweeted or retweeted anything 10 times or more in the last three years they should have been picked up by Audiences). Another explanation is that the accounts have a pornographic or spam-related terms within their bios, although this likely wouldn’t make up for such a large discrepancy between the numbers.

What’s the conclusion we can take from these discrepancies?

We can’t draw too extreme conclusions, although we can say that it is likely that large chunks of each of these accounts’ followings are inactive (based on Audiences’ definition of inactivity set out above). That is, the numbers displayed on their Twitter pages may inflate the perceived influence they have in the real world, even if they can get a whole lot of people talking about rose gold.

Back to rose gold!

Having done our detective work, we turned our attention back to the conversation.

Rose gold jewelry conversation is interesting because it’s pretty unpredictable. While we thought we’d see a steady trend upwards or downwards in interest, it’s actually all over the place.

That said, conversation around rose gold iPhones has been dipping since the height of it’s 2015 debut, and watch-related rose gold mentions have also seen a downward slide.

Are we witnessing the fall of rose gold, despite setting out to map its rise? It appears so. But, like we said, consumers are a fickle bunch and the right product, along with a few influencers, could see interest soaring again – that’s if a new color doesn’t take its place.

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Merci Arsène: Social Data on the Tears, the Joy, and the Hypocrisy

The announcement from Arsenal’s official website that long-serving manager Arsène Wenger had decided to depart from Arsenal at the end of the season became one of the hottest topics on the internet overnight.

There was a huge amount of content being posted with regards to Arsène leaving, the rumours about the candidate that was poised to replace him, the gratitudes being shown for all he has done for the club, and even sentiments from former #WengerOut proponents getting all teary-eyed.

A huge, and very mixed, reaction

Given Arsenal’s huge global fanbase, the announcement sparked conversation globally. The internet imminently blew up following the news.

So how did our global fans feel about Arsène leaving? Using Brandwatch’s emoji cloud, we can get an accurate sense of the general sentiment from the fans.

We see here a mix of reactions from the fans – from the terribly upset and heartbroken, to applauses and thumbs-ups representing appreciations for his past achievements.

We see a huge number of laugh-cry emoji mentions, with the gist of such mentions often teasing the hypocrisy of some Arsenal fans, who have consistently called for Wenger’s resignation over the years but have done a U-turn in sentiment after the actual announcement.

Well this is awkward

Here are a few of our favorite examples of fans who seemed to have differing opinions before and after the announcement:

Wenger’s greatest hits

Using Brandwatch’s sentiment analysis, we are able to view the general sentiment around Arsène Wenger from the start of the EPL season right up til after the announcement.

What we see is a massive shift in sentiment – positivity is up, and negativity is down.

There is much to celebrate about Arsène Wenger. The man has been in management for over two decades in Arsenal, winning plenty of silverware throughout his time.

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In fact, his most fondly-remembered achievement would be his 49-game unbeaten Premier League record. No manager or team has yet to achieve that. 

Also, despite not having won a Europa League before, plenty of fans are hoping Arsène delivers the silverware at the end of the season, ending his stint on a high.


Looking to the future

A huge part of the conversation revolved around the potential replacement.

Brandwatch’s newly improved word cloud allows the data to be segmented using entities such as People and Organizations. In this instance, the ‘People’ categorization comes in helpful when looking at the different people who are involved in online conversations around the managerial vacancy at the end of the season.

A few familiar big names pop up at a glance –  with Brendan Rodgers, Luis Enrique, Carlo Ancelotti, Max Allegri, and even former captain Patrick Vieira all linked to the job.

Interestingly, fans have suggested the unlikely Senol Gunes from Besiktas, due to his surname ‘Gunes’ having an affiliation with the club, just like Arsène’s did. (For non-football fans, Arsenal is often called “the Gunners”).

Whoever replaces Wenger at the end of the season definitely has some big boots to fill – the dedication he has given to Arsenal is unquestionable. As summed up perfect by ex England international Gary Neville, he did change how the game was played and deserves a respectable send off.

Merci Arsène.

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6 Issues Traditional Banks Need to Get on Top of Before the Disruptors Move In

Disruption is, of course, an overused term, but there’s no getting away from it regardless of what industry you’re in.

The world is moving quickly and the slow moving behemoths that once dominated particular fields have suddenly found themselves competing with far more dynamic entities.

The financial industry is no different. While enormous banks that rely on reputation may still be prospering, fast moving challenger banks are able to address the quickly changing wants and needs of consumers in ways their established competitors simply aren’t built to do.

The Brandwatch React team has been interested in this trend for a while, observing the rise to popularity of Monzo in the UK and then turning our attention to the US. We took a look at six of the biggest consumer banks in the US and the mentions of their customer support handles on Twitter, to see what kinds of complaints where being levelled at the giants that disruptor banks could move to address.

Our latest Social Outlook report showed that people are particularly willing to air their negative thoughts around financial services companies on social media, so we imagined there’d be plenty to pick up on.

To identify these issues, we scrolled through mentions and used Brandwatch Analytics’ topic cloud component to surface common themes.

While there were six key issues that we found, there’s one central theme: convenience. Here are the most prominent issues we found in the data.

1. Fees

Getting charged for things that people didn’t want to be charged for was highest on the list.

Unexpected fees were prominent, as were foreign transaction fees. That said, lots of the mentions were simply questions about fees.

Making sure customers are clear about fees and, where possible, scrapping them, could get rid of large chunks of these queries and complaints and the distrust they can encourage.

2. Customer service

Comments about the banks’ customer service came next.

Customers did not hold back if they felt the banks’ customer service wasn’t up to scratch. A number of people called the banks rude, while others were calling out how long they’d been waiting for a reply or on hold for.

Banks can target this by offering round-the-clock, easily accessible and well resourced customer help that gets people to answers quickly.

3. ATM issues

Faraway or faulty ATM as well as charges from them were common themes in this topic.

Physically getting to an ATM can be an issue not only for people who aren’t as mobile as others but also for those who expect instant results – a theme that we’ll explore later on. Placing a physical barrier between a customer and the service they need is not going to make people happy when they’ve become accustomed to immediacy from other products they use.

When you get to an ATM and it isn’t working it can feel even worse. Here’s an excerpt from a Brandwatch Case Study where Sparkassen-Finanzportal Gmbh dealt speedily with one that had broken by paying attention to the social data:

The Sparkassen-Finanzportal Gmbh monitoring team noticed a sudden spike in conversation surrounding one branch in particular. Using Brandwatch Analytics realtime data and instant email alerts the team were able to identify localized conversation focused on an ATM which had broken. Using their escalation process the monitoring team were able to inform the branch in question and instructed their technical team to deal with the issue promptly. The team at the branch hadn’t identified the ATM was out of action, and it was online conversation that alerted Sparkasse to the issue in real-time.

4. Security

There are two main themes that we picked out when scrolling through mentions regarding safety, security and data breaches:

Seemingly overzealous security checks

People appreciate security, but being checked on every log in is not something that everyone appreciates. We found a number of people who were irritated by the verification steps they had to go through.

If banks can make these steps more convenient without compromising on security (perhaps using face ID or similar) they may win some favor here.

The actual security of funds

It’s clear that people are concerned with data breaches and will reach out on social asking questions about whether things are safe and what will be done. Ensuring that communications are out there and visible at times when concern about security breaches are high is vital to keeping customers calm.

That said, our recent Financial Services report found that people are far more interested in convenience than security. This very much fits with the other issues mentioned in this blog.

5. Obtaining new cards

Sometimes people have trouble having their new card shipped to them because they’re travelling or have moved, and again, it’s an issue of physical spaces getting in the way of what consumers need there and then.

People waiting on cards seemed particularly prominent – something that can cause a lot of inconvenience with today’s often cashless transaction focus.

While these can be difficult issues to solve while we’re still paying for things with pieces of plastic that break and expire, banks must do what they can to help those who find themselves without the means to pay for what they need to be able to quell these complaints.

6. Online banking

Issues with websites not working and general questions were also one of our issues for banks to be aware of. Ensuring an efficient, easy to use and quick to update online service is another way banks can avoid answering lots of questions and dealing with impatient customers.

In this era of immediacy – particularly one day delivery and instant access to movies and services – big banks are not just being compared to other big banks when it comes to supplying a convenient customer experience. They’re competing with agile start-ups in the financial services industry as well as companies that go way beyond that field that are capable of quick change and fast moving service. These fast movers, both in the way they operate and the way they provide their services, are the ones established banks need to watch out for.

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Do Restaurant Chains Need Social Media? Yes, and Here’s Why.

Today I woke up to the shock news that JD Wetherspoon, owners of the UK’s much-loved budget pub/restaurant chain Wetherspoons (“spoons”) is quitting social media.

Here’s the post (although it doesn’t exist anymore – the company didn’t hang about on fulfilling its promise of quitting social).

Quoted by the BBC, Chairman Tim Martin said: “We were also concerned that pub managers were being side-tracked from the real job of serving customers,” he said. “I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever.”

His comments are interesting, and there’s support for the idea on social media that the pub’s social presence probably wasn’t doing much for helping them shift their (admittedly spectacular) burger and a pint deals.

The revelation that Wetherspoons is ditching social media could be considered a massive blow to the industry’s social presence as far as the UK food and beverage scene goes – there are at least 900 Wetherspoons pubs in the UK, and the brand is, as Mollie says, a household name.

Do Wetherspoons need their social media accounts? Well, that’s up for debate. Do they need social media? I would argue yes – yes they do.

Here’s why:

The argument for owned accounts

Wetherspoons have clearly made up their minds, but there are two key ways that owned accounts can benefit food and beverage companies particularly.

Customer service

Social media is a key avenue for feedback, and blocking out @ mentions that contain valuable insights into customers’ experiences within eateries and pubs is a bold choice.

When it comes to giving feedback, social media offers them a very direct and immediate opportunity to do so. Now, giving feedback via the company’s website, customers will have to find the customer service section (something that isn’t immediately visible in the website’s current form). By forfeiting a chunk of their online feedback, Wetherspoons may now be missing out on important insights and patterns in how customers are experiencing their staff and premises.


This might be obvious for any brand, but there’s no reason that food and beverage brands can’t excel at reaching enormous audiences on social and improving their reach and presence of mind among consumers despite already being a household name.

Wendy’s in the US, for example, was able to help nugget fan Carter get the most retweeted tweet of all time – a historic social media moment that can’t have been bad for their nugget sales (depending on how many the guy ate).

Meanwhile, Denny’s Diner is a prime example of how to do social media marketing well. Last year we analyzed how a single memey tweet got them a huge amount of engagement and press coverage.

You can read that analysis here:

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The argument for not detaching from social media entirely

Of course, deleting owned accounts is different to switching off social media as a source of insight. It’s not clear if Wetherspoons is doing that, too.

Here’s why they definitely shouldn’t.

Detecting a crisis

If things go wrong, specifically when it comes to food, brand managers need to know about it fast. So ensuring that alerts are set up for spikes in negative mentions surrounding food is vital for making sure any potential crises are caught early and dealt with swiftly.

Arguably, getting messaging out quickly in a crisis demands social media accounts to keep people informed easily. That said, KFC’s printed apology for a recent crisis in the UK got impressive results. Here’s the full analysis.

That Wetherspoons will continue to print their magazine which customers can read in the pub while not posting on social media is a really interesting move away from digital communication.

Learning about customer wants and needs

Away from crises, cutting off social means cutting off feedback both negative and positive about the brand as well as the industry.

Social data research can be a hugely valuable source of information both in itself and alongside traditional research methods.

Is a particular beer gaining traction online? Are there any influential personalities who are shifting consumer attention away from the brands currently stocked in pubs? Is there a need for more vegan or gluten free food on the menu? All of these questions could be researched using social data.

Campaign tracking

Regardless of the conversations surrounding the everyday running of the chain or the industry as a whole, Wetherspoons may want to keep track of how people are reacting to their various campaigns, whether they’re ads or pro-Brexit beer mats.

React about how quick-serve hamburger restaurant Jack in the Box tracked their own campaigns using Brandwatch here:

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Sugar Tax: The Social Data Around the Raging Debate

As of April 2018, the UK has joined a small group of countries who have introduced a “sugar tax”, specifically on soft drinks. Manufacturers are now required to pay a levy on the high sugar drinks they produce, with many brands cutting back on the sugar they include in their drinks ahead of the tax being enforced.

In many cases it’s consumers and not manufacturers who will bear the brunt of this tax, and questions are being raised over how much raising the cost of sugary drinks will do to tackle obesity.

Tax Sugar content
18p per litre Drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml
24p per litre Drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml

The sweet-toothed Brandwatch React team can’t resist a juicy debate and began analyzing the social data on the sugar tax and general perceptions on sugar free goods.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • How the sugar tax has gone down with consumers, and the roots of the debate
  • The brand being mentioned most in sugar tax conversations, and where brands find themselves
  • How popular #SugarFree is amongst other popular diet hashtags.

Sugar tax data: Quick maths

We tracked more than 31,000 public mentions of “sugar tax” or #sugartax on social media on 6 April, the day the tax came into effect in the UK.

58% of gender-categorized authors tweeting about the tax between 2-8 April were men and 42% were women. When we looked at sentiment-categorized tweets during that time, men were more likely to be tweeting negatively about the issue.

A look at the most used topics within the conversation revealed that health issues like diabetes, obesity and tooth decay were key, but there are clearly oppositional views surrounding whether the tax will be enough to help with those issues, or whether the tax should be in place in the first place. (As context, as well as having the effect of putting consumers off buying more expensive sugary drinks, the money gained from the tax is to be put aside to go towards health initiatives.)

Artificial sweeteners also took up a chunk of the conversation, with many complaining about replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners that could also have adverse health effects.

The roots of the Sugar Tax argument

There are all kinds of views on the sugar tax, but from our read of opinions on social they mostly come down to responsibility. Is it the responsibility of the government to make sugary drinks harder to consume? Is it the responsibility of the sugary drinks companies to reduce the unhealthy content of their products? Is it the responsibility of the individual to exercise self control when it comes to their sugar intake and pay more for unhealthy soft drinks?

3.5% of the sugar tax mentions we captured between 2-8 April contained the term “Nanny State”.

Meanwhile, others called for wide food industry changes. One popular post read:

Having a “sugar tax” on sugary drinks isn’t going to stop obesity. How about making healthy food cheaper and making them more available for people who are on lower incomes? Putting tax on everything isn’t helpful while the healthier food is much more expensive.

While many agreed, others claimed that healthier options are in fact more affordable than unhealthy ones. The point is very much up for debate.

In short, the issue is messy and any proposed solutions are plagued with political disputes.

A trend towards health and wellness

“X free” diets are seeing something of an explosion right now, as the internet connects the health conscious and food influencers guide the uneducated through the latest trends in dietary excellence (rightly or wrongly).

The market for alcohol free versions of traditionally boozy beverages is drinking less than their parents.

The gluten free movement is huge – we found more gluten free than vegetarian mentions within food influencer conversations last year.

Meanwhile, meat free alternatives are enjoying a boom in sales.

People aren’t just reducing the perceived dietary vices of the day, they’re cutting them out all together.

What does #sugarfree look like on Instagram?

It might not strike you as the most fashionable of hashtags but we found 11k mentions of it on the site during the same time period as we measured Sugar Tax conversation (2 – 8 April 2018).

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An uncomfortable time for brands?

So, with consumers becoming more health conscious and a messy political fight about whether sugar should be taxed as well as bubbling conversation around the adverse health affects of artificial sweeteners, where do brands find themselves?

We can start by looking at how brands are discussed in relation to sugar tax.

Coca-Cola is the most prominent brand in the conversation, according to Brandwatch’s Entities function that surfaces organizations being mentioned within the data. The brand was one of the only companies that did not reduce the amount of sugar (in ‘red Coke’) and this meant that the tax was imposed on it. 500ml bottles were subsequently replaced by smaller ones, including in meal deals, leading to frustration from customers.

TESCO replied to one concerned #sugartax tweeter “Coca Cola have actually made changes to the sizing of their bottles and cans to keep the price the same.”

A number of supermarkets were pulled into the Sugar Tax debate on social, including Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Morrisons. It is at the store that many people seemed to become aware of changes to sugary drink prices, and the stores themselves had to deal with a number of complaints and inquiries around the issue. When changes in the law decided months in advance are only first come across by customers when the changes are visible on the shelves it’s possible that supermarkets might benefit from informing customers earlier about significant price changes so as not to be hit by a wave of negativity.

They weren’t the only sugary drink distributors to be hit by criticism on the front line.

Meanwhile, Lucozade and Ribena (who altered the sugar content in their drinks) are being criticized for the different taste. One Redditor enquired:

With the sugar tax coming in today, as I drink bucket loads of Cola I was wondering if there is a sugar free alternative that doesn’t have that horrid aftertaste. I’ve tried to switch to Lucozade but they’ve changed the recipe and now it just tastes horrible!

A sticky situation

High levels of sugar cause health problems but changing the sweetness elements could effect the taste of a popular, familiar product. Artificial sweeteners are not perceived very positively at all – a scroll through the artificial sweetener mentions within the sugar tax conversation revealed a number of health-related complaints. And people don’t want to pay more for the same product (or the same for a smaller version of that product). It’s a sticky situation.

The ideal way for brands to get around this is to find healthier alternative ingredients to their most loved products that make them safer to consumer and hopefully cheaper to buy (because the tax would be removed). But if that was easy it would probably have been done already.

Another way is to boost the appeal of their healthier “diet” or “light” options, perhaps by linking them to popular dietary trends. As we found in some recent research around veganism, there are plenty of internet sites that host thriving vegan communities who are open to discussing their favorite meat free products. Brands could identify and work with influencers within #sugarfree conversations to boost awareness and, ideally, sales of their healthier products.

The more socially responsible brands may want to take a proactive approach with their unhealthiest offerings by advertising them as something to be enjoyed in moderation and making nutritional information as clear as possible, although commercial interests may get in the way of this.

Something that sugary drinks do have going for them is that people value convenience, even when they’re talking about money we found they talk about convenience over security. If sugary items can make themselves appealing to thirsty impulse purchasers among the cheaper, less sugary items next to them they shouldn’t be harmed too much by the sugar tax.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email react@brandwatch.com for more information

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Social Data Showdown: The Kardashian/Jenners on Twitter

Yesterday I had a particularly bad day. I think it’s got something to do with Mercury being in retrograde, or the moon or something. But anyway, I got home and rage-ate four frankfurters and two babybel cheeses and cried because my cat wasn’t talking to me.

But then! Then I knew how to get out of my funk. There’s only one way, if you’re trying to lay off the Rioja mid-week. I turned on the TV, searched ‘KEEPINGUP’ and settled in for a blissful hour of sisterly rowing, excellent hair extensions, and hella beige Yeezy athleisure wear.

I’m talking about the best show on TV other than ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ with Michael Portillo – Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

As seasoned viewers, and basically anyone who has a pulse, knows, life got a whole lot more komplicated for the Kardashians lately. From the rift between ex-partners Caitlyn and Kris, to Kylie’s secret pregnancy, to Kim’s surrogate having pregnancy issues – basically everyone was pregnant at one point – and now Kourtney’s emergence as comedy genius. They’re all racking up more headlines, tweets and Instagram comments than ever.

The success of KUWTK has led to numerous spin-offs, including Kourtney and Kim Take Miami (good), Kourtney and Kim Take New York (also good), Khloé & Lamar (fine), Dash Dolls (bad), Rob & Chyna (worse), and Life of Kylie (objectively terrible). What I’m getting at is that they’re probably the most influential family on the planet, don’t @ me.

So let’s talk influence. Recently, Kylie Jenner sent one tweet that reportedly cost Snapchat $1.3 billion. Not a laughing matter. Unless you’re a competitor of Snap.inc.

Of course, not all of the clan have as much influence.

For our latest Social Data Showdown, we decided to take to the data to find out truly who is the most social-savvy of the crew.

The most talkative

So who of the Kardashian/Jenners talks most on Twitter?

In the period we measured – between 1 Jan – 28 Mar ’18 – we found that historic Queen of the Kardashians, Kim, tweeted nearly 900 times in three months. She’s a grafter. Gotta make rent!


But does putting lots of effort into the platform get you more influence?

The most influential Kardashian/Jenner

The K/J Twitter accounts were ranked according to a selection of criteria that are added together to create their influence score. This is a measure of how influential an account is over time, based on the level of genuine engagement they are creating. While lots of followers, retweets and replies will help, the more influential the people they engage with, the better the score.

Can Rob and his sock line manage to climb the ranks based on this? Unlikely. Sorry, Rob.

Turns out that Kylie Jenner is 5th most talkative, but manages to be 3rd most influential. This of course is based on Twitter data – this would likely look a lot different if we were to rank based on Instagram data (which indeed we may, one day).

Chatty Kim K hits the top of the list easily.

What are their favorite emojis?

The question of THE CENTURY!!!

We backfilled the Kardashian/Jenners’ Instagram and Twitter posts to 1 January 2018 to see what their most-used emojis are. The data seems to imply that if you’re not using emojis, you become less influential. If that’s not an incredible insight, I don’t know what is.

You’ll see lots of hearts, as well, with Kim and matriarch Kris favouring the classic rouge, and Kendall opting for the edgier, more fashionable, mauve. Kourtney’s choice of the snoozy emoji appears to be linked to her advice on co-sleeping with her young children. And she’s probably tired of Scott’s exploits.

Rob’s favourite emoji is the blue heart because YAWN, SORRY, CAN’T. Is there a sock emoji? It should probably be the sock emoji.

Caitlyn Jenner hasn’t tweeted any emojis.

What can we learn from all this?

So, the key takeaway from this surely Nobel Prize winning piece of academia is:

If you want fame, fortune and influence take your Twitter strategy advice from Kim K.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email react@brandwatch.com for more information

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Plastic Data: Consumers Are Becoming More Interested in Plastic Waste

Plastic has been on our screens a lot recently, whether it’s in the news or in our social feeds.

Plastic rushing through rivers. Plastic killing whales. Plastic wrecking sites of natural beauty. The damage packaging and plastic bottles can do is illustrated with horrible visuals, and images are powerful in bringing about change.

Last week the Brandwatch React team were sent a Twitter request from a good friend who wanted to read about what the social data says about plastic and, with a staff trip to help clean up Brighton beach coming at the end of the month and Earth Day just around the corner, we thought we’d oblige.

A delve into the great ocean of plastic pollution data ensued.

Plastic, plastic, everywhere;                                                                              For just a drop to drink.

Conversation about plastic is rising. We looked at historical tweets surrounding plastic waste, plastic pollution and other related key words.

Conversation so far this year in Q1 is more than double the size of what it was in Q1 2017.

Not only are people talking about the problems plastic causes, but they’re googling the topic more, too.

Women are talking about it more than men, with about 56% of gender-categorized authors involved in the conversation being female between 1 January 2017 – 31 March 2018.

What’s behind the boost in plastic interest?

There’s no arguing about plastic doing damage around the world, but there are plenty of other things that do harm to our environment that aren’t such a hot topic. What’s special about plastic that’s getting people talking?

Getting people interested in environmental issues is no easy feat, but we found a couple of trends that have got plastic to the front of people’s minds.

Blue Planet 2

In late 2017 the BBC aired the hotly anticipated Blue Planet 2  – an incredibly show narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough.

The much loved ocean show did not disappoint and bought the devastating impact of plastic waste on to the screens across the world.

It did so well that it appears to have created double the amount of Twitter conversation about plastic waste than Greenpeace did in the time period we measured.

This tweet was particularly resonant.

That’s not at all to say that Greenpeace is doing a bad job. They’ve had multiple significant spikes in conversation surrounding their campaigns around plastic.

Fruit jokes

People seem to really love a joke about why supermarkets waste plastic by wrapping up items with their own natural packaging like oranges and bananas.

A now suspended account tweeted this joke, with the subsequent retweets causing the biggest spike in plastic waste conversation that we found since January 2017.

If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we don’t have to waste plastic on them

Want to get people to care about your cause? Use ironic humour and show how wildlife is suffering because of what you’re protesting against and you’ll start a revolution.


Plastic free challenges have been a new favorite feature on big news sites, as well as becoming a popular hashtag.

Will brands listen to consumers who are concerned about the impact of plastic on the environment or even seeking alternative products with more sustainable packaging?

Brands are being called upon to make changes

Plastic making its way into the sea, for example, presents moral questions for both people and organizations. People are often guilty of not recycling their single-use plastic packaging. But organizations are also guilty of choosing to manufacture their packaging from plastic in the first place. Plastic is a convenient option for both people and organizations but that convenience comes at a terrible price if the waste it produces is not handled appropriately.

Within the plastic waste conversation, we used Brandwatch’s new Entities feature to find organizations being mentioned most. Among bodies like the World Economic Forum, the European Union, and charities like Greenpeace we also found a whole lot of brands.

Coca-Cola made up a significant chunk of the organization conversation, with around 3,800 mentions dating back to the beginning of the year. Within the Coca-Cola mentions one of the most prominent topic was a petition calling for them to do more around plastic waste reduction, with nearly 80,000 signatures at the time of writing.

In defence of the company, they have pledged to cut plastic packaging waste.

At the same time as people complaining about organizations’ complicity in the damage plastic can do to the environment, much of the conversation promotes good work done by companies to make things better. Here’s an initiative from Tesco which highlights vulnerable sea creatures and rewards shoppers for using recyclable bags.

Its not just text mentions that brands can get the message from.

Packaging often looks great in marketing material and on the shelf, but looking at where it ends up after consumers are done with it can paint a different picture of its effect on the world.

With Brandwatch Image Insights we looked at logos for popular brands of drinks that come in plastic bottles. A search among all those pictures for the word “waste” quickly surfaced this image.

This probably  isn’t a situation you want to see your logo used in.

Photographs that show discarded brand packaging might not be protesting its destruction – it could just be on the floor in the background. Either way, visual depictions of a damaging legacy of product packaging isn’t the way that brand managers tend to want their logos appearing on the internet. As non-biodegradable trash builds up, brands who mass produce products with plastic packaging can expect to see more and more visual content that sees their logos littering the ground or ocean. Image Insights can give brands a potentially stark reminder of what happens to their branded packaging after use.

Measures like encouraging customers to recycle (perhaps by making clear on the packaging the materials used so it’s easier for consumers to know if something is recyclable) and reviewing materials used are one way brands may begin to start clearing up this mess.

Plastic is a problem that can’t be swept under the rug

I believe that what we’re seeing in the data is a rare but encouraging point of union from people across the internet and globe, coming together to voice concerns about a threat to the natural world.

This is a problem that everyone can do their bit to solve, but brands should be very aware that they are being held to account on this and by getting involved early they could reap some really positive social rewards.

A campaign from Adidas that involved making shoes from recycled plastic was one of a few ways that we saw a brand gaining prominence in the plastic waste conversation in a really positive way.

View this post on Instagram

💙 ONE MILLION Shoes made by #adidas from ♻Recycled Sea Plastics 🌊😍 last year – How Amazing is that?! THE CHANGE IS COMING 🌴🌾

A post shared by Apr 3, 2018 at 3:11pm PDT

It’s not too late for brands to get involved in this conversation and make bold steps that can win wider customer favor and, with the conversation around plastic waste growing, inaction could do harm both to the environment and their reputation.

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