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Can Social Media Predict the Super Bowl XLIX Champion?

Well, football lovers, it’s that time of the year again!  Playoffs are nearing the end, and the four final teams are gearing up for what they hope will be two more gut-wrenching games.  The big question on everyone’s mind is, “Who is going to be the Super Bowl XLIX Champion?”

As is tradition at Ignite Social Media, we have taken the liberty to turn our playoff predictions by analyzing the social media accounts of those involved, and we wouldn’t want to break tradition.  Except this year, as I take the reins for the first time, we won’t be looking at how many followers a team has on one specific channel, but instead let the fans decide who wins by taking a look at engagement across each teams’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram since just before playoffs up until today.

Why, you may ask?  One of our key pieces of advice to clients is that it’s not always about how many fans you have, it’s about how you’re engaging with them .  Your fans are your advocates and that’s something you can’t buy.

Now, before we get into all the technicalities, let’s take a brief look at each one of these talented teams:

  • Seattle Seahawks: Last year’s returning champions have two games left to defend their title for a second year in a row (which hasn’t been done since the Patriots in 2004-2005).  With home field advantage against Green Bay this weekend, they can only hope the 12th man will give them the advantage they need to advance.
  • Green Bay Packers: All doubts about their injured Discount Double-Checking Quarterback subsided as they prevailed over Dallas last week.  The Packers have held strong, but are hoping to correct the mistakes they made against Seattle in Week 1.
  • Indianapolis Colts:  Andrew Luck has done a fine job of creating his own legacy with the Colts this year and that includes knocking the Broncos and Peyton Manning out of the running last week.  However, in this week’s matchup the Colts face another legacy in and of itself and it might come down to Talent vs Experience.
  • New England Patriots: aka Future Super Bowl XLIX Champions!!! Alright, we don’t quite know that yet, but a girl can dream.  Yes, I am a diehard Patriots fan, born and raised.  I think the safest thing here to say is “We’re on to Cincinnati…” or in this case, Indianapolis.

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To be honest, these results make me feel slightly bad for the Colts who rank last.  While the team has been winning, the fans have been lacking to show social appreciation with a dramatic decline in engagement within the last few weeks.

What’s even more surprising is that the Seattle Seahawks dedicated their stadium (the 12th man) to their fans… who don’t seem reciprocate the love on social media.  With only 4.5M fans showing their appreciation with a simple “Like”, their estimated engagement rate falls short.  Let’s hope the fans are saving their interactions for in-person rather than online in this case.

Which bring us down to who we predict to be the Conference Champions.  The New England Patriots fan base, while the largest size of the four with 7.8M fans, will advance to the Super Bowl.  However, their fan engagement is no match for Green Bay’s wildly interactive fans, who will clinch the title as Super Bowl Champions XLIX.

Will these predictions be right?  We’ll know this Sunday who claims their division and who goes home.  Then after February 1st, the only thing left on Football Fan’s minds will be “Now what am I going to do on Sundays?”

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