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Understanding the Fandom Interest through the San Diego Comic-Con Social Conversations Analysis

The Comic-Con 2018 kicked off a week ago and fandom from all over the world have been casting their eyes over the novelties and attractions presented during the four days that the San Diego conference lasted, myself among them. Over 130,000 attendees generated more than 1.7million tweets from July 18th to 22nd 2018. This is an active social audience!

As a “geek blogger” in my spare time, this year my interest in the San Diego Comic-Con went beyond the merely inquisitive and I set out to understand which topics caught the attention of attendees during the event to optimize my own content in my personal blog.

What are the advantages of Social Listening in Content Creation?

As a blogger one of my main goals is to find the sweet spot between what I want to write and what my audience wants to read or what will be interesting to them. I found that by supporting my content marketing strategy with social listening analysis, I am more productive in terms of content creation (less time spent in front of a white sheet without knowing what to say) but also it allows me to optimize my efforts on posts that will be welcomed by my (potential or target) audience.

From my personal experience, the main advantages of Social Listening for content generation and planning are:

1. Having a better picture of your target interest

By analyzing the conversations about a brand or, in this case, only about my blog, my knowledge was limited to the conversations I was able to lead. However, by doing a broader analysis and deep diving into industry and sectoral conversations, we are able to identify the topics, news or ideas that are leading public interest and identify different targets group of interest.

In my opinion, events like the Comic-Con, where multiple players in the industry present their upcoming innovations in comics, movies and TV-shows are interested in knowing what topics start to resonate with the audiences. So, in keeping with my analysis goals, I am able to optimize my efforts in content generation to those themes I already know are of the audience interest.

2. Spotting new trends

Trend and tastes vary more and more quickly each day and, let’s be honest, none of us wants to be the last one to participate in a trending topic. Doing that would be like publishing a new outfit on Rose Gold colours, when the new fashionable trend is the “millennial pink”… oh wait, that colour is already old-fashioned too

Identifying these new trends at an early stage allows us to get more out of them, generate content quickly to participate in the conversation, write content that covers different aspects of the theme while it is still relevant for the audience and has a major impact.

3. Identifying problems or questions to solve

One of the best content marketing strategies is to provide advice and solutions, as that will help in your SEO. If your audiences have doubt, they will search for it. However, to do this well, the first step is to identify your audience’s unmet needs and then, you will be in a perfect position to solve them.

Identifying the main questions during the events and the debates that lead to the most engaging discussions will help you on this quest. Also, you will be able to identify the main voices asking or providing answers, or the Key Opinion Leaders in the topic. Partnering with them on content generation, like a guest blog post debating the topic or a Q&A round with a couple of them, could be some strategies to increase your content reach if it is published at the same time that you cover one of the audience’s questions.

San Diego Comic-Con 2018 on Twitter

san diego comic-con twitter analysis

While some of the figures speak for themselves as you may see in the infographic above, I would like to summarize below some of the content takeaways I learnt from my analysis.

It is key to the success of any social listening project to answer your business questions and avoid getting lost in small or/and any fancy detail. And believe me, as a geek covering the Comic-Con, it is a challenge 😉

The main takeaways for future content creation and planning that I took from the Comic-Con 2018 Twitter conversation analysis were:

  • Twitter usage: Twitter as a social platform is mainly used to discuss and broadcast the outcomes from panels and to comment and discuss the news by those who follow the conference in the distance, with comics and movies the topics driving biggest buzz. As 87% of participation was RTs, as a content creator, I would have in mind not only to write useful posts, but also to summarize and use shareable texts when broadcasting my content on Twitter so they will prompt resharing.
  • Gain some organic brand exposure: While sponsorships worked years ago as a marketing tactic, the cost of this type of activity is not possible for every budget. This is probably the case for Funko, the pop-culture figures manufacturer. Doing some Twitter contests (going viral easily due to their figures are a big thing among the community), the company got more share of voice than some of the event official sponsors and gained organic brand exposure across the event hashtag. As a small blog, I must take advantage of the possibilities organic exposure will bring me and evaluate doing some giveaways or contests to re-engage current readers and impact new potential ones.
  • Capturing the female audience: Movie and Star Trek interests are the main affinities with a higher proportion of female audiences. Creating some posts around the movies and tv shows that resonated during the event, such as Fantastic Beast, Supernatural or Star Trek Discovery, could be good bets to drive discovery within this audience. Diving a bit on conversations, I found that John Cena’s love for BTS (K-Pop group) will be a topic to explore as fans of the group showed a strong engagement with this content.
  • The big learning: Doctor Who resonating across the audiences and being in the top half ranking by share of voice tells me one thing: I am losing opportunities to engage to my audience by not writing about this TV Show before. Also, announcing the first female Doctor Who will connect straight forward with my previous takeaway, isn’t it fantastic?

Well, if you reach this point, you deserve to know the truth… I am a blogger, but not in a geek-pop culture-fandom blog. I just did the exercise to show the importance of having a goal in mind and some clear questions to answer when performing an analysis, because otherwise, there won’t be anything to learn.

So, as a marketer you should always remember that Social Listening will be an ally in the different steps of your marketing efforts, you just need to ask the right questions.

Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash