Can social media predict the winner of this year’s Big Brother? At this early stage, I’m going to sit on the fence and say no. Following our success in using social media to predict the recent election result, however, we felt the need to turn our hand to weightier matters.
Bearing in mind the many plot twists and turns that we can expect this year, on top of various seemingly unstable personalities in the house, making any sort of prediction is likely to be fraught. But social media provided an overview of digital-savvy voters’ preferences, and with Big Brother we’re dealing with a demographic even more likely to use social media.
Wednesday’s launch was accompanied by a flurry of online activity. Cision recorded approximately 40,000 BB social media mentions around 9pm, similar to the numbers we saw during the early stages of the live election debates. Sunshine and Shabby dominated early coverage, appearing in around 15% and 11% of all posts mentioning a housemate. However, most of this was negative content (most of it not repeatable here), which suggests their notoriety may be short lived.
Although trailing in post frequency, John (‘he’s fit’ and ‘I’m only watching for him’) James and Mario were the two most positively received housemates, which corresponds nicely with early polls from Totally Big Brother.
Given the huge volumes of online posts in the first 24 hours, it is clear that Big Brother has a very engaged audience, and with 95% of all social media coverage being on Twitter, this is clearly the medium of choice for fans to express their views. If these same levels of engagement equate to fans calling in and voting for the housemates, then I believe we can use social media to make an educated guess about who’s going to be evicted each week, and the eventual winner.
And now for the bombshell: I’ve never watched BB and know nothing of the housemates I’ve described. Using only social media as my guide (as is so often the case), I’m falling off the fence to put my money on John James.
Will social media (again) predict the future or will I be left red-faced and £5 poorer?