In 2014, Shark Week put up impressive social media numbers, but it also received a lot of backlash. The backlash was due to the fact that their most publicized shows for the year were not true documentaries, but rather made up stories that were made to seem like they were real without telling their audience the truth. See our post on it here.
For Shark Week 2015, Discovery Channel promised that they would return to purely non-fictional programming and take the week of programming back to it’s roots. We decided to use Sysomos MAP to see how the social conversation went around Shark Week this year.
Looking for the terms “Shark Week,” “#SharkWeek,” “SharkWeek2015” and “#SharkWeek15” and found them mentioned 927,193 across blogs, forums, online news and Twitter over the 8 days of programming (July 5-12, 2015). Specifically, we found 1,211 blog posts, 2,691 online news articles, 2,287 forum postings and 921,004 tweets mentioning our search terms. This is down from 2014 where we found 1.6 million mentions across the same channels.
With Twitter being the main channel where people seemed to be talking about Shark Week, we dug a little bit deeper. When we did this we found that most of the tweets, 76.2%, came from the United States, while Canadians accounted for 4.8% of all the tweets. We also found that both men and women were interested in tweeting along with Shark Week with women accounting for slightly more tweets than men, 55% vs 45%.
We then took our search over to Tumblr and found 77,301 posts containing our search terms over the same period of time. This number is also down from 85,772 in 2014.
And on Facebook, we found Shark Week being talked about in 5,569 public status updates , which is significantly down from the over 17,000 we found last year.
While many of the numbers we found for Shark Week 2015 were down from 2014, we did notice a similar pattern play out. When we took these mentions and looked at how they played out over the programming week we found that Shark Week started off strong towards the beginning of the week and then tapered off as it went on.
An even more interesting similarity to last year is that when we looked at the overall sentiment for Shark Week 2015, it was THE EXACT SAME as it was in 2014. Both years we saw 11% positive talk and 40% negative talk giving Shark Week an overall favourable rating of 60%. However, this year was a bit different.
Last year when we saw a large amount of negative talk surrounding Shark Week it was due to people being upset around the programming. However, when we looked at a buzzgraph around this year’s Shark Week we found that the negative talk was actually stemming from shark talk. Words like “attack,” “bite” and “predator” were found throughout our text analytics this year, which technically have a negative connotation so would explain the large amount of negative sentiment. However, it also shows that people were very engaged with the shark related content that was coming out of Shark Week this year.
While numbers were down for Shark Week this year when we compared it to last year, by diving in deeper it actually turned out that people seemed to be more engaged with the actual shark content rather than complaining about being fooled.