On Sunday night TV viewers were thrilled as Game Of Thrones made its triumphant return with its season 5 debut. HBO’s Game Of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on television in recent years, and its popularity was trumpeted through social media by fans and brands.
We got curious about just how much of an impact Game Of Thrones had on the social media world, so we decided to investigate for ourselves using MAP, our social media intelligence research and analytics software.
Looking for mentions of Game Of Thrones and associated hashtags (such as #GameOfThrones, #GoT, #GoTseason5 and a few others) across social media channels and found that the show garnered over 898,000 mentions on Sunday alone. Mentions of the show appeared in 1,646 blogs, 4,283 online news articles, 7,312 forum postings and 885,733 tweets on Sunday alone.
With Twitter being the most active channel that people were using to talk about Game Of Thrones, we dug a little deeper to find that the show was being mentioned in 36,906 tweet per hour over the course of the day. The bulk of those, of course, came right before the show as people were getting excited about it and during the actual broadcast.
We also noticed that people around the world were tweeting their excitement for the shows return. As you can see in the Twitter activity above, the majority of the Game Of Thrones talk was coming from the United States, but countries from around the globe seemed to be talking about it, like Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Mexico and France. Below is a heat map that shows just how wide spread talk of the show’s return spread across the world.
But it wasn’t just the fans who were showing their excitement for the show’s return publicly. Brands were trying to get in on the action as well. Using our search for the most retweeted tweets mentioning Game Of Thrones we came across a few brands trying to capitalize on the show’s popularity. Such as the NFL, who had the most retweeted Game Of Thrones tweet from a brand, with this one about the actor who plays Gregor Clegane, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who apparently almost signed to play with the Indianapolis Colts:
— NFL (@nfl) April 12, 2015
But other brands were also trying to generate impressions using Game Of Thrones, like Stolichnaya Vodka:
— Stolichnaya Vodka (@Stoli) April 12, 2015
Chili’s Bar and Grill:
— Chili’s Grill & Bar (@Chilis) April 10, 2015
— Arby’s (@Arbys) April 12, 2015
And even the World Of Warcraft videogame:
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) April 12, 2015
To be fair, not all the talk was necessarily waiting for the show’s actual debut. Over the weekend the first 4 episodes of Game Of Thrones’ fifth season somehow got leaked online. Apparently some fans just couldn’t wait until Sunday night to see the show as talk of the leaked episodes started late on Saturday night and carried over into Sunday as more and more people became aware. This likely isn’t a big surprise as Game Of Thrones was noted as being the most pirated TV show of 2014. However, when we looked for mentions of the leak along side Game Of Thrones over the course of the entire weekend, we found that it didn’t make as much of an impact on the overall talk as one may have thought, only garnering 74,615 mentions across social channels.
But was this actually a good performance in terms of season debut? This is something else we wondered, so we decided to compare Game Of Thrones mentions on its season debut day to a few other recent popular television debuts. We pitted it against the season premieres of The Walking Dead, The Americans and Mad Men. What we found was that Game Of Thrones had a fairly good showing for social media activity on its season debut day beating out The Americans and Mad Men on theirs, but it fell about half of a million mentions short of The Walking Dead on its season debut.
Interestingly though, when we broke down the social channels to see where conversations around each of these shows was coming from we found that Game Of Thrones was talked about more across blogs, online news sites and forums, but the fans of The Walking Dead blew Game Of Thrones out of the water in terms of tweets.
And while we comparing things, we also thought it would be interesting to see how Game Of Thrones season 5 premiers did compared to season 4, which debuted on April 6, 2014. In 2014, the show’s premiere saw 699,489 mentions across social channels. That means that this year they upped their numbers by 200,000, which is quite impressive and just shows how the popularity for the show is still growing.
Did you watch Game Of Thrones on Sunday? More importantly, did you tweet about it?