What The Social World Has to Say About Our Hosts: San Francisco

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Hello again! Sheldon from Sysomos here as we draw ever closer to the kickoff of Social Media Week. As we lead up to the big week, I’ve been using Sysomos’ industry leading social media monitoring and analytics software, MAP and Heartbeat, to look at what the world is saying about our host cities. For this installment, I’ll be focusing in on a social media and tech leading US city, San Francisco, California.

Searching over the past six months for mentions of “San Francisco” or the commonly used “SF” in social media, I was able to find 1.4 million blog posts, 1.3 million online news articles, 1.6 million forum postings and 2.5 million tweets.

Being that San Francisco is a hotbed for social and tech related startups, it’s no wonder that when we trend that data out over time we see a lot of activity talking about it over the past six months. The activity seemed to lul a bit over the holidays in December, but then picked right back up again in January. But we’ll explore some of this activity in a little bit.

I then looked into where all this talk of San Francisco was coming from. Not surprising is that the majority of talk is coming from right within the United States (65.9%). We then also see the other two countries that tend to always be sources of activity, Canada (4.3%) and the UK (3.9%). Here we can also see that France seems to mention San Francisco quite often as well (3.3%). Perhaps this is because France is becoming well known as a home for European social and tech startups, so they feel the connection, or are at least interested, in their American counterpart.

Next, I pulled up a buzzgraph to see what all this talk over the past six months was about. What is interesting in this buzzgraph was that I was expecting to see a lot of tech related talk, and there was some, but there was a lot more talk about sports. Right in the center of the graph we can see words like “release” which refer to some tech companies from San Francisco releasing new and updated programs and devices. However, around the outskirts of the graph, we see a lot more words that making reference to sports, such as “49ers,” the San Francisco NFL team, “winning,” as they went quite far into the football season this year, and “Giants,” the team that beat them to go on to the Super Bowl.

Next I dove a little deeper into tis data to find out who the people that were creating this buzz were. On Twitter I found that 61% of all San Francisco mentions were coming from males and only 39% from females. Perhaps this ties back to the abundance of football related talk we saw in the buzzgraph. I also pulled up the top twitter accounts talking about San Francisco. This is a list of the top 12 accounts that mention San Francisco the most and have a higher than average authority score. Most of the accounts I found seem common, such as classified type accounts like @jobs4SF (11.76%), and news accounts like @breakingsfnews (12.61%). As well, I also found the football theme again when @49ersbuzztap also showed up as a top source (5.88%).

I then examined the people creating the 1.4 million blog posts mentioning San Francisco. Here I found that the gender split was the exact same as on Twitter, with the males at 61% and females at 39%. Interestingly enough, the age of bloggers aged 21-35 are usually the highest group we see, but here they only accounted for 39.2% of the blogs. I found that bloggers aged 36-50 actually talk about San Francisco the most and account for 50% of all the mentions.

I also found something interesting when I looked at what industry the blogs talking about San Francisco belong to. Again I was thinking that we would see a lot of technology focused blogs and possibly sports. However, I found that education blogs mentioned San Francisco the most at 12.5%. The second largest industry was publishing at 10.4%. Marketing blogs came in third at 8.3% which I suppose plays a little towards my tech theory as a lot of marketing blogs these days talk a lot about online and social media related marketing.

Lastly, I delved into a few of the activity spikes we’ve seen about San Francisco over the past six months. I started with this spike in both Twitter and forum activity that occurred around October 17-21. Once again I was shocked to learn that most of the talk at this time revolved around football. Here, there was a game in which the “49ers'” “manager”  Jim “Harbaugh” had a little outburst in the game against the “Detroit” Lions’ coach. This event seemed to grab the attention of the entire football community who aren’t used to seeing such public emotion from a coach.

Lastly, I looked into the two large spikes we see towards the end of the chart between January 13-23. Again, this spike revolved around the San Francisco 49ers. These two spikes took place during the NFC playoffs. The “49ers” made their way into the playoffs this season and made it past the first round by defeating Drew “Brees” and the New “Orleans” “Saints.” However, the 49ers lost their chance to go to the Super Bowl the following week to “Eli” Manning and the New “York” “Giants.”

The one thing that I learned from doing this study was that geeks like myself may mainly think of startups, tech and social medi when we think about San Francisco, but the rest of the world seems to have football and the 49ers on the brain.  I’ll be back again soon with another Sysomos look at yet another Social Media Week host cities.

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