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Mercedes comes out on top in F1 social media survey of 2014 - value is clear

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Mercedes comes out on top in F1 social media survey of 2014 - value is clear
Dec 5, 2014, 5:00 PM

Mercedes not only claimed the spoils on circuit this season, they also took the lion's share of the social media attention and value, according to ...

Mercedes not only claimed the spoils on circuit this season, they also took the lion's share of the social media attention and value, according to a report by industry monitors Repucom.

The document, entitled "Full season social media snapshot" reveals that @MercedesAMGF1 was the subject of 30% of all social media activity around teams, ahead of @ScuderiaFerrari on 19%, @McLarenF1 on 12% and @LotusF1team on 10%. Meanwhile last year's champion team @redbullracing got just 8% share of voice on social media.

Mercedes was the most talked about team for most of the season and clear number one from Silverstone onwards, but Ferrari was briefly number one around the Chinese GP and Williams around their stunning Austrian GP pole position. At the other end of the scale, Toro Rosso bumped along the bottom with Sauber just ahead, well behind the two teams that failed this year, Marussia and Caterham, both of which had more engaged social media presence.

Share of Twitter mentions - Race-by-Race Team Breakdown - Courtesy Repucom. Click to enlarge

Repucom

Increasingly sponsors are paying attention to the value which comes from social media engagement, according to Repucom's Head of Digital, Max Barnett,

"TV is a one-way conversation, social-media is two way; that quality of engagement is unique and increasingly what sponsors are looking for," he says.

"Whereas before in the old world teams would report social media in terms of likes and retweets, now they are putting a monetary value on social media presence. It helps with acquiring new sponsors and retaining old ones."

The scale of monetary value from social media posts can be seen from the simple example below, in a Facebook posting following Lewis Hamilton's title win in Abu Dhabi a photo on Facebook which was "Liked" 2.9 million times, had a value of over $55,000 to Mercedes.

Repucom

Repucom estimates that there were 8.64 billion actual impressions globally during the season. Interestingly 84% of all social media postings were by users over the age of 35, reflecting F1's ageing demographic. 65% of them were men, just 35% women.

The UK leads the way with almost 20% of all social media activity around F1; Spain had 8% and Germany just 1.33%. There were major spikes at the start of the season, with curiosity about the new hybrid turbo technology and how it would affect the pecking order. There were spikes also around Japan with Jules Bianchi's accident and the aftermath at the following race in Russia. The largest spike was for the final race in Abu Dhabi. The average number of posts featuring race name, drivers, teams over a GP weekend was 1.35 million, but Abu Dhabi saw a spike of 2.5 million.

Courtesy Repucom
Courtesy Repucom

In terms of growth from 2013 to 2014, the measured social media "buzz" around F1 teams increased by 54%; around F1 drivers it increased by 36.5%, while around F1 official keywords (e.g. #F1) in general it increased by 11.5%

These trends can be read as more fans taking to social media to support and discuss teams/drivers in detail (referencing specific teams and drivers) in 2014 compared to 2013.

Team investment in this area has helped support this trend as they manage their profiles more strategically, while delivering fan-focussed content that is seeking to be increasingly engaging. As well as increasing their fan base and the quality of engagement with their fans, this foundation is also designed to be appealing for sponsors to step into and leverage.

"Mercedes and McLaren are excellent examples of this and can be compared with top Premier League football clubs in this respect," said Barnett.
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