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Can Social Media Predict Sundance Film Award Winners?

In about 2 hours, this year’s Sundance Film Festival award winners will be announced. In the past week, there’s been over 35,000 tweets with the #sundance hashtag; more than 40,000 people “talking about” Sundance films on the films’ Facebook page or on the official Sundance Facebook page; 1,300 people have checked in on Foursquare at one of the Park City theatre venues; and nearly 4,000 photos have been tagged #Sundance on Instagram.

Will this social media buzz be any indication of who’s going to win awards tonight? If it is, here’s what we should see:

US Documentary

US Dramatic

World Documentary

World Dramatic

Of course, 17% of awards contenders don’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account, so it’s much more difficult to track social media mentions of those films. And this is only counting raw activity–nothing about sentiment (what if everyone talking about the film on Facebook is trashing it?); and nothing about geographic dispersion (that’s great if there are 500 people tweeting about your film, but if they’re all in Kansas it’s not going to make much of a difference for audience awards). None the less, I’m curious what the next few hours will reveal. And check back here in a few weeks for a deeper analysis of all the social media data around predicting film sales as well.





  • http://twitter.com/stevebalbo Steven Balbo

    Hello Devon,

    Years ago, you conceived of an arcane world   (Your “a-social-media-measurement-plan”)
    Please check our acquired analytics on this workflow: http://nextprinciples.com/2012/06/nextprinciples-in-theatre-marketing/

    I think this might work out well for some future client of yours.
    Absolutely simplistic. Pick a key word on your brand, event, or ad campaign.
    Then choose 5 social inputs. It makes it cross channel & crosschecks LinkedIn.
    A depth of actionable statistics come at you, and you can do something with it
    since it auto populates a sales automation system (like Salesforce or SugarCRM)

    We monitor events, campaigns and communities and act on the statistics.

    “Insight to Action”, we would love to demo it to you this month.

    Thank you,
    Steve Balbo
    831 430 6058