Social Media Marketing June 14th, 2013
Everyone loves a good rivalry, it’s simply bred into us! Spanning from the times we watched Elmer Fudd chase around an elusive hare, to your distinct preference of Hot Wheels over Micro Machines. We are born to be decisive.
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Of course when you grow up it becomes less about toys and more about your favourite teams vs. their most embittered foe, Apple vs. Mac, Coke vs Pepsi, Pirates vs. Ninjas, Playstation vs Xbox etc… You know the kinds of conversations I mean, the type that get fanboys to make t-shirts. It’s simply natural, we love to watch the controversy that brews from rivalry.
I was thinking about this recently after one of those late night X vs Y conversations and started to wonder. How do my favourite rivalries match up on social media? In particular, I wanted to use the social media de facto measuring stick of Facebook and likes. I started to construct grudge matches in my head, attempting to demonstrate the innate urge for resentful combatants found in all of us.
I chose 5 of my favourite rivals and pitted them against each other by examining the number of likes they’ve received on Facebook. Don’t worry though, this isn’t the wild west, there must be rules! Well, only one rule in fact.
My only rule is each of the participants must be neutral. By saying this I mean one of the contestants cannot be infamous or notorious. For example, one can’t be King Henry VIII vs. His Wives, Magneto vs. Professor X (although I love Magneto) or the Black Plague vs. Healthy Living. In addition, I found not all of these pages were verified accounts, so I chose to use the most popular or relevant page results in that case. So with the format in mind, let’s move forward with my top 5 rivalries.
I grew up in a hockey crazed home. I mean hey, I am Canadian! Nothing was better growing up in Toronto than a Saturday night game between ‘le bleu blanc et rouge’ aka the Montreal Canadiens and my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs (I know, I know, here comes the hate). Checking the verified Facebook accounts of both teams I saw the following.
Winner: Montreal Canadiens
I was dismayed to see my boyhood team on the losing end of page likes; however, I was happy to see more people talking are talking about the Leafs! I suppose I should be used to losing as a Leafs fan, but it still hurts. Round 1 goes to the Canadiens de Montreal.
If you haven’t gathered by now, I am a nerd. Two of my favourite universes ever created take place among the stars. I’ve always dreamed of space travel and these two franchises have only fueled my fantasies. To be completely honest, although I started my galactic journeys with George Lucas’s franchise (Star Wars), I eventually drifted towards the adventures of Starfleet’s beloved crews. I love both equally.
Star Wars has over 14 million likes on Facebook. This among other things proves there’s an astonishing number of geeks out there. This doesn’t even take into account particular film pages so this number is staggering.
Star Trek was a little more difficult, with various shows and movies attached to the franchise, it was hard to find a definitive page. That being said there is still an impressive fanbase out there who go “boldly” follow the brand on Facebook. After accumulating likes from various other fan pages, the numbers approached 3 million.
Winner: Star Wars
I’m scoring this round for the Skywalker’s, Obi Wan and the scoundrel smuggler from Correllia.
This is a strange battle that comes straight from my taste in awesome food. Ok, I’m creating a rivalry! Take heed, the Chinese and Mexican food I’m talking about won’t be showing up on the streets of Beijing or served at your neighbour’s daughter’s Quinceañera.
I’m talking straight up bastardized versions of these foods, see cheddar cheese on a burrito or General Tao chicken (although I’m not a fan) for example. For this round, I selected people’s interests instead of pages because it seemed to represent the food and no particular brand.
Winner: Chinese food
Chinese food garners over 200,000 ‘Likes,’ a little less than half as many who like Mexican food. This may interestingly enough be due to the fact that half of Mexican food lovers aren’t available to browse due to stomach issues. I joke, it gets my vote but ultimately loses the fight.
This one would have been a slam dunk for Apple a couple of years ago, still is as a matter of fact. Despite this Android has gained tremendous traction over the last couple of years. For this showdown, I have simply accumulated the ‘Likes’ of the distinct pages to come up with a representative number. As an Android user myself, I was hoping for a better result. Unfortunately reality bites, get it? Apple? No? Nevermind.
The Android platform comes in at around 1,723,182 ‘Likes’, a respectable number considering Apples jump out of the gate and consequential stranglehold on the industry.
The Apple darling accrues 5,158,751 ‘Likes’!
Although gravity may come into play eventually, it looks like the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree (I’ve really got to stop these puns), as the Steve Job-less company still enjoys supremacy on social media and Facebook in particular. This will be one to keep an eye on in the coming years.
I consider this one of the ultimate fanboy showdowns. Batman vs Spiderman, Superman vs Elektra (who suggested that one?). This one goes back a couple of generations as the two comic book giants have always battled for the admiration and loyalty of the crazed comic book audience. I remember those schoolyard conversations where we would dream of matching up our favourite heroes in theoretical fights to the death. Now we can do it in another fantasy world, Facebook.
Marvel comes in at over 21 million plus likes as Wolverine and other Marvel superheroes demonstrate a viable presence on Facebook.
The results don’t really surprise me, but I would’ve like D.C. to put up a bit more of fight. Some should add Facebook to the short list of Doomsday and Kryptonite as the only weaknesses of Kal-El.
With a close to 5:1 ratio Marvel dominates the final round.
I find it interesting seeing these rivalries play out on social media. Does the Facebook sample truly represent the power and fan base of each brand? Or did the individual pages and their specific content garner more likes? Like it or not, Facebook ‘Likes’ have become a measurement of success for all brands. In all honesty, with pages of this, or any magnitude for that matter, it really doesn’t matter.
‘Likes’ aren’t how you win social media, the real winners are pages that engage their followers, host conversations and offer customer service. Social media isn’t only a popularity contest, it’s also about creating a touchstone for your audience by providing a human element connected to your brand.
That being said, it was an interesting and fun topic that I would love to revisit in the future. If you would like to get involved, feel free to add your rivalries in the comments. Who knows, maybe they’ll show up in our next social media showdown. Thanks for taking your time to read.
Social Media Brand Battles: My Top Five Rivalries On FacebookRead time: 5 minutes