The Bachelorette – A social analysis from someone with way too much time on their hands

Normally, I can’t stand reality TV (ok, that’s a lie…I’m a slave to anything on TLC).

But I moved to a new city six months ago, and there is no better way to bond with new roommates than a trashy TV show, yoga pants, and a little bit of vino. And so it happened, for the purpose of a little roomie bonding I became invested in The Bachelor. And by invested, I mean outrageously obsessed. We’re talking following the ladies on Twitter (confession: I’ve learned Ashley I. and I get our lashes done at the same place), compulsively checking message boards, developing complete neuroses about accidentally being spoiled. (We’re talking obsessed enough to come out of 2.5 years of blogger purgatory to actually write something in this space…)

HT_BRITT_KAITLIN_150310_DG_16x9_992

It was obvious to me from, oh, maybe week 3 or 4 that Whitney was the winner. To me, the announcement of the Bachelorette was much more interesting. Sure I’d seen the reports online, but what about the big twist?

When Chris Harrison asked who should be the next Bachelorette, the crowd (along with myself) was decidedly pro-Kaitlyn. I’d been checking the internet…Britt was not particularly liked anywhere (I’m calling BS on this split-down the middle debate). So naturally, I was filled with rage (remember: obsessed) when the two girls were announced as co-Bachelorettes. Having been called all sorts of clichés like social media “ninja” “guru” and “maven,” I decided to put my powers to good and find out what the internet actually thought of Britt and Kaitlyn.

First: A look at the numbers.

@BachleorABC introduced two hashtags. #TeamBritt and #TeamKaitlyn. Let’s have a look, shall we?

  • #TeamKaitlyn: 15,418 mentions
  • #TeamBritt: 3,373 mentions

Maybe people were showing their support by tagging the ladies on Twitter instead? Wait…

  • @kaitlynbristowe: 7,072 mentions
  • @brittkarolina: 2,208 mentions

Same. Not 50/50.

Maybe follower count?

  • @kaitlynbristowe: 114,000
  • @brittkarolina: 52,000

Ok..getting closer to that even split, but still not right. (The aforementioned numbers represent the last 7 days as of 3/11 at 10:00PM ET)

I’m a rational person. Just because someone is frequently mentioned doesn’t mean they are the most likable (villains get the love on social too). What people are saying is probably a lot more important.

So I made word clouds. I searched each girl’s first name with the keyword “Bachelorette.” If both girls’ first names were included in a tweet, I excluded that tweet from the cloud. If someone’s Twitter handle, a misspelling of their name, etc. appeared in the tweet, I let it be. Here’s what I came up with.

Kaitlyn’s Cloud

Kaitlyn's Word Cloud

Sort of meh. What you’d expect.

But check out the Britt cloud.

Britt’s cloud

britt

Seems a heck of a lot of people are talking about Kaitlyn, even when talking about Britt. #TeamKaitlyn running wild!

Now, like I’ve said, I’ve never watched The Bachelor or Bachelorette before, but through following this season I’ve come to recognize some of those little blue check marks affiliated with the show. And you’re a little hard-pressed to find any of them saying anything kind about #TeamBritt.

EXACTLY MOLLY! EXACTLY.

It seems like few people (both famous and non) love this dual Bachelorette concept (although seeing very positive remarks around a Bachelorette duel…). I don’t think anyone really had a clue as to how this will work. Are the men actually picking between Britt and Kaitlyn? If that’s the case, let’s have a look at the gender breakdowns of their respective hashtags.

First, #TeamKaitlyn. Second, #TeamBritt.

Gender breakdown #TeamKaitlyn Gender breakdown #TeamBritt

The charts, of course, are open to your interpretation, but I find the gender breakdown pretty fascinating. Will her seeming appeal towards men ultimately give Britt the upper-hand if a Bachelorette is ultimately eliminated?

What does this all mean?

Well, probably not much. Only that it seems like the social internet is pro-Kaitlyn as Bachelorette. But likeable doesn’t necessarily equal ratings, and certainly the controversy will keep reality TV fans interested for at least a little while.

Or maybe…just maybe…Anna Kendrick is onto something.

“The jealous are possessed by a mad Devil…”

Well, I have a little social media envy.

The New Jersey Devils just launched Mission Control which, as a social media/hockey nut, is the “office” I thought only existed in my wildest fantasies.

Surprisingly, “the stuff Melissa’s dreams are made of” is not how Mission Control is described. Rather, the Devils refer to mission control as:

A Digital Command Center designed to activate and further extend the franchise’s online brand presence. Located inside Prudential Center (@PruCenter), the command center will be fueled by fans using Twitter, Facebook and other online channels hosted by the franchise and opening its digital outlets to bloggers and message board users. (full press release here)

A group of 25 (lucky) social media savvy fans called the Devils Army Generals and team social communications consultant Jim Delaney (@activate, one of my personal favorite tweeters) helped develop the idea for the space, which boasts 15 individual screens to monitor the online conversation surrounding the Devils and Prudential Center brands.

I’m a little hazy on how this room and the Army Generals will work together, but I’m eager to see the results. What I can say is that I am glad the Devils have truly embraced social media by involving their fans. Far too many teams have insisted on using social media to “broadcast” versus engage, and there is nothing social about that.

As much as I might pine for a social media command center, I must accept that something like this wouldn’t work for our minor league baseball team. However, there are certain elements from the Devils social media strategy that could apply to a minor league franchise like the one I work for:

  • Encouraging and promoting fans who thoughtfully blog (shout out to the New York Islanders Blog Box).
  • Launching a concourse station which includes computers for fans to update Facebook and Twitter statuses and a photo booth to share an instant game photo with friends.
    For us, this likely can’t happen in the next year or two. We can adapt this strategy by having a concourse table where we can explain to fans how to interact with and follow our team during the game through their smart phones.
  • Get fans involved with crowd sourcing. Even something as simple as a contest to design the next “Burger of the Home Stand” gives fans a larger stake in the team. From personal observation, fans who feel involved with a team are more likely to become advocates of the team, come to games more often, and convince their friends (both offline and on) to attend a game.

It’s incredible how social communications keep on evolving, and there is no place more exciting for these advances to occur than in the arena of sports.