Metal – The death of a family member andit’s global impact in Social Media
As a child I was introduced to Slayer at age 11 by my older brother and my love has neverstopped. I would estimate that I’ve seen at least 50 shows and I had a wardrobe thatconsisted of black band shirts.On May 2nd 2013 Jeff Hannenman one of the lead guitarist of Slayer died in the mostmetal of ways, initially it was thought that Necrotizing Fasciitis via a spider bite was thecause but it was actually just alcohol related cirrhosis.Once I found out about the death, like most of the metal community I was saddened andthen took to Twitter, Facebook & Instagram to share my feelings and then it hit me. I haveaccess to one of the worlds most powerful tools. Lets see how other metal heads feelabout this.
Methodology:A search was created* in Brandwatch to capture both conversations around Jeff or theaction of listening to Slayer excluding discussions about Jack the Giant Slayer*See index for configuration
Findings:With most social events you’ll find it’s heavily bias to Twitter but in this case you can see theconversation volume is rather high with Facebook, News, Blogs, Forums as Slayer & Metalfans shared their experiences with each other.
Findings:As I suspected this wasn’t just a United States only story and these theme continues throughout the data as fans hear and share their thoughts and experiences.
Findings:Though North America dominates the conversation at the time of the death it spreads quicklyto South America, Asia, Australia and then into Europe at nearly 20% of overall chatter.
Findings:Further expanding on the global audience is the spread by country which post United States israther equally split between Europe & South America
Findings:As for language, the conversation continues to happen not only in English but Portuguese andSpanish in large volumes as well.
Findings:At this same period many other bands in metal start sharing their story’s and respects to JeffTwitter. This included Metallica, Slipknot, Anthrax, Pantera and many others.
Findings:Just like the metal bands, unique social authors (10k+) shared their feels as well.
Findings:Though often overlooked as a niche audience with limited impact, this chart highlights theimpact of this event globally reaching nearly 60 million people on twitter.
Findings:As for the topic of discussion, at the time of his passing you can see most of the topics werefocused on how heart broken there fans were. Surprisingly there wasn’t a large discussion ofspecific tracks and/or riffs.
Findings:In the days after his death and autopsy the official statements came out from band membersas well as the potential protest of his funeral by the Westboro Baptist Church (May 7th).
Findings:To better understand the drivers of the Westboro Baptist Church, we segment theconversation and then looked and who joined the fight. As a whole this ended up being lessthan 5% of the overall conversation
Findings:But in the internet’s point of view it was a epic battle that would finally defeat the villainknown as the WBC, but sadly the internet does not know Slayer fans as well as they thoughtand thus the the trolls were not fed.
Conclusion:As a sales executive I don’t often get the chance anymore to spend time on research thatinterests me and it’s amazing to validate some assumptions that I’ve had a about a band thathas been a big part of my life and that I hope to pass on to my children.As for marketing, a tool like Brandwatch allows you to understand the heartbeat of youraudience and gives you the ability to watch them from the outside in their naturalenvironment.