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Sharknado 3: A Biting Analysis of a Social Media Whirlwind

Sharknado 3: A Biting Analysis of a Social Media Whirlwind

If you like sharks and you like tornadoes (and who doesn’t really) then you’ll have been waiting with baited breath for the third instalment of the fabled Sharknado series. Here at Talkwalker, we used our social media analytics to sink our teeth into the social media buzz surrounding the latest addition to the world's most loved shark-tornado movie franchise.

The previous movies featured (of course) sharks in tornadoes, a decapitated Statue of Liberty and Tara Reid with a chainsaw strapped to her amputated leg; so really it was a no brainer that Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (yes, there are now three movies) would create a fair amount of buzz when it was released on July 22:

Shakrnado buzz

(Total mentions of Sharknado online over the last week)

Will April Live or Die?

One of the big questions dominating the headlines (of Sharknado fan pages at least) was whether star of the show April Wexler (played by Tara Reid) would live or die. The makers of Sharknado decided to let the social public decid and Tara Reid herself took to Twitter to try and save her character from an almost certainly gruesome and ridiculous death. Luckily for April, her impassioned pleas managed to strike a chord with the social media world:

tara reid blog

(Tara Reid’s tweet to keep April alive (left) and (right) the share of voice for posts using #AprilLives and #AprilDies)

As one concerned commenter on Facebook so aptly put it:

facebook comment

Sharknado: A National Phenomenon

Putting our new geolocation functions to good use, we tracked the buzz across the U.S. and saw people from Massachusetts to Montana taking to social channels to express their love (or I suppose hate) for Sharknado:

sharknado US map

(Map of Sharknado mentions in the US divided by state)

The top states by buzz were California, Florida, Texas and New York. You may notice that all 4 states have a coastline perhaps an indication of the genuine fear of a “sharknado” style attack in these regions:

talkwalker statistics by state buzz

(Top states discussing Sharknado)

Breaking down social mentions by gender we can see it that there were more men than women discussing Sharknado, leading us to the conclusion that on balance, men prefer the shark-tornado combo to women at present, though there is still time for this to change.

talkwalker statistics gender breakdown

(Gender breakdown of Sharknado posts)

Building the Sharknado Brand

Naturally, the social media team of Sharknado were also pretty active posting 144 tweets on the day of the release and managing to boost their followership significantly with their proactivity:

talkwalker statistics change in follower number

(Change in follower numbers of Sharknado official Twitter feed over the last week)

And with tweets like this, why wouldn’t you follow the Sharknado Twitter feed? I know I am.

tweets on sharnado 3

Always be Ready for a Sharknado

Brands too were unable to resist the urge to dive into the Sharknado buzz resulting in some frankly fantastic attempts to link their products to a shark-filled tornado. Like this Instagram post from make-up specialists Benefit which received the most engagement on social media:

instagram post on sharknado 3

The lesson as always: There MUST be time for mascara, even in the face of a sharknado.

Fear the #JedNado

Finally, looking at the top themes surrounding the launch, one term looms ominously. The only thing more frightening than a Sharknado…

top hashtag on Sharknado

(Top hashtags used to discuss Sharknado)

That’s right, a tornado filled with killer Jedward clones (and maybe sharks as well). Be afraid world, be very afraid.

And all in all, the top emotions linked to Sharknado 3 seemed pretty appropriate:

top emotions on sharknado 3

(Top emotions used in posts about Sharknado)

So there’s your breakdown of Sharknado 3 on social and I hope the lessons you’ve learned will stay with you forever. Just in case, here are the three key takeaways:

- Californian men like to discuss sharks and tornadoes

- Never forget your make-up in a Sharknado situation

- Apparently there are now sharks in space

Thanks for reading and if you’d like to share your own Sharknado experiences, please do so in the comments below.

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