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Social media analysis : Will Smith vs Vin Diesel

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Who’s got the edge, Will or Vin?

Ok so we now know that Will Smith has not reached the number one spot at the box office. We also know that Vin Diesel leads in ‘Fast and Furious 6’, which is currently dominating theatres. So, how does social media play in all this and can we make any conclusions here about how social engagement is affecting the box office?

Let’s look at Will Smith’s fan page on Facebook. He’s got 45.8 million likes, regular posts and updates, and also plenty of ‘After Earth’ related discussion. He’s got an engagement of 266k people (that’s people talking about his posts).

Then if we take a look at ‘After Earth’ the movie Facebook page, it’s got 1.2 million likes, and another 262k people talking about it. Quite an impressive following, and again lots of great content, and discussion around it.

Now, moving over to Twitter. Will Smith has zero presence, but the ‘After Earth’ Twitter account has 11.7k followers. Very small numbers compared to Facebook.

Let’s now compare those stats to Vin Diesel’s. On Facebook, he’s got 42.8 million likes (less than Will) but he’s got 1.8 million people engaged. That’s a whopping 1.6 million more people talking about his posts, than Will Smith’s.

Next, what about ‘Fast and Furious 6’? The movie page on Facebook has 774k likes (More than 400k less than ‘After Earth’). Moving to Twitter, Vin Diesel again has no presence but ‘Fast and Furious 6’ has 177k followers, More than 15x the following but still behind ‘After Earth’.

Now, what strikes me as an indicator for success is engagement, and while Will Smith along with Sony’s marketing efforts for ‘After Earth’ have a much bigger fan total, the engagement is far less compared to Vin Diesel and Universal’s efforts.

But, we must also factor in the fan base for the Fast and Furious movies. There are many other fan pages on social media for previous outings. On Facebook, ‘Fast And Furious’, the original movie, has got an enormous 35 million likes (which is also marketing Fast and Furious 6). This is 35x more users than that of ‘After Earth’.

My analysis: ‘After Earth’ as a first outing is no match for an established franchise that is both hugely popular and well marketed across social media. Vin Diesel’s posts get more engagement with the fans than those of Will Smith and there is more social discussion about the Fast and Furious 6 movie, than there is about ‘After Earth’. However, I would say that Sony have done a great job in drawing more than 1 million fans to ‘After Earth’ on Facebook, beating ‘Fast and Furious 6’ which should have crushed it but despite that, the box office is the most important outcome, and the victor here is Universal.

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