Back in Week 3, I wrote about how Craig may be what I called a ‘performance based’ contestant, in that the strength of his performances rather than fan loyalty determined whether he was safe to continue through the shows. For Week 7, we saw Craig criticised rather heavily for having the wrong song choice. It seems that, along with being the first to sing (therefore not being fresh in people’s minds by the time the voting opens) was a deadly combination for the young Liverpudlian singer as he was booted off the show in the series first Deadlock situation.
This theory is backed up with the numbers. During last week’s shows (Week 6), Craig welcomed 15,089 fans across Facebook and Twitter, in weeks 4 and 5 he also gained more than 12,000 fans each weekend (Week 4 – 12,472 and Week 5 – 12,170). This week, he dropped below 10,000 with 9,528, a growth of just 3.5% of his total fan base. In contrast, fans didn’t translate to votes for Amelia, who also saw herself in the bottom two, receiving the second highest number of fans over the weekend at 23,465 (a 12% increase). If social media voting was available to UK X Factor viewers as it is in the US, would Craig have left this week?
Interestingly, the three of the remaining six failed to get over 10,000 fans this week – being Craig, Janet and Misha B. Although, Misha B’s new fans spiked upwards from Week 6 which would indicate that the viewing public empathised with the vulnerability she demonstrated in her VT this week (really the first time the producers have shown this side of the Mancunian girl). Janet’s have been hovering around the 9,500 new fans per weekend for quite some weeks.
Little Mix continues to grow week on week in popularity, having seemingly found their groove in the last few weeks. It’s paying off in votes and the size of their online fan base, this week making them the fastest growing contestant (in a social media environment) for the second time (the first time was during Week 5 with 14.8% increase in fans). Their YouTube video of this week’s performance was viewed more than 80,000 times; 20,000 more views than that of Janet’s performance, the second most popular on the video social networking site. Little Mix also appeared this morning on BBC Breakfast, tipped as the new bookies favourite to win.
At the very start of the live shows seven weeks ago, we posed the question: “Do ITV’s viewing figures correspond to growth and engagement across social channels?” In Week 3’s analysis, we looked at the viewing figures in the series to date compared to last year. As the viewing figures were low again that week, we began to see a leveling out of the speed at which contestants social media profiles were growing and massive spikes in engagement across social media during the more controversial weeks of the show (Week 5 and 6). Without seeing the official viewing figures for this weeks shows, the numbers would indicate that as the excitement over the exist and re-introduction of a former contestant has died down, so has the number of people tuning in.
Nowhere is this more evident than when we look at X Factor’s own social media channels:
Week 7 (normal): 956,055 YouTube views, 6,129 Likes and 6,612 Followers
Week 6 (controversial): 2,111,535 YouTube views, 8,683 Likes and 18,986 Followers
Week 5 (normal): 1,159,512 YouTube views, 7,880 Likes and 8,651 Followers
Week 4 (normal): 1,164,476 YouTube views, 7,294 Likes and 11,353 Followers
We can also see that during Week 5, X Factor had 126 less people engaged across its Facebook page during the live shows than it did the day before. During Week 6, it almost 5,000 more people. We will be spending some more time looking at how this, and what we see across the whole social media spectrum that we’ve been measuring, in relation to viewing figures the next week or so, as the live shows draw to a close.
For Week 7, the strongest contestants across social media (not just during the live shows on Saturday and Sunday but for the whole week [between Week 6 and 7]) are Little Mix, Amelia Lily and Marcus. This is the first week that the three contestants that gained the most followers during the entire week is the same as the three contestants who grew the fastest between Saturday’s performance show and the live results on the Sunday. Gaining the most followers, and growing the fastest are different measurements, as the rate of growth is determined by the increase of fans in correlation to the audience size.
Those three are Little Mix, Amelia Lily and Marcus. Given that, and the continued week by week increase of the number of fans they gain during live shows (check out the additional graph in Week 6 for more on this), and the continued decline in growth of Misha B and Janet, my hat is tipped for a Marcus, Amelia Lily and Little Mix finale.
As a side note, you will notice on the infographic that engagement levels for Facebook are missing for this week. In the last week, Facebook has updated Insights (its measurement tool for Pages), and due to this upgrade the ‘People talking about this’ feature was reset.
Week 6: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic
Week 5: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic
Week 4: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic
Week 3: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic
Week 2: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic
Week 1: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic
Rachel Hawkes, is an account director at communications consultancy Elemental @elementalcomms.