The X Factor: Social media is bang on the money, Week 9 [infographic]

X Factor Misha B· Little Mix still set to win (according to social media)

· Most popular during Saturday¹s show was Amelia Lily

· Average growth of fans during Week 9 performances 16,330

The semi-final of The X Factor went exactly as social media indicated it would; Misha B leaving the show and Marcus, Amelia Lily and girl band Little Mix forging ahead to Wembley this coming weekend.

According to the numbers we are crunching, Little Mix are still strong favourites to win (so say the bookies also).  Week 9 was their third consecutive time as the fastest growing act (growing by over 20,000 fans each weekend), and their fourth overall. Had it not been for Amelia Lily re-joining the competition and thereby capturing large chunks of interest, Little Mix may well have dominated the number one position for the last five weeks.  As of this week, they are also the act with the most Facebook Likes (at 80,657), chomping on their tails there though is Marcus (76,265).

Twitter is not as strong for the girl band as their other peers; they have 100,000 followers less than Marcus and 40,000 less than Amelia however they are 80,000 followers ahead of Misha B.  That could have looked entirely different however. Earlier in the series, Little Mix went through a name change, it was deemed necessarily (?) to set up an entirely new Twitter feed (rather than just quickly and painlessly change the username), thereby losing automatic following they had built up from the start of the series.
It doesn¹t seem to have slowed them down though and the other account is still used to reach out to their fans.

Little Mix were most certainly the strongest across social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube during Week 9 (measured from the start of Saturday¹s show until the end of Sunday¹s show).  The same isn¹t true when we look at how many viewers headed to contestants social media profiles during the live performance show on Saturday.

Little Mix
- Experienced the greatest growth of most fans over the whole weekend
- Grew by 21,786 fans over the weekend
- 5,027 new fans just during Saturday¹s performance show
- 3,584 new Twitter followers during Saturday¹s performance show

Amelia Lily
- Experienced the greatest growth of most fans during the live performance show
- Grew by 19,909 fans over the weekend
- 6,108 new fans just during Saturday¹s performance show
- 3,910 new Twitter followers during Saturday¹s performance show

Marcus Collins
- Grew by 13,540 fans over the weekend
- 3,823 new fans during Saturday¹s performance show
- 2,374 new Twitter followers during Saturday¹s performance show

Misha B
- Least amount of new fans over the weekend
- Grew by 10,085 fans over the weekend (first time she has got more than 10,000 fans since the allegations of bullying)
- 2,444 new fans during Saturday¹s performance show
- 1,705 new Twitter followers during Saturday¹s show
- 2,692 new Twitter followers during Sunday¹s show

Following allegations of bullying, by analysing social media it became evident very quickly that Misha B¹s place and potential in the competition had been seriously compromised.  Although Misha B has graciously spoken publicly that she holds no hard feelings to Tulisa and Louis for the allegations, there is no doubt it had a huge impact and as Gary Barlow commented on Saturday night, those comments could have robbed her of winning the competition.

You¹ll notice a new graph at the end of this weeks infographic, which looks at the how viewing figures might correlate against the average growth across Facebook and Twitter for contestants.  You can see the huge spike in the growth of fans from Week 1 and Week 2, this can be attributed to the social media channels being new for the contestants, and that the viewing public are just finding out who they are and seeking them out in social environments – you would expect to see that during those first two weeks.

From Week 3 to Week 5 you can see that viewing figures for Saturday go down, as does the number of new social media fans.  Week 6, everything spikes up (a significant spike with Saturday figures and social media), this is the week of Frankie Cocozza’s controversial exit and the re-entry of one of the contestants that left in Week 1.  Advertising for the show increased throughout the week in the lead-up to that show as the programme makers encouraged the public to vote for which contestant they wanted to see come back.

The number of new social media fans tends to follow more closely to the viewing figures of Saturday’s show than it does on Sunday.  We can see from the numbers that we are recording that more people seek out contestants social media profiles during the Saturday live show than they do on the Sunday (with the exception of the contestant that leaves that week), which correlates with what we are seeing on this graph.

Social media is still favouring a Little Mix victory this weekend, and should that happen, it will be the first time in the shows history that a group has won. And, if what we are seeing via social media is reflected in voting for the winner on Sunday night, then it suggests Marcus will come in third place, Amelia in second and Little Mix third.

If the UK had done something similar to what the US X Factor did by allowing voting via social media, then this whole competition could have played out a whole lot differently.


Week 8: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic
Week 7: The X Factor: Social media and the live shows infographic

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.