BitDepth#829 - April 10

Tribal Caribbean tracked mentions online for 2012's soca artistes and came up with a surprising winner.
The soca social media monarch
Kees Dieffenthaller may not have placed with his performance at the Groovy Soca Monarch competition, but his band scores convincingly in the social media sweepstakes.
Photograph by Mark Lyndersay.

“How we doing?”
Nobody’s really been asking that question about the presence of soca stars online and using social media.
Well, not until Robert de Gannes who represents advertising agency DDB’s Tribal digital network in the Caribbean, decided to train one of their big media analysis guns on exactly that target over the Carnival season.

Tribal Caribbean is an army of one, personified by young de Gannes, and you can read his story
Of the two platforms Tribal uses to monitor Internet and social media conversations, de Gannes used Sysomos to review publicly accessible information on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, websites and traditional media websites to deliver the first authoritative view into the effectiveness of social media use by soca performers and the conversations about them online using these tools.

I’ll skip the literary drum rolls and tell you straight up the top five performances in online conversations were from Kes the band, Machel Montano HD, Iwer George, Pelf and Benjai.
The five worst are Cross Check & Nnika Francis, Lisa Toney, Madmen (f/Kes and Jenna De Leon), Mr Chucky, Roboman and SW Storm. These artists scored zero in monitored online conversations and posts.

The separation between activity around Benjai and Kes the band was staggering. With a mentions count of 45,471, Kes the band was 19.5 times more visible in conversations than the man dubbed “the people’s champion.”
We might have loved Benjai’s spirited and well-received performances during Carnival, but clearly Kes the band gave us more to talk about.

I raised the question of Montano’s new app for iOS and Android with de Gannes as one source of the huge disparity between even Montano’s online presence, 20,736 and that of Kes the band.
“I think a good indicator of how active @MachelmontanoHD is vs @Kestheband can be seen by their twitter accounts,” de Gannes responded via e-mail.
“Machel has more than twice the followers of Kes, but Kes tweets twice as much. Kes’s team does a good job of staying active and giving people things to talk about.”

“It simply is a case of activity vs popularity, we've seen people rise from the depths of unknown to become twitterstars in their own right simply through activity.”
Montano’s app, from Mobile Roadie, aggregates streamed online music from the artist, his Twitter feed and news about him using Google tools and doesn’t seem to generate any private data.

SW Storm and Mr Chucky might have scored an ignominious zero on this chart, but they should take heart that they have lots of company in cellar position here. And more mentions aren’t necessarily better. There are also artists, who shall remain politely unnamed, who had lively conversations running about them which were predominantly negative.

Far too many soca performers were absent from the social media conversations that involved them. It’s as if there’s a disconnect between fans showing up at an event to see them and the same people showing up on Facebook and Twitter to chat about them.
Performers willing to sign a fan’s book or chest should also be willing to show up to put an equally impressive stamp in the virtual spaces where their supporters congregate.

Clearly, popular in person can translate into popular online, but the data gap between Montano’s and Kes the band suggests that even such enthusiasm needs to be nurtured in social media.

It seems weird to tell energetic young people, most inseparable from their Blackberries and iPhones this, but hey, you’re missing a real opportunity to build your fanbase online.
The numbers are in and most of you aren’t doing well at all.

Tribal Caribbean’s Social Media Monarchs, 2012
1. KES The Band 45,471
2. Machel Montano HD 20,736
3. Iwer George 6,023
4. Pelf 4,195
5. Benjai 2,333
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