The Social World Series: Mets vs. Royals

Tonight will be game three of the World Series and the Mets will try to begin to stage a dramatic comeback against the Royals. Disclosure: I played T-ball for the Mets. In advance of tonight’s game, let’s review the month of October from a data perspective and see who’s winning the Social World Series.

We’ll start off with by counting the number of retweets that each team has on their official Twitter handle during the month.

As the field narrowed down tweets from both team’s accounts, @mets and @royals, were able to capitalize on this additional attention. The excitement for the Mets peaked with clinching of the national league pennant and the Royals with their Game 2 win. All of this excitement has led to both teams increasing their follower base by 6.5% since the middle of October. As far as we can tell both of these teams are giving master classes in how to capitalize on a moment on Twitter. For example, they aren’t being shy about posting more content.

The peaks in this chart are game days and both teams are proactively communicating to their fans. The teams are repeating the same pattern that we observed with the NBA. As the playoffs advance the teams produce more content with higher engagement rates following.

If we were only looking at Twitter, we’d have to call this series a tie, but to get a different angle we wondered: how are their followers responding to the Instagram content?

Whoa! This was unexpected. Not only because of the two Royals wins, but the Mets are the underdogs in this dataset. Throughout the entire month they’ve never had a larger following on Instagram, yet they are able to generate more average engagement with every photo they post.

During the same time period, the Mets have also closed their follower gap with the Royals. They now have 12,000 fewer followers as compared to 25,000 fewer just thirteen days ago. We’ll have to put the Mets up 2-1 with this data point. This is just a pure numbers comparison. The Royals are seeing incredible engagement from their fanbase.

Both teams understand the value of proactive communications, but what about the fans themselves? What have they been saying?

This is an unfair fight when you consider their respective market sizes, but the Mets have had more conversation than the Royals every day of October except for two and those two are:

  1. Royals clinch the pennant
  2. The Royals game two World Series win

The Royals could potentially overcome a 700,000 Tweet deficit for the month with a World Series championship, but we’re going to give this to the Mets as well and bring them up to 3-1. Based on this quick review we’re calling the Mets the Social World Series Champions! I’d be a lot happier if these data points were predicting the series, but I’ll have to wait and see if the fervor of the Mets fan base can give them the extra help they need.

Editor’s Note: The editor is a Royals fan and was deeply distressed to click publish on this post. #takethecrown.

Jason Smith's picture

Jason Smith

Jason Smith is a Senior Analyst at Spredfast and works to find the underlying story the data is trying to tell. When he isn’t breaking APIs and making charts he can be found playing music around Austin. Follow him on Twitter for general nonsense and various complaints.