Digital Social Media Marketing has caught the attention of marketers in the last couple of years. In RA.One marketing we have seen this activity coming to a new level of sophistication with Twitter, Facebook and You Tube being used consistently to market the film. Recently there was a news item about a a group using a new management technique called ‘regression’ to forecast the fate of films using the digital activity on social media. The media also reported some stars making positive but regressive noise about this yeoman service that is being peddled. We will take a look at some aspects of the social media based on the data available in the public domain.
Regression, the way it is commonly understood, is a statistical tool used largely by econometricians and modelers to arrive at the relationship between input and output. In the case of social media one would look at traffic, the positive noises and the negative noises as inputs and the Net Box Office Collections (NBOC) as the output. The regression used most often is a technique called Linear Regression, which is found to give poor fit to most business data, including the NBOCs.
We will look at some data from the social media network, especially Twitter, to understand if this media has a large impact on the films and whether it is possible to make a reasonable forecast using this data.
According to the estimates by internetworldstats.com India has an Internet penetration of 8.4 per cent. As per the latest estimates released by IAMAI the top eight metros have about 22 mn active users. The total number of active internet users is estimated to be about 65 million individuals. (Elsewhere the number is 100 mn)
One of the indicators of the popularity of the stars, apart from the NBOC, is the number of followers they have on social media. The stars tweet and the twitter is followed by a bunch of fans who love to listen to what the stars tweet – commonly called interaction in the digital space or IDS. The adjacent table has the data on the followers the stars have on Twitter.
Amitabh Bachchan has the largest number (1.33 mn) of Twitter Fans, followed by Shah Rukh Khan (1.25 mn), Aamir Khan (1.1 mn) and Salman Khan (1.14 mn). We also have the Average Net Box Office Collections (ANBOC) calculated for the last 18 months or so. You will see from this data that there is no obvious direct linear correlation between the success of the star at the box office and the success of the star at the Twitter site. To make an assessment of the strength of using the Twitter followers as a metric for forecasting let us look at a simple ratio: the number of twitter fans as a total of internet users.
The percentage of followers of Amitabh Bachchan is about 2 per cent and that of Sanjay Dutt is 0.335 per cent. Amitabh Bachchan has roughly six times the number of fans compared to Sanjay Dutt but the ANBOC of their films is almost the same, Rs 18 crore. If we look at the data from other social media networks I am quite certain that a similar trend will emerge.
The number of Fans on Twitter (FoT) is one metric that we can look at but we can also look at the traffic on