Analyzing Adele's "Hello" and Social Media's Emotional Response

“Hello, it’s me.”
These three words set social media ablaze on October 23rd, the release day of Adele’s new hit single Hello. Breaking the record for most digital sales in a single week by almost double, the ballad has climbed to international fame on music charts around the world, and has created a sizable buzz across Twitter and Tumblr to go along with it.

With over a million posts in the past month mentioning the single, it’s clear how popular it has become, with another recent spike in posts starting after November 20th coinciding with the full album release of Adele’s 25. A sizable portion of the conversation can be attributed to Tumblr posts, with Twitter trailing behind and Facebook only sharing in a small portion of the public conversation.
Download numbers and record breaking statistics are useful in measuring the sheer popularity of a song, but these types of metrics don’t provide a holistic view of how a such a popular song is actually being received. Insights from social media, however, have the ability to inform us on deeper parts of the conversation. Using Crimson Hexagon’s platform, we analyzed the conversation surrounding Adele’s hit single Hello to get a granular view of what people are saying (and feeling) about the song.
Daily Opinion analysis trend from 2015-10-22 to 2015-11-30Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 11.16.11 AM
By analyzing trends within the general social conversation, we can separate these posts into categories to identify things like purchase intent and behavior, praise, personal connection, and even jokes or sarcasm within the language. We can see about 25% of the conversation is about the feelings evoked by Adele’s song or how much they love the song, about 21% is some sort of purchase behavior whether it be buying, downloading, or planning to get the song, and about 54% is comprised of jokes referring to Adele’s almost inevitable Grammy awards.
One great way to help understand your audience and gauge their reception to a release such as Adele’s single is through measuring their purchase intent. Measuring the conversations discussing purchase habits and intentions not only helps show how many people are talking about buying the song, but also how they plan on buying the song. Whether it be through an online download, an album sale, or a thinly veiled quip about pirating, it helps to get an idea of consumer purchase behavior.

The emotional reaction to Hello in the world of social media also shows a lot about how people are reacting to the song. Instead of just relying on general positive or negative sentiment, the conversation can be separated into individual emotions, in this case love for the song, and a personal or emotional connection to the song.
Jokes about the song make up a substantial portion of the conversation over social media, in addition, to purchase intent and emotions, although the vast majority of them are actually positive. The jokes are all related to Adele winning a Grammy for her single:
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Where are all these jokes coming from though? Even when filtering out websites and retweets, these comments make up the majority of the overall conversation. If Tumblr posts are removed, the data paints a different picture.
Daily Opinion analysis trend from 2015-10-22 to 2015-11-30 (1)
In the image above, we can see that jokes comprise nowhere near as much of the conversation as before, which leads us to believe the majority of these posts originate from Tumblr. Diving deep into this data distinguishes how unique each content source such as Twitter and Tumblr can really be, and this is further demonstrated by the starkly different audience interests.

AffinitiesDay And Time from 2015-10-22 to 2015-11-30

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In the top image, we can see a plot of the interests of those interested in Hello compared to the general population of Twitter, with more relevant interests on the right and less relevant interests on the left. Below that, we can see the same thing for Tumblr, although the sides are reversed. This comparison of interests within the Tumblr and Twitter communities demonstrates the fundamental differences between the two audiences perfectly, as we can see there are very differing interests between the two.
While social media can offer valuable insights, it’s important to remember that not all social media is the same. Every content source has specific audiences and nuances that contribute to a unique personality of the source. Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, all are individual entities with varying personalities. Social insights are critical tools to understanding and interpreting these different nuances in each source, and they allow entertainment professionals to more specifically segment their audiences. Having a robust understanding of different audience segments can help inform strategy, marketing campaigns, advertisement placement, and a host of other thing.
Adele’s hit single Hello is a great example of how these different audiences and personalities intersect, and also how valuable a holistic view on social data can be when trying to understand audience responses. Consumers respond with a wide variety of emotions, and simple download or purchase statistics fail to capture those emotions. Social media analytics provide the freedom to fully explore and interpret these emotions in a multitude of ways, giving entertainment professionals the information they need to understand consumer responses and emotions in a wholly different way. Expanding upon traditional metrics of general positive and negative sentiment and diving into specific emotional responses opens up a world of possibilities for marketers and even artists, in that they can understand how their content is affecting audiences and implement similar, or even different, tactics to evoke desired responses.
For more on how to connect to key audiences through social analytics, review our webinar with NBC Universal.

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