Flu Monitoring and Analysis Reveals Flu Is Not the Only Thing Viral

In the winter of 2013, Crimson Hexagon’s Wayne St. Amand was invited by Boston’s FOX 25 to comment on the virality of the flu – in real life and on social media.

Social Media Hype or Mirror?

People are taking to social media to discuss the seasonal flu virus. Is the social conversation making the flu seem worse than it really is? Crimson Hexagon Executive Vice President of Marketing, Wayne St. Amand, was invited by Boston Fox 25 to participate in a segment, “The Flu Outbreak: Flu and Social Media” to examine the flu and social media during the winter of 2013.

ForSight Social Media Analysis

Wayne St. Amand discusses the magnitude of the social conversation on the flu. Crimson Hexagon’s analytics platform ForSight found over 500,000 relevant posts from Twitter and Facebook:

  • Around 35% generally discussed the flu by sharing news, talking about preventative measures and warning others about it.
  • Another 45% stated that they actually had the flu.

Mirroring the Real World

Are these numbers surprising? St. Amand explains that social media tends to mirror the real world and how this virus in turn became a viral online topic.
He also points to the echo chamber effect of sharing flu-related news, which significantly increased the discussion. He believes, however, that this surge in the conversation was an early predictor of the sudden growth in flu cases.

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