Season of Social blog

We’re going to have a little fun this Friday and combine two of our favorite things—the holiday season and our Social Media Face Offs. We love pitting two brands against each other to see who comes out on top in social media. So why not put two of the holiday season’s most famous characters—Santa Claus and Rudolph—head-to-head to see which one is best at giving the gift of social.

In order to compare Santa Claus and Rudolph in social media, we set up search streams for each in the uberVU platform. We made sure to include several name variations for Santa Claus like “st nick” and “kris kringle.” And since Rudolph is a real name and not just a mythical character, we’ve made sure mentions of Rudolph also include “reindeer”, “red nose” or “christmas” in order to isolate for mentions of Santa’s 9th Reindeer. We’ve compared the results from the past two weeks to determine our winner.

Let’s see who is really driving the social sleigh!

Round One: Mentions

This round is a wipe out. Santa Claus dominates his trusted Reindeer guide garnering 389,572 mentions, easily topping Rudolph’s 52,592 mentions. That’s more than 7 times as many mentions!

As you can see from the line graph Rudolph hit a spike a mentions on November 27th. CBS, which has been airing the classic movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, decided to air the special before Thanksgiving this year. The movie aired on Tuesday, November 26 and social was buzzing about its ratings the next day. Turns out the 50-year-old movie beat out the Dancing With the Stars finale. Nice two step, Rudy!

Santa Claus hit spikes on November 30th and December 3rd. We couldn’t nail down a cause for the December 3rd spike besides a lot of people tweeting about being at their local Santa Claus Parade. The November 30th spikes looks to be caused by Ellen DeGeneres who tweeted this holiday joke—it had over 6,000 retweets!

What nationality is Santa Claus? North Polish. #ClassicHolidayJokeWednesday

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 4, 2013

Santa vs. Rudolph-mentions

Winner: Santa Claus

Round Two: Sentiment

The man in the red had the most mentions, but can the red-nosed reindeer win in sentiment? Rudolph had 11% negativity and Santa Claus had 10% (anyone else surprised they were that high?). Rudolph proves his lovability with 35% of his mentions registering as positive. That’s enough to beat out Mr. Kringle’s 29%—perhaps those on the Naughty List are out-tweeting those on the Nice List?

Santa vs. Rudolph-sentiment

Winner: Rudolph

Round Three: Conversation Mapping

What exactly is the social web talking about in reference to Santa Claus and Rudolph? Both conversation maps revolve around all the festive fun of the season. Looks like more people are talking about Santa Claus in reference to parades, the movie The Santa Clause, gifts and our favorite—whether or not he’s “real.” The chatter around Rudolph involves his “red nose”, “singing” his namesake “song” and watching his namesake “movie.”

Both holiday characters are clearly gaining a lot of traction in social and both are equally adored with “love” appearing on both maps. It’s red nose to rosy cheeks—it’s too close to call. We just can’t pick a winner in this round!

Santa conversation map

Rudolph conversation map

Winner: It’s a tie

Round Four: Engagement

With the score all tied up we turn to engagement to determine our winner. Let’s who is driving the most engagement across Facebook and Twitter by comparing RTs, Likes and Shares. Santa Claus surges ahead with RTs and Likes. Rudolf comes from behind to win in Shares, but it’s not enough to take down Santa Claus.

Santa vs. Rudolph-engagement

Overall Winner: Santa Claus

With wins in overall mentions and engagement we declare the winner of this Social Media Face Off to be Santa Claus. Rudolf might have the cute factor and does light the way on Christmas Eve, but Santa Claus is the clear favorite of the social web. (He is the one giving out the presents after all.)

(We promise we didn’t rig this to stay off the Naughty List.)

If you’re looking to gain insights into your own brand,
sign up for uberVU’s Season of Social to receive a custom brand report powered by uberVU, plus free social meda tips, guides and festive content.