Charting Red Bull’s Social Surge

Red Bull captivated not just the marketing world with Felix Baumgartner’s drop from the heavens, but it also gathered the attention of millions in social media.

The question for a brand when bankrolling these kind of stunts is how much it will be associated with the event and what the long-term value will be afterwards. By some measures, Red Bull scored with both.

Here’s a chart from social ad platform Taykey showing the volume of social mentions of the event, delineating between those mentioning just Baumgartner and those with the brand. Overall, during the jump, Taykey found the event captured 1 percent of all social conversation, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs. Over half the conversation of the event occurred on Twitter, Taykey found. “It’s clear that Red Bull’s brand was brought along on Felix’s back,” said Matt Rosenberg, vp of marketing at Taykey. “It’s a pretty spectacular achievement.”

The second question is whether this is simply a blip. It’s hard to trace from Taykey’s data, since it captures moments in time. Social analytics provider Track Social ran numbers to see whether the Baumgartner jump had residual value for the brand. In terms of gaining social media followers, it certainly did. The chart below shows how much the brand increased its communities on Twitter and Facebook.

Figuring out the overall ROI on such events is, of course, nearly impossible. We don’t know how much Red Bull paid to pull this off. The avalanche of regular news coverage has a value that probably outstrips social activity. Moreover, Red Bull’s content-first strategy paid off handsomely. But from the snippets of data available, it’s pretty clear Red Bull hit a home run, thanks to a well-executed effort that was completely aligned with its brand promise.

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