The Twitter “Day After” Daytona

Another NASCAR race. Another NASCAR win for Jimmie Johnson. 

With skill, strategy and always, a little bit of luck (no accidents), Jimmie Johnson, one of the most popular drivers around, won the 2013 Daytona 500 for the second time. While many eyes had been on Danica Patrick throughout the race, Johnson came through at the end to win it. 

Last Friday, I put together the Daytona start list with every driver’s Twitter handle (if applicable) and their follower numbers. Today, let’s see what the race did, if anything to those numbers. Warning: math was not my best subject. Reminder: All Twitter handles are verified, unless otherwise noted.

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Start position/Driver name/Car #/ Twitter handle/Follower numbers

1. Danica Patrick #10  @DanicaPatrick – 721,969 followers (Friday); 749,281 (today) +7,312

2. Jeff Gordon #24  @JeffGordonWeb – 361,348 followers (Friday); 366,642 (today) +5,294

3. Kevin Harvick #29  @KevinHarvick – 281,937 followers (Friday); 285,812 (today) +3,875

4. Kyle Busch #18  @KyleBusch – 310,621 followers (Friday); 313,775 (today) +3,164

5. Greg Biffle #16 – @gbiffle – 112,472 followers (Friday); 114,406 (today) +1,934

6. Kasey Kahne #5  @KaseyKahne – 261,516 followers (Friday); 266,292 (today) +4,776

7. Juan Pablo Montoya #42  @jpmontoya – 700,941 followers (Friday); 703,221 (today) +2,380

8. Austin Dillon #33  @austindillon3 – 83,990 followers (Friday); 86,811 (today) +2,821

9. Jimmie Johnson #48  @jimmiejohnson – 373,961 followers (Friday); 382,493 (today) +8,532

10. Clint Bowyer #15  @ClintBowyer – 121,751 followers (Friday); 126,420 (today) +4,569

11. Kurt Busch #78  @KurtBusch – 58,060 followers (Friday); 59,554 (today) +2,494

12. Matt Kenseth #20  @mattkenseth – 134,309 followers (Friday); 136,613 (today) +2,304

13. Tony Stewart #14 – No Official Twitter Account – Team Twitter account is@tonystewart_rcg (unverified)

14. Mark Martin #55  @55MarkMartin – 135,996 followers (Friday); 139,303 (today) +3307

15. Brad Keselowski #2  @keselowski – 369,823 followers (Friday); 376,506 (today) +6,683

16. Paul Menard #27 – No Official Twitter Account – Team Twitter account is @RCR27PMenard (unverified)

17. Casey Mears #13  @CaseyMears13 – 2,087 followers (Friday); 2,207 (today) +120

18. Jeff Burton #31  @RCR31JeffBurton (not verified) – 68,944 followers (Friday); 70,184 today +1,239

19. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 – No Official Twitter Account (There is @DaleJr but he is not on Twitter.)

20. Jamie McMurray #1  @jamiemcmurray – 127,244 followers (Friday); 129,395 (today) +2,151

21. Joey Logano #22  @joeylogano – 121,696 followers (Friday); 124,358 (today) +2,662

22. David Ragan #34  @DavidRagan – 52,751 followers (Friday); 53,567 (today) +535

23. Bobby Labonte #47  @Bobby_Labonte – 75,286 followers (Friday); 76,286 (today) +1000

24. Marcos Ambrose #9  @MarcosAmbrose – 57,740 followers (Friday); 58,638 (today) +898

25. David Gilliland #38  @DavidGilliland – 25,939 followers (Friday); 26,328 (today) +389

26. Aric Almirola #43  @aric_almirola – 46,934 followers (Friday); 47,714 (today) +780

27. Joe Nemechek #87  @FrontRowJoe87 – 32,252 followers (Friday); 32,837 (today) +585

28. Ricky Stenhouse Jr #17  @StenhouseJr – 73,884 followers (Friday); 76,359 (today) +2,475

29. Michael Waltrip #26 – @mw55 – 199,147 followers (Friday); 202,439 (today)  +3,292

30. Dave Blaney #7 – No Official Twitter Account

31. Scott Speed#95  @scottspeed – 46,225 followers (Friday); 46,873 (today)  +648

32. Josh Wise#35  @Josh_Wise – 19,859 followers (Friday); 20,145 (today) +190

33. Trevor Bayne #21   @Tbayne21 – 157,484 followers (Friday); 160,028 (today) +2,544

34. Ryan Newman #39  @RyanNewman39 – 153,492 followers (Friday); 155,888 (today) +2,396

35. Denny Hamlin #11  @dennyhamlin – 210,098 followers (Friday); 213,308 (today) +3,290

36. Carl Edwards #99 – No Official Twitter Account – Team Twitter accoun@99_RFRracing(unverified) 

37. Martin Truex Jr. #56  @MartinTruexJr56 – 130,782 followers (Friday); 132,869 (today) +2,087

38. Michael McDowell #98  @Mc_Driver – 38,063 followers (Friday); 39,032 (today) +969

39. Terry Labonte #32 – No Official Twitter Account

40. Regan Smith #51  @ReganSmith – 56,441 followers (Friday); 58,616 (today) +2,175

41. JJ Yeley #36 – @jjyeley1 – 33,054 followers (Friday); 33,794 (today) +740

42. David Reutimann #83 – @DavidReutimann – 32,460 followers (Friday); 32,738 (today) +278

43. Travis Kvapil #93 – @TravisKvapil – 32,575 followers (Friday); 33,044 (today) +469

***

What do these increases mean? First, and most obvious, is that NASCAR has a presence. The fact that every driver increased their follower numbers (no matter how little it may have been) is a positive sign of NASCAR’s presence on Twitter. Second, winning and name recognition are everything. The top three drivers with follower increases were: Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and Brad Keselowski. All three drivers finished in the top 10 and all are “name” drivers. 

People will follow winners and “names”. Regan Smith, for example, started in the 40th spot. He finished 7th. He gained over 2000 followers. Is that simply because of his Daytona race? Hard to say. He did finish in the top 15 in the Nationwide race on Saturday at Daytona. The combination of the two finishes could have drawn attention to him and people followed accordingly. 

It’s an imperfect science at this point. Fans will follow who they want to follow for various reasons. Follower numbers don’t mean what many think it means. Large numbers don’t mean anything if the person is not “engaged” with those followers. When I say engaged, I don’t mean just tweeting out a contest and “thanks” to sponsors. I mean actual conversation. That parameter is far more difficult to evaluate. 

Brands, on the other hand, will be paying attention to these numbers. Does a driver have any effect on a sponsor’s recognition on Twitter and vice-versa? Carl Edwards is not on Twitter so the Subway commercials he does, have no effect on his recognition on Twitter. When an Edwards’ Subway commercial airs during the race, does that increase Subway follower numbers each time it airs? Does having a name connected to your brand do anything for them on the “social” meter? That might be something for brands to delve deeper into. That’s for brands, PR and marketing people to evaluate, not me. 

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CadChica Sports

One comment on “The Twitter “Day After” Daytona

  1. harryLfunk says:

    Interesting summation! Let’s hope Scott Speed keeps picking up followers, because that’s one heck of a good racing name. (To be honest, I’d never heard of him before … not much of a racing guy, but this is piquing my interest!)

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