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San Francisco must be a ghost town today -- not just for Halloween.

It's because it's a city of losers.

After all, the Kansas City Royals and their fans won the Social Media Mentions World Series over the hometown Giants.

Depression by the Bay? Yep.

Sure, the Giants won their third World Series title in five years last night by defeating the Royals, 3-2, in the decisive Game 7 in Kansas City.

Sure, they'll be talking in 100 years about Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and his three World Series wins like we talk today about Babe Ruth.

But in social media, the score was Kansas City 2 million, San Francisco 1.4 million. Take that, Bumgarner, San Francisco and your one-every-two-years World Series championship pace!

Marketers Cash In?

"The Royals were the clear winner of social media support with just over 2 million team mentions and related hashtags,"  said Rion Martin, marketing director at Kansas City-based Infegy, a social media listening platform that tracked Series sentiment online. "The Giants generated around 1.4 million team mentions and related hashtags."

(Yes, we know there's a hometown vendor at play here, and we promise a deep congressional investigation).

OK, maybe San Fran today is reveling in another World Series title. Dynasty? Definitely.

Fact is, there's this virtual battleground for momentum among fans these days on Twitter, Facebook and just about anywhere you can write something and click "post" or "tweet".

digital marketing, Take That, SF Giants! Kansas City Wins Social Media World Series

And events like this are premium targets for marketers, though Martin and Infegy weren't seeing too many "Oreo Cookie" ads out there. Looks like marketers stuck to television for this one. Although Chevrolet's #TechnologyAndStuff did get about 14,000 mentions, according to Infegy.

"Unlike the Super Bowl we didn't see any home runs from brands on social media during the World Series," Martin told CMSWire. "Sprint tried to capture some momentum through discounted accessories but came up short, generating less than 1,000 mentions in association with the teams or the series."

With Winners Came Mentions

In no surprise, the Royals peak conversation volume came Tuesday, Oct. 28, when Kansas City won Game 6, 10-0, to force the winner-take-all Game 7. Then, an estimated 87,000 fans were talking on social media using the #TakeTheCrown hashtag.

At peak conversation volume for the Giants -- last night, no surprise -- there were an estimated 40,000 fans talking on social media directly mentioning the team, according to Infegy. That's 18 percent per capita for Kansas City, and 4 percent for San Francisco.

What's up with San Fran? Too busy in tech land to care as much as those in the Heartland?

"As might be expected, mentions of each team spiked significantly every time that team won," Martin said. "This generally carries over behavior we recognized during the presidential elections where supporters of the winners more often take to social media, while supporters of the losers taper off in social media support after a loss."

Talking Hashtags

The Royals' #Royals won the hashtag battle with a total of 681,000 throughout the World Series. The highest surge? About 175,000 on Oct. 28 (or Game 6).

Kansas City's Travis Wright, our digital marketing analyst friend from the Marketing Technology Conference in Boston, got in on the #Royals action:

The most used hashtag for the Giants was #SFGiants with a total of 948,000. The highest surge, Infegy's Martin said, was at 252,000 for last night's Series-clinching victory.

The most used "supporting hashtag" went to the Royals with #TakeTheCrown with a total of 300,000, the highest surge being 100,000 on Oct. 28. Behind that was #OctoberTogether, a product of the Giants social media team, which collected a total of 225,000 mentions. About 53,000 of those came on Oct. 21, the night of the Game 1 Giants win.

Peak Moments

According to Infegy analysis, some of the peak social moments for the 2014 World Series include:

  • Oct. 21, Game 1: Lorde's hit song "Royals" surfaces as San Francisco's radio stations ban the single prior to the World Series
  • Oct. 22, Game 2: Royals score their first run in a World Series game in 30 years, and fans want to kick FOX commentators to the curb, especially Joe Buck.
  • Oct. 27, Game 5: Madison Bumgarner shuts down the Kansas City Royals, and news of rising MLB star Oscar Taveras tragically dies in a car accident comes to light on social
  • Oct. 28, Game 6: Royals force Game 7, and a moment of silence was shared before Game 6 to honor Cardinals outfielder Taveras' recent passing
  • Oct. 29, Game 7: Giants take the crown and conversations of Joe Maddon becoming Cubs manager overshadows Game 7 of the World Series, and fans are not amused (33 percent positivity)

So there you have it. The Royals win! The Royals win!

Break out the #champagne! 

Title image by Kelly (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.