Miss Universe takes social media by storm
MANILA, Philippines – It has been over 40 years since the crown and title of Miss Universe rested on a Filipina's head.
Since Margarita Moran won in 1973, Filipinos have been waiting to earn the title of having given birth to the most beautiful woman.
It wasn't only the Philippines hoping for the crown. Viewers the world over kept their eyes on the live telecast of this year's pageant in Miami, Florida, waiting for their country to be announced as one of the top 15 candidates. (READ: Recap, Miss Universe 2014-2015 coronation)
After the coronation, we now look into the anatomy of social media throughout the pageant – what people have been saying during the lead up all the way to the moment when Colombian Paulina Vega came out victorious.
There was the inevitable jeering, complaints about stolen crowns, as well as the celebratory high. We look into all this through social listening tool Radian6 to present the big data of this year's Miss Universe.
The morning of January 26 showed over 1,000,000 mentions in relation to the Miss Universe 2014 pageant, causing a major peak.
This quick social media onslaught made #MissUniverse a trending topic worldwide, just as the homegrown hashtag #MJforMissUniverse also made its way into worldwide trend rankings.
This pales in comparison to the mentions during the preliminary competition on January 23, 2015 that reached over 200,000 mentions across all social media channels at its peak.
The top 50 words, as determined by Radian6’s conversation cloud, included most of the Top 5 candidates’ countries – The United States, Netherlands and Colombia – as well as seasoned favorite Venezuela, and probable contenders like National Costume winner Ms. Indonesia and Ms Philippines.
These countries did not only shine in terms of the mentions they received online, but as seen in the table above, their fellow countrymen were also generating mentions online to show their support for their own candidate.
Only Ukraine, a country that did make it in the Top 5, did not make the cut in the top 10 of countries talking about the pageant worldwide.
And then there were five
As the competition drew to a close, the Top 5 countries generated conversations all over the internet, with mentions of the Top 5 candidates setting the social media landscape on fire.
It is important to note that Jamaica’s Kaci Fennell came in second in the number of mentions to winner Paulina Vega, even though Fennell was named 4th runner up.
News articles later discussing Jamaica as having been “robbed” of the crown only continued to raise the number of mentions about Fennell online.
Down with the gown
The Philippines saw a great number of mentions online over the controversy surrounding the National Costume and the Evening Gown choices of the Philippine contender, MJ Lastimosa.
Bb. Pilipinas charities chairperson Stella Marquez-Araneta, who headed the management of Miss Philippines' presentation, was seen as the person responsible for the Philippines' failure to make it past the final cut.
Words such as "Filipino," "designer," "Colombian," and "gown" surfaced among the top 50 words in relation to Stella Araneta.
These words are in relation to Araneta's selection of a Colombian gown designer, a choice some pundits say lost Lastimosa the title.
Hashtags such as #karma and #pataytv made it into the top hashtags related to Stella Araneta.
Viewership of the live telecast of Miss Universe only continued to incite feelings of disappointment and anger aimed at the organizers and the team behind Miss Philippines.
At its peak, Araneta garnered over 7,000 mentions from multiple online sources.
The mentions later slowed down, but impressions were still negative when it came to the beauty pageant matriarch.
In the coming years, it is only expected that social media will play a powerful role in showing the people’s pulse not only for the annual Miss Universe pageant, but for any other event of a global magnitude.
While it is true that the choice of winner rests on the hands of the judges, the general public will always have a say in who they believe should have the crown.
In a most definite and fearless forecast for next year, Miss Universe 2015 will see two open screens on every household – one switched on to the televised event, and the other monitoring the event over a social media enabled device. Filipinos from all over will definitely be watching, united in the hope of winning one more title. – Rappler.com
Iggy Gan is the Social Media Consultant of AllFamous Digital. He is a business analyst for social media by day and a pop culture junkie by night. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @iggypedia.
Pao Luna is a Social Media Specialist for AllFamous Digital. When not touring the city on his trusty bike, he provides social media marketing solutions to a wide clientele. Follow him on Twitter @impaoluna and Instagram @paololuna