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Stopping, looking, and (Social) Listening: How the 4th of July Unfolded on Social Media

On July 4th, 1776, Thomas Jefferson reached into his pocket. He pulled out his proverbial cell phone, then posted a tweet that would change history forever: “Hey, @GreatBritain, we’re leaving. #SorryNotSorry”

The rest of the United States’ Founding Fathers retweeted his message, and a new nation was born. The details are a little fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure that’s how it went down.

150 years later as we honored the birth of our country, many of us took to social media to share our holiday experiences. Enjoying the three F’s (family, friends, and fireworks) is a common way to commemorate the holiday. But looking at the real social media listening data on July 4th reveals some unexpected and important information, especially for brands.

Americans had a lot to say on Independence Day. Here’s how it unfolded.

July 4th, 2016 by the Numbers

Big numbers, big data, big opportunity. Here’s a snapshot of the holiday in numerical form:

- In the United States alone, there were over 46 million messages posted on social media channels on July 4th, 2016.

- On Twitter, these messages garnered more than 70 billion potential impressions.

- 95% of the total conversation surrounding July 4th happened on Twitter.

The high post volume alone signals the potential for brands to interpolate themselves into the social media conversation. However, the top trending hashtags from Independence Day give you a better look at how brands can (and did) capitalize on the holiday.

WWE’s Raw wrestling TV program came out victorious on July 4th this year. With the highest reaching hashtag from the day, #RAW aired an Independence Day themed event on July 4th that body-slammed its way to success on social media. It even helped produce one of the most retweeted posts from the day:


Also, although not the top-mentioned brand, the famous Macy’s sponsored 4th of July fireworks over the East River can’t be overlooked. This long running sponsorship continued to find success in 2016. And, with over 150k mentions on Twitter, the #MacysFireworks display inspired a ton of Oohs and Ahhs online.

4th of July Fireworks on the Court

Weeks ago, we turned to social media listening after the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship. Today, basketball appears again with another round of controversy and conversation.

Social media couldn’t stop talking about Kevin Durant. The NBA star signed to the Golden State Warriors on Independence Day, creating an even larger spectacle than most fireworks displays that day. In fact, six of the ten most retweeted posts from July 4th pertained to this move.

Some were thrilled.


Others, not so much.

Regardless of your stance, you can’t ignore the impact Kevin Durant’s decision made in the social media court.

Play Ball

Curious what social media listening can uncover for you and your brand? Send us a note, we’d love to help.

Ryan Bonner

Content Producer

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