Facebook IPO Word-of-Mouth Win for Twitter

Sentiment mostly positive for Zuck and company

You may have heard that Facebook had its IPO last week. Of course you did—because Facebook notched 329,565 mentions online last Friday when the company went public, according to an analysis for Adweek done by social media analysis firm NetBase. While the IPO was a win for Facebook—at least in terms of word-of-mouth, if not stock performance—it was also a coup for Twitter.

Of the 5,200,587 mentions Facebook received between May 1 and 21, 45 percent came from Twitter, and 36 percent from Facebook. NetBase CMO Lisa Joy Rosner said Twitter usually contributes an even larger share of the mentions related to breaking news, but since the news in this case involved Facebook, she wasn’t surprised to see Facebook account for such a big piece. “Facebook users are so into Facebook they are talking about something they don’t normally talk about on Facebook, which is an IPO,” she said.

But folks weren’t just talking about Facebook. Twitter and even Yahoo also received word-of-mouth boosts, albeit for different reasons. The Twitter mentions mostly fell along the lines of users saying they prefer the platform to Facebook, said Rosner, whereas the Yahoo mentions were mixed bag with folks comparing Yahoo’s IPO performance to Facebook’s or decrying Yahoo’s patent suit against the company.

On IPO day sentiment was net positive for Facebook, with 41,425 mentions deemed by NetBase as positive versus 25,278 that were negative (the remaining share didn’t indicate enough sentiment to be judged either way). But in the weeks leading up to and the days following the IPO, issues such as Zuckerberg wearing a hoodie into investor meetings, news that GM would stop running ads on Facebook “and people’s perception that [Facebook’s value] was falling flat pulled the sentiment down and created a collection of negative commentary,” Rosner said.