Thursday, March 17th, 2016 | 5 min read
A lot of exciting things happened at SXSW Interactive 2016. Our beloved POTUS gave an interview, marketers discussed the biggest trends in their field, brands transformed ordinary spaces into experiential lounges and parties, and start-up founders pitched their ideas.
But it wasn’t all tech and marketing; food was a huge part of the conference, too. Food trucks set up shop on street corners, brands gave away free meals, and lines poured out the doors of Austin’s most famous BBQ restaurants.
After all, a visit to Austin isn’t complete without tasting some BBQ, right?
We used Sprinklr social listening to see which BBQ restaurants “won” SXSW. This way, if you’re still in town for SXSW Music, or if you plan on visiting Austin in the future, you’ll know which BBQ you can’t miss. And who doesn’t love a little healthy competition?
Stubb’s BBQ beat out the other famous spots in terms of share of voice on social media, generating nearly half of the conversation around the top five BBQ restaurants. Their food is great, but the volume of mentions is probably also related to the live concerts they hosted.
— Jeremy Abbott (@jabbott) March 15, 2016
— Jason Boucher (@PortsmouthJay) March 16, 2016
Stubb’s dominated on social nearly every day, but their popularity waned over time while Franklin Barbecue, which started out as the underdog, gained popularity at the very end. This could be because customers were most satisfied with their experience at Franklin’s, as indicated by our sentiment analysis.
While a lot of the conversation around Stubb’s had to do with their concerts, much of Franklin’s engagement included pictures of (and comments about) their food.
— Kenan Ali (@kenanali) March 15, 2016
When it comes to the sentiment of the conversation on social, Franklin Barbeque is the winner. While they had fewer overall mentions than Stubb’s, their ratio of positive to negative sentiment is substantially better than the other restaurants. Only 8% of the mentions about them on social was negative, with Stubb’s coming in second, at 19%.
For fun, we also wanted to see whether SXSW attendees felt more passion for tacos or BBQ. BBQ came out on top, but tacos didn’t go down without a fight. Out of the total mentions of BBQ and tacos, BBQ snatched up 58% of the mentions, but tacos briefly held the lead on March 12th. Posts from that day included photos that looked good enough to eat:
So maybe size doesn’t matter so much after all; having a large audience, or a lot of people talking about you on social, doesn’t mean that you’re the customer’s favorite.
While Stubb’s BBQ generated the most conversation on social, it looks like people feel the most love for Franklin’s food. Though Stubb’s has a larger social presence, hosted more activities at SXSW, and had more mentions, it looks like Franklin’s customers are more loyal.
Social data was pulled from March 9th-March 15th from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Blog sites, news sites,Tumblr, Google+, and RSS feeds. We chose which restaurants to track based on data from Yelp, eater.com, and recommendations from our foodie friends who live in Austin. For this data analysis, we tracked 15 BBQ and 16 taco restaurants and then selected the top five with the most social mentions.