The holidays are over, and the unbearable traffic jams are back in Joburg (aka Johannesburg). It will be another 12 months before another holiday season, when there are fewer cars on the city’s roads, and shopping malls and places of interest are quieter.
Why is Joburg peaceful during December? It’s because most roads lead to the coast for the holidays :)
I wondered how Joburg performs on social media during December versus Cape Town and Durban – the 2 most popular coastal cities in South Africa (hoping tourism numbers can back me up). To satisfy my curiosity, I tracked social mentions for the 3 cities from 24 December 2015 to 10 January 2016, the summer holiday peak season in Mzansi.
Overall Joburg online mentions
Of the 3 cities, Cape Town had almost twice the quantity of online mentions compared to the next city for the period under review. The mother city’s mentions peaked on January 3 – was this because of the Cape Minstrel Carnival or 2nd Cricket Test?
Joburg came in second, but I was expecting Durban to take this spot. As the graph above shows, online mentions for the city of gold have not been far behind at any rate; and my initial reaction was that there are 4 scenarios – 1) either there was a lot of talk about Joburg by those who went away; 2) those remaining in the city are prolific netizens; 3) Durbanites just suck at generating online mentions about their city, despite throngs of holiday makers and the 1st Cricket Test; or 4) any combination of the 3. Analysis of the locations of online mentions below provides clarity.
Online mentions by top locations
The bulk of Joburg mentions came from netizens in the city, followed by those who were in Cape Town. MADODA! Netizens in Joburg were main contributors to Durban’s online mentions (17%), followed by those in Durban (15%)! *claps once*. Looks like scenario 3 above is not far-fetched, after all.
Role of influencers in online mentions
The dots in the graph above signify number of influencers who were mentioning the 3 cities during the period under review. The closer to the top a dot is, the more influential the netizen. Clearly, Cape Town had more influencers (green dots) mentioning the city. Durban had the most mentions by influencers on the 30th of December, the last day of 1st Cricket Test that South Africa lost to England.
Joburg had a mention from one highest ranking influencer on the 28th of December – The Times with 9 million Twitter followers, 8 million Facebook fans and 2 million Instagram followers.
Online mentions by gender
Joburg mentions came mainly from females, while Cape Town and Durban mentions came from males.
I shall make an attempt to check if this demographic profile stays the same after 3 months.
About my curiosity relating to Joburg’s social traffic
Some Joburgers may have left town for the sea, but social traffic about the city did not decline markedly.