#SongOfTheYear 2015: did social media mirror SABC radio votes?


The #songoftheyear trend – an event where the most popular summer song is played across many of South Africa’s main radio stations to usher in the new year  – has been happening for a long time. Artists have always been using this event to gauge their popularity with the listeners, and thus potential for high record sales and performance bookings. Radio listeners also look forward to finding out which of their favourite songs “opened the new year”.


When the SABC announced in December of 2015 that the public broadcaster was going to run an inaugural #songoftheyear SMS voting campaign across 18 of their 20 radio stations to end the year, 2 questions came to mind:

  • – Is the #songoftheyear event happening in South Africa?
  • – Is the SABC radio SMS voting campaign going to be mirrored on social media?

To answer our questions above, we decided to do a snap global tracking of the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, using Keyhole. Here are the results based on a sample of 1 500 random tweets:

Top #SongOfTheYear social mentions by engagement


Top social sites


Most influential contributors to social mentions


Devices most used for social mentions


Social mentions by location


Social mentions by gender


Most mentioned related words



To answer the first question under INSPIRATION above, the annual #songoftheyear trend seems to be mainly a South African thing, as indicated by social mentions by geography.


The second question above is hereby answered rather with a question:

How close are the results that indicate #WeDanceAgain by Black Coffee earned the most number of social votes as captured in the word cloud above, compared to the SABC radio SMS votes? Did the #WeDanceAgain Youtube Challenge help in the resulting social votes?

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