On Twitter, Betty White Kicked Even Iron Man's Butt

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week

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The "Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!" Facebook campaign (ultimately enlisting more than half a million fans) that prompted "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels to offer White a hosting gig this past Saturday now has a sequel: "Betty White to Host the Oscars" ("The FIRST Official page to get Betty White to host the Oscars!"), which surpassed 10,000 members this morning on Facebook. (I signed on!) Given that she's proved to be not only an unlikely social-media powerhouse but TV-ratings gold (see below), expect her pop-cultural momentum to just continue growing.

Which brings us to this week's Trendrr chart -- actually, charts. A few notes and observations:

  • Betty White was name-checked 18,355 times on Twitter in one peak hour Saturday night. Throughout the weekend, she averaged about 1,600 tweets per hour, with a total of 84,750 Twitter mentions (May 7-9).
  • Betty White delivers the opening monologue on 'Saturday Night Live.'
    Betty White delivers the opening monologue on 'Saturday Night Live.' Credit: NBC
  • I was curious how the beloved octogenarian fared against the cinematic blockbuster of the moment, so I asked the gang at Trendrr to also pull up the Twitter data for "Iron Man 2." (FYI: The trendline you see in the "Iron Man 2 vs. Betty White" chart above is a custom data set that includes tweets that referenced both "Iron Man 2" and just "Iron Man" -- so a tweet saying that, for instance, "the Iron Man sequel rocks!" wouldn't slip through the cracks for lack of a "2.") At her peak over the weekend, Betty White handily kicked IM2's butt by 24,614 tweets.
  • As you'd expect, "SNL" as a Twitter meme (which has much higher currency than the cumbersome, tweet-character-hogging "Saturday Night Live") also exploded over the weekend. On Sunday, 94,328 tweets mentioned it -- the highest level since Trendrr started tracking "SNL" on Jan. 13, 2009.
  • As my colleague Brian Steinberg reported, the White-hosted "SNL," per preliminary Nielsen numbers released by NBC, "averaged an 8.8 household rating -- the highest for the series since a broadcast on Nov. 1, 2008" that featured "appearances by Republican Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin just prior to the 2008 election" (Ben Affleck was host, but nobody remembers that). In a press release, NBC noted that White's "SNL" was "the No. 1 telecast of the night, topping all primetime programs on all major networks in metered-market results. In households, 'SNL' doubled the #1 telecast in primetime, ABC's coverage of the NBA Playoffs."
  • NewTeeVee notes that on Hulu, a quarter of the Top 20 most watched videos from May 3-9 were segments from White's "SNL" gig, and "the full episode (minus content not cleared for online distribution), was the most-watched show of the week."

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Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr, a social- and digital-media tracking service, and Curatorr, a social media filtering and publishing platform. More background here. Trendrr offers a free trial account; Trendrr Pro, which offers more robust tracking and reporting tools, comes in various paid flavors (get the details here).

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco. The latest Ad Age Insights white paper is titled "Dumenco's State of the Media Report," and subtitled "From social media to search, print, broadcast and beyond, where ad-supported media stands now and where it's going." It's available right here.

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