The team at DigitLab has been developing its own data monitoring and reporting tool called Monocle,and we decided that the Vodacom Durban July was the perfect opportunity to let it join the race.

A big event. A huge presence on social media. The ultimate test of just how insightful a tool Monocle really is.

The Game Plan

The Friday morning before the races, we set our parameters choosing to track all aspects of the event:

  • The Fashion
  • The Races
  • The Parties
  • The Intrigue

We wanted to see if the online version of the event told its own story – and it did.

What did we learn?

#VDJ2015 may have been trending on Twitter all weekend, but the total number of Instagram posts over the event far outnumbered the tweets. Surprising?

We also found that people took sides when it came to the platform they preferred. While some dominated Twitter, others were in the big leagues on Instagram. Challenging the idea of social media big wigs – when it comes to the different social platforms, one cannot own them all.

The highlight?

Since Monocle works with real-time data, we were able to quickly see the changing map of the social conversation. A good example is the fact that the top 3 horses in the final race hardly even featured in the social conversation before the race was over – so if you were using popular sentiment to try gauge where your bet should lie, the trends would have swayed you off the mark.

Why is the data important?

You could be asking yourself why it matters how many tweets where shared, and about what topic, but when data comes together around a subject, we are able to learn insights that are much bigger than the topic at hand.

We didn’t simply learn about a horse racing event when we turned our Monocle lenses onto the Vodacom Durban July. Instead, we were able to gain valuable knowledge into online behaviour in a certain situation – knowledge that can be interpreted for differing events, campaigns or interactions.

Telling an online story of offline events is not the last step, and shouldn’t be – those at the Vodacom Durban July collectively told their story, told those behind the event where they wanted to be, what they wanted to talk about and how they wanted to express themselves…and we listened patiently.


Vodacom Durban July 2015 Influencers


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