Felix Baumgartner, daredevil extraordinaire, today executed the highest skydive ever. Working with a team of scientists and sponsor Red Bull in jumping out of a balloon 128,100ft (24 miles; 39km) above New Mexico, the 43-year-old also smashed the record for the highest ever freefall from a giant helium balloon.

Felix has become the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound, reaching a maximum velocity of 833.9mph (1,342km/h).

We looked at this event in Social Media and there were a few interesting points.

Firstly the tweet that was most retweeted was the one by NASA – 12,129 Tweets.

So what did all this mean for Red Bull and for the many millions spent establishing this kind of stunt as core to their brand DNA?

Well how does 247 million Twitter impressions sound and most of that in the period of one day!

If we look at that across Blogs, Traditional News, Forums and Twitter we see the distribution of the total 221,659 mentions (note in this case we weren’t monitoring Facebook). In the six days up to the 14th October 2012 @RedBullStratos grew its following to 230,575 (from 19,488)

The Twitter peaked earlier today at just over 150k Tweets!

The WordCloud, BuzzGraph, Gender and Location provides us some insight as to the demographics of the Twitter conversation.

So how do these 238,084 followers of @RedBullStratos describe themselves? (note that @RedBull grows its’ Twitter followers at an average of 38,373 per month)

Clearly here are some of the outcomes for Red Bull:

  1. Growing @RedBullStratos Twitter following by 211,087 people in SIX days (not to mention the impacts on the other Red Bull social properties) is fantastic and from a marketing perspective provides clear demographics and insights into these prospective brand advocates;
  2. Clearly engagement is key for brands and the @RedBullStratos shows a very poor engagement level with 493 Tweets by @RedBullStratos and 1,302 @-Reply’s by RedBullStratos. This is not even 1% of the conversation;
  3. Looks like Felix himself has seen the power of Twitter having grown his following to 41,543 followers in six days;
  4. Facebook shows 24 wall posts with 758,319 likes & 15,816 comments in seven days

…..and who picked up the Typo that generated 2,156 tweets?

Some Advice for Red Bull:

  • Social Media is not just about outbound communication – it is conversational and brand engagement;
  • We couldn’t seen any engagement strategies (polls, FB apps, & competitions) associated to this campaign;
  • Enable community aspects on Red Bull website to engage customers – as an example the Blog has no way for the public to contribute nor social login;
  • Red Bull Stratos Website isn’t social – no Twitter or Facebook streams the integration to Youtube and Pinterest (only 5 pins) is poor and the Social Architecture of this campaign could have been better defined;
  • The simple Wordcloud above gives insights into potential communities of engagement with Redbull – strategies and plans and actions need to be in place to create those communities and bring them into a wider Redbull community strategy.

Clearly a wonderful PR effort for Red Bull Stratos and the challenge is how do you turn those Red Bull Stratos ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ into engaged Red Bull customers?

The Boolean examined was: (Felix OR Baumgartner OR livejump) AND (Red OR redbull OR bull)