Illegal Jacks analytics case study 6 months on

It’s been just over a year since Illegal Jacks opened its doors and sought to educate Edinburgh’s masses about the goodness of the burrito. To celebrate the 6 months in business mark Illegal Jacks came up with #Jacksfreeburritos, a special one day only thousand burrito giveaway that was widely publicised online through social media. Based on the publicity around that event I pulled together some social media metrics on Illegal Jacks which you can read about here. Statistics and metrics are always more relevant when you can compare them to something which is why I’ve decided to take another look at the metrics behind Illegal Jacks, using the same methods and tools as I did in April. Apologies to anyone with an aversion to numbers, there will be a lot on them here.

I’ve put the comparison in a nice handy table below (it’s less offensive on the eyes this way) we can see a side by side comparison of the metrics. You’ll notice that there are quite a lot of gaps in the figures, this is down to a couple of reasons; a tool used in April no longer exists; the tool didn’t exist in April for me to make an original calculation; I was too stupid to see the metric was important and calculate it in April. (Try not to be judgemental, I was young and there was no one to learn from.)

*Disclaimer* All the tools used for this are freely available online however as I don’t have access to any of Illegal Jacks accounts I can only do so much with the information I can get publicly. Account holders can access a LOT more information from these free tools and also from other important tools like and Google Analytics. The below metrics aren’t ideal but would be a fair example of the information you could gain through a simple competitor analysis in social media.

April 2010

December 2010


Follower Count

589 1679


Second Degree Followers

1,187,052 N/A


Facebook “Likes”

N/A 1525


Average Reach*

1078 20938


Average Impressions*

6337 28935


Average Retweet

N/A 21%


Tweets per day (tpd)

50 45


Tweets per month (tpm)

1246 1127


Klout Influence

N/A 65


influential followers (at time of calculation) N/A JJ_Campbell 



*averaged from random 50 tweet sample

Starting with Followers, since April there has been a 185% increase in the number of people following the @Illegaljacks Twitter Account.  We can probably attribute this to a few things such as an increase in brand awareness, higher levels of promotion or even simply more people using Twitter.  Unfortunately because my original post was Twitter centric I didn’t record the amount of Facebook “Likes”. The fact that there is very little between the two numbers is impressive as there is a lot more activity on Twitter; however the content on Facebook is more engaging and interactive.

It would be easy to draw a link between the staggering increases in Average Reach and Average Impressions with 2nd Degree Followers (if the damn tool hadn’t fallen over and died) and retweets. Not having hard figures, this is a bit of educated guess work but generally speaking high 2nd Degree Followers + high levels of retweets = high reach and impressions. 2nd Degree Followers and retweets are important as the average life span of a tweet in a non filtered stream is around 4 minutes, the more people who see and retweet that message the better as it keeps it visible (and broadcasting) for longer.

Ah Klout Influence scores, they weren’t included in April as I was entirely unconvinced as to their usefulness. I’m only slightly less unconvinced (does even make sense?) now because of the Facebook integration and daily profile scans. I’d like to think that it would be useful to find out who my most influential followers are and who I most influence but the people it suggests haven’t changed in +6 months so I assume it’s broken. Consider its inclusion above as nothing more than a dream for a better tomorrow.

Influential Followers throws up a couple of interesting results for completely different reasons. A cross reference of tools (mostly Tweetreach and Social Mention) chucked out these two names as the current top two most influential people associated with Illegal Jacks. I was interested to find out why @Bartonian ranked so highly; my suspicion being that he had retweeted a message from the @illegaljacks account and because he has over 15k followers the tools ranked him high. Surprisingly I discovered the tweet that had skewed the rankings wasn’t even a retweet of Illegal Jacks but a retweet of a @mention to Illegal Jacks that someone else had made. A perfect example of why you should collect data often and cross reference it where you can, the more data you collect the more accurate you can make your calculations.

@JJ_Campbell should need no introductions unless you haven’t heard of his alter ego, the Burrito Bandit? JJ_Campbell has been responsible for a series of youtube videos centred around Illegal Jacks, the most recent of which is a music video (see below) aiming for a Christmas number one. Campbell became involved with Illegal Jacks after featuring the restaurant in a video blog in July. Following a positive response from Jack and the “Jackaholics” Campbell was approached to come up with and film further videos and so the Illegal Jacks (W)rap was born and it is this cross platform content that makes Campbell so influential.

When asked where the inspiration for the videos and its characters came from Campbell responded; “We’re big fans of things like Flight Of The Conchords and The Lonely Island so naturally we thought, let’s make a comedy music video about burritos. The original idea was for me to play Jack, in fact we actually recorded a version of the Illegal Jack (W)rap as “sung” by Jack. It’s very different to what we ended up with. Ultimately, our interpretation or not, we thought it would be best for Jack to remain a mystery so we re-recorded it with the idea that the “singer” is a spokesperson for Jack, a sidekick of sorts, thus the Burrito Bandit was born. He’s basically The Green Cross Code Man for Tex Mex food.”

Campbell has also dropped some cryptic hints that there is still more to come; “Keep your eyes peeled this Friday (17/12/10) at noon! As for the future, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Burrito Bandit just yet. I won’t say too much but what I will say is that for next summer, yeah, there’s an idea floating around…”

Illegal Jacks has cultivated a loyal following with fans (Aka “Jackaholics”) doing their own things to promote the brand without being actively compelled to do so (such as the Burrito Bandit above). By engaging with people, creating compelling content and generally doing social media well Illegal Jacks as a whole host of brand ambassadors seemingly by accident. It fact the brand itself has taken a bit of flack for the fact that its fans never shut up about it, something that obviously can’t be controlled by Illegal Jacks. There is a lot of passion and positive sentiment associated with the brand, explaining a higher than average retweet rate and high social capital. People who associate themselves with you and have positive interactions with you are far more likely to respond to a call to action than a passive follower.

There are a lot of positive points to take from this little analysis; increases in followers, social capital, reach and influence are all significant. In terms of activity there hasn’t been a large scale promotion such as the #Jacksfreeburritos event since April however a consistent method of engagement and fan based promotion has proved just as successful. I suspect the elusive figures I can’t access (like in Google Analytics) further reinforce the positive increases made. This kind of growth would be unsustainable without further innovative content to drive it so it leaves me wondering just what Jack has up his sleeve for the future? Jack isn’t afraid to try something a little different, which opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for us to look forward to.


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