The race is on. Once Amazon announced that they were looking for a city to build a second headquarters (HQ2) in North America, more than 200 municipalities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States tossed their figurative hat in the ring. Unsurprisingly, interest was robust as the contenders for Amazon HQ2 knew the new campus would rival its first headquarters, a sprawling 40,000-plus employee operation outside of Seattle.

Cities vying for the honor hope to welcome the project’s over $5B in new construction and eventually, as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. With stakes high, excitement for Amazon announcements rivaled that of prospective Olympic host cities. Recently, locations were whittled down to 20, and those that made the cut few were equally cheered and hissed in the news and on social media.

This pageant doesn’t come without some demands from Amazon, most notably, an educated workforce, tax incentives, and accessible transportation. You can be sure that the 20 remaining contenders are rushing to prove they can check every single box for the HQ2 committee. Talking heads, predictably, have some strong opinions about the viability of certain cities over others and this could influence social media channels.

What predictions might impact social media opinion? There was Moody’s early analysis, predicting a strong showing for Austin with their tech-savvy workforce. While Detroit was noticeably absent from the top 20, Pittsburgh (another blue-collar town) made the list. And still, quite a few analysts are eyeing Atlanta, whose oar is already in the Amazon game with its Whole Foods/Prime Now program. While more strategic opinions hold that proximity to DC (and opportunities for lobbying) is going to be more important than access to Los Angeles’ international port.

While we don’t know the educational, labor, and transportation statistics of the chosen cities, we do know that some cities are mentioned on social media more than others as they all compete for HQ2. Here we narrowed down the contenders down to the top 10 and benchmarked them against each other. Does our list match up with Amazon’s? Only time will tell.

Contenders for Amazon HQ2

If you would like to better understand your market or industry using media mentions or social data for your city, company, or brand, we can help.