Between March 8-12, the total social conversations at SXSW was nearly two million (1,193,591 to be exact). While it’s impossible to confirm The Onion’s claim that the word “innovate” was spoken 650,000 times at the conference, it WAS mentioned 3,681 times out of the two million mentions or about 0.4%. That may have been 0.4% too many.

After Prettis’s keynote on Friday calling out to those producing hardware should be the ones using SXSW as a launching pad, Leap Motion proved him right as the startup with the biggest social buzz during SXSW. Who wouldn’t love its technology that tracks gestures in front of a computer to prompt actions. It’s the future (and one better than Minority Report). With nearly 5,000 social mentions, it dominated conversation over runners-up Memoto and Shopcade.

If we take a look at keynote speakers, Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk dominated social conversation with 16,085 mentions. Outside of keynotes, Al Gore was far and away the top SXSW speaker who drove the most social conversations. Shaquille O’Neal and Cory Booker were neck in neck for second place.

Of course this isn’t taking into account one of the biggest SXSW celebrities was Grumpy Cat, who received 13,931 mentions throughout the week – more so than any of the top speakers, including Vice President Al Gore. Mashable did have a coup with that one, as did the sponsor Friskies, who got to tie it’s product with everyone’s favourite meme cat.

Having Grumpy Cat entrenched in the Mashable house was definitely a factor in @Mashable being the top conversation driver during the week, followed closely by the official @SXSW handle. @TheOnion’s satirical take on the conference helped it to rank third.

Consumer brands were bigger than ever this year And thanks to an active Twitter presence, American Airlines was the most-mentioned SXSW sponsor. Chevrolet’s “Catch a Chev” campaigns and Oreo’s sponsored pedicabs as well.

A few other quick numbers/facts include:

  • Excluding the generic #SXSW hashtag, #SXSWi and #SXSW2013 were the most tweeted hashtags during the week.
  • 53% of conversation around SXSW was created by males during the week.
  • 25-34 year olds made up 42% of the conversation, followed by 35-44 year olds (31%) and 45-54 year olds (12%)
  • The top home cities of SXSW tweeters (based on Twitter bio locations): Austin, NYC, LA, San Francisco, Chicago and London.
  • Sentiment around SXSW was 78% positive.

For those of you following the SXSW hashtag this week, what did you think of this year’s conference? Any takeaways that you think tops these numbers?