We could summarise our twitter analysis for #ibc10 in one sentence – “make your hashtag as long as it needs to be in order for it to be unique, make sure you have only one (hashtag), promote the hell out of it and clamp down early on any variations from that by users”
We keep repeating this to event organisers but sometimes it is still not getting through. The single most important thing an organiser can do to help their social media / twitter presence is to have ONE unique hashtag (not several). Shortening it because you think it’s easier for people to use / remember / type (err, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’) / memorise makes absolutely no sense if it loses its uniqueness. Nor does it make sense to match your hashtag with any abbreviation or acronym that your event might be known as (it may be unique in your industry but it won’t necessarily be so globally).
You also need your twitter community’s consensus on usage of said single hashtag AND you need to promote the hell out of the one you do choose. Organisers should not be shy of correcting errors when they see them / remind folks of the proper hashtag.
Our research showed that on the whole IBC’s social media / twitter activity was on target and incredibly successful – nearly twice as many Twitter users engaged at IBC than at NAB (a much bigger show) and indeed a North American show (where many have believed the usage of twitter at shows was more prevalent!).
IBC attendees produced proportionally 45% more tweets than NAB so hats off IBC for that!
With a little bit of thought however it could have been even better. The Venn diagram shown above demonstrates how the number of tweets were distributed according to which of the three hashtags they contained. The intersection of all three circles (102) shows that some people were including ALL three hashtags in their messages, while others were including two. The total number of tweets that contained either two or three hashtags was 308 – this is 6% of the total of 5,184.
The remainder used a single hashtag in their tweets, with the majority (40%) using the official hashtag #IBC10 – however nearly as many used #IBC (36%) and even quite a few #IBC2010 (17.5%).
This shows the clear fragmentation of this event’s social media conversations (NOT good), as only 6% of tweets potential reached the WHOLE audience, and the rest being divided across the three groups.
Unless people actively monitored other hashtags that they themselves were not using in their own messages, they would effectively have been ISOLATED from the rest of the activity – basically negating the purpose of a twitter social media conversation amongst exhibitors, visitors, press and other interested parties (even non-attendees of course).
#IBC as a hashtag was also problematic (even though it was not official anyway), as it is was also being used by other organisations and communities, and there were small numbers of tweets on these subjects whilst the show was in progress:
- Indonesia Budget Center
- Indie Book Collective
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer
As the number of #IBC tweets related to the show itself was large, this meant that these other conversations would have been largely drowned out, and in the end they didn’t have a serious impact on the IBC show.
However, a more serious threat started on the night of the last show day, when a lot of traffic related to Justin Bieber  using #iBc started arriving from South America. Over the next few days, the volume had equalled the number of tweets generated by the IBC show using the #IBC hashtag!!!
If this had happened a few days earlier, it would have seriously disrupted all those following #IBC and not following one of the other show hashtags.
These false tweets (as far as the IBC show is concerned) were all removed from our analysis before the statistics were compiled.
These statistics reinforce the need to decide on a single hashtag that is distinct, and promote it well in advance so that when the show takes place, everyone can be brought together in a single integrated community.
The top ten twitterers (Account, No. of Tweets, Name) for the event were: –
The Total number of Twitter impressions was an impressive 3,286,977 and the top ten in terms of impressions was…
If anyone is interested in a full copy of the twitter analysis drop us an email and we’ll send back out.