Two London events demonstrated different approaches to Twitter engagement and a useful testbed for Twitter analytics tool TweetBinder.
In the past week, I have attended a couple of London events which generated quite a few tweets. Last Friday, I participated in a seminar hosted by Honest Buildings looking at architects’ use of the internet, and yesterday I spent the afternoon at the London Cycling Summit, organised by New London Architecture.
There were some contrasts between the two events. Understandably, the architects event attracted a small but internet-savvy crowd (around 30 people), and it had also been trailed fairly extensively on Twitter beforehand (Su Butcher was also appointed to help spread the word, using the hashtag #webarchitects, and the venue featured Twitter-walls so that participants could see what was being said and shared).
The cycling summit, on the other hand, while well publicised to people with interests in cycling, transport and urban design and getting a full-house of well over 150 attendees, had not been heavily promoted via social media. I first saw a hashtag – #cyclingsummit – when I sat down in the venue (at Derwent London‘s White Collar Factory in Old Street) about 15 minutes before it started, and I used a Tweetdeck search column to monitor use of the hashtag.
So which event generated the most Twitter traffic? Not surprisingly, the event that had actively cultivated its Twitter crowd did better. #Webarchitects lasted less than two hours and in that time generated around 600 tweets with over 100 contributors (double the actual audience at the Open Data Institute). The #cyclingsummit lasted around four hours and generated less than half that number – around 290 (and that’s if you include some of the ‘ripple’ into today), from under 100 Twitterati.
Measuring Twitter reach
Su Butcher used TweetReach (plus a couple of other more experimental tools) to assess the reach of the #Webarchitects event, and part way through she was tweeting that its potential audience was already over 50,000 accounts. Su also curated all the tweets, plus other content, into a Storify stream.
In between Friday’s #Webarchitects and yesterday’s #cyclingsummit, I received an email about another Twitter search and analytics tool, TweetBinder, and I have been looking at how it has number-crunched the the two events’ hashtags. TweetBinder (which is based in New York with another office in Spain and one opening soon in Singapore) has a very spare but slick black interface, and, after logging in with my Twitter account, it generated searches and reports very quickly.
Event tweets were divided into text tweets, RTs, replies and tweets with photos or links, and figures were presented for the total potential cumulative impact (which I think is number of contributors multiplied by number of followers multiplied by number of relevant tweets) and the – to me, more realistic – potential reach (average number of followers multiplied by number of contributors). #Webarchitects for example, had an impact score of nearly three million and a potential reach of nearly 263,000.
The #cyclingsummit hashtag, by comparison, had an impact score of under a million and a potential reach, still impressive, of around 164,000.
As the bars indicate above, the proportion of retweets was much lower at the #cyclingsummit, with original tweets, plus links, photos and check-ins (ie from FourSquare), more likely to be disseminated from the #webarchitects event. This data can also be presented in pie-charts, and displayed as a timeline of tweets – here’s part of the report from the #cyclingsummit, for example (the ‘dip’ was the mid-afternoon tea break):
Usefully, you can also look at contributors on a particular topic in a number of different rankings, helping you identify the most active as well as the most popular or influential.
I am still exploring the TweetBinder functionality. Its developers tell me they will be adding more detail to the site, including an ‘About us’ section and some more help (there is a video, but in less than three minutes it doesn’t really provide a lot of detail). The expanded help may well help users decide if they need to upgrade to a PRO account; basic functionality is currently free, but an upgraded account allows more tweets, over longer time and provides a live streaming option too. I will continue experimenting with the tools, for the early signs are very encouraging.
Update (21 September 2013) – Tweetbinder tell me it is launching some new features:
“PRO services: now you will be able to track hashtags in real time and also to create snapshot reports up to 4000 tweets back.
Complete Redesign: we improved the UX of Tweet Binder and changed it completely.
Advanced Photo Galleries: this is very cool, now you will be able to create your own photo albums from the pics users sent on twitter at your event or about your brand”