Saturday, 9 February 2013

Track #MardiGras through twitter

Track Mardi Gras on Twitter. The above tool tells you how many tweets per hour are coming from the area. The tool below lets you see what is being tweeted from the event. Both tools require that the tweep voluntarily gives their location so this is not spying, just sharing the good time with people who want to share.

Some interesting statistics about tweeting from Mardi Gras taken from a random sample of 100 tweeets coming from the area at about 8pm on Saturday the 9th of Feburary:
  • 35% of tweets clearly are about something to do with Mardi Gras.
  • 20% of the tweets with geo-location metadata for the area are actually retweets.
  • Only about 3% of the RTs concern Mardi Gras at all, most are viral retweets of a small number of tweets. .
  • 30% of tweets contain image uploads.
  • 14% of tweets from the area mention Mardi Gras
  • 2% of tweets mentions beads, but 6% mentions drinks or drinking.
  •  About 5% mention float and 2% mention parade
So a lot of people are tweeting about Mardi Gras and a lot of people are posting images. 1 in 3 tweets are clear about Mardi Gras, though most tweets are impossible to be sure what they are about.  There are a lot of image being uploaded but Mardi Gras is not producing a lot of chatter on twitter.  Very few tweets about Mardi Gras are being retweeted.  Also few tweets about Mardi Gras are conversations.  The typical Mardi Grad tweets is something like "Im at this place, its fun, here a picture" which is not at all surprising. 

Conclusion: clearly Mardi Gras is a big event where a lot of people who attend wants others to know they attend and what to share images. No doubt a lot of people are looking at these images. But there is really no information content to Mardi Gras like there is to a protest or even a major sporting event where the outcome is unknown. It is raw spectacle without providing a basis for discussion and discourse. How many tweets can you read saying 'I am at such and such a place, amazing fun'. This is an interesting point since marketers tend to target events like this. Ad spend at the event may have a large impact on those attending and sober enough to notice, but there seem to be little evidence that it will go viral on social media as there is no real discussion going on.

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