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Archive for October, 2011

This Week in Social Analytics #22

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Welcome back to This Week in Social Analytics, our continuing round-up of some of our favorite posts on social analytics, measurement, Twitter and other items that caught our eye over the past week. Enjoy, and please let us know what you think.

eMetrics 2011 NYC Take-aways
Coming off last week’s eMetrics conference in New York City, several measurement and analytics pros provided summaries of their key take-aways from the event. From Michele Hinojosa: Top Learnings from eMetrics NYC 2011, from Marshall Sponder: Overall Feedback from Emetrics Summit NYC and various other musings, and from Pamela Achladis: Smart Marketing Insights From eMetrics NYC.

Four Books + One Blog = Best Practices of ROI
On the topic of social media ROI, there are many choices for information. Chris Syme highlights her favorite sources for insight, including books by Katie Paine, Dan Zarrella, Olivier Blanchard, John Lovett, as well as Tom Webster’s Brand Savant blog.

Confusing Activity with Influence
Tom Webster takes on the “million follower fallacy” conversation and whether follower count impacts influence.

New Twitter Data: Optimal Link Placement for Clicks
Interesting analysis by Dan Zarrella that looks at how link placement in a tweet affects click through rates. Surprisingly, to me anyway, placing the link toward the front of the tweet is the most effective.

Written by Dean Cruse

October 28th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

ABC’s Once Upon a Time premieres to big ratings on TV and on Twitter

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Up next in our series of posts about what Twitter can tell us about new fall TV is an analysis of the most recent show to premiere, ABC’s Once Upon a Time. What did Twitter think of ABC’s new fairy tale drama? Let’s find out!

One of the last shows to premiere this fall season, Once Upon a Time aired for the first time on Sunday. Its premiere episode got really great ratings, garnering 12.8 million viewers and scoring a 3.9 rating in the desired 18-49 demo. To put that in context, TV|Line writes:

Once‘s tallies represent almost double what Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last did in the Sundays-at-8 slot. In fact, it’s ABC’s biggest audience in the time period with regular programming since March 2008 and its best 18-49 performance there in three years.

So, according to traditional TV audience ratings, the premiere of Once Upon a Time was a huge success for ABC. But what did the Twitterverse think? Were the Twitter ratings as high as the Nielsen ratings?

On Sunday, October 23, 2011 (the day of the first episode’s premier), 14,353 tweets about the show from 12,033 different people generated a reach of 6.55 million. Those are terrific numbers, with lots and lots of unique contributors, a healthy tweet volume, and an impressive reach. For comparison, here are the numbers for the premieres of two similar ABC shows (all three are hour-long dramas).

While Pan Am generated nearly twice as many tweets as Once Upon a Time on its first day, those tweets were posted by a smaller group of people and generated a much smaller reach. Revenge, which has already been picked up for a full season on ABC, generated fewer tweets, but had a very large reach. The size of both the contributor pool and the audience for those contributors’ tweets (as measured by reach) can tell us a great deal about a show’s popularity, particularly if we watch how these metrics trend over time. Take these graphs for recent tweets about ABC’s Pan Am and Revenge, showing tweets from 9/14 through 10/22, encompassing the first five episodes of both shows.
The spiky green graph represents tweet volume by day for each show, with large spikes on the day the show airs on television. The blue area represents weekly reach for each show. While the scales for the two shows differ, you can see a steady and alarming decline in both reach and tweet volume for Pan Am, after some initial interest during the first two shows. In contrast, Revenge seems to be picking up steam recently and is settling in to a solid pattern. (Note that reach plummets for both graphs on the right because the current week has just started, so weekly reach data is incomplete.)

But back to Once Upon a Time. Sure, the metrics for its first show look good, but what do the tweets about it actually say? Here are a few of the most-retweeted tweets.

Generally, most tweets with any opinion included a similar positive sentiment. It’s still very, very early – the show only premiered yesterday – but these tweets are definitely a good start. And of course, not everyone loved the show. Below are a few examples of less-than-glowing reviews. But even most of the popular negative sentiment tweets weren’t really all that negative, which is certainly a good sign (compare that to tweets about the now-canceled Playboy Club, which saw lots of highly negative tweets).

So, we’ll keep an eye on this show as it finds its footing in ABC’s Sunday night lineup. It’s still way too early to decide if this show will eventually get the axe or not, but based on early reactions, I predict that ABC will keep it around, at least for now (and based on that graph above, it’s probably safe to bet that Pan Am will be canceled soon). We’ll see how both shows do over the next few weeks.

Did you watch Once Upon a Time? What did you think?

Written by Jenn D

October 24th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Trends

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This Week in Social Analytics #21

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Hello again from This Week in Social Analytics, our ongoing summary of some of our favorite posts from this week in the world of measurement, analytics and social media. Enjoy!

How Top Brands Measure Social Media Success
Todd Defren at SHIFT Communications interviewed a few top brands asking for the one metric that they used internally to talk about Social Media ROI. Perception of the brand, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty topped the list. Refreshingly, nothing about the number of clicks or followers in this list.

6 Ways to Measure Your Social Media Results
Phil Mershon of the Social Media Examiner reviews Susan Etlinger’s recent research on social media measurement practices and tools. We’ve posted that here before, but this is a great reminder and practical advice on how to tie your measurement program to key business objectives.

eMetrics 2011 — Twitter Analytics Additional Resources
From Tim Wilson, a nice collection of links on Twitter analytics from his presentation at eMetrics 2011 in New York City.

Written by Dean Cruse

October 21st, 2011 at 2:12 pm

This Week in Social Analytics #20

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Welcome back to This Week in Social Analytics, our ongoing summary of some of our favorite posts from the past week in the world of measurement, analytics and social media. Enjoy!

Best Social Media Metrics: Conversation, Amplification, Applause, Economic Value
Avinash Kaushik proposes a framework for measuring social media using four distinct metrics, independent of the social channel being used. These include: conversation rate, amplification rate, applause rate, and economic value.

Do Your Analytics Cheat the Truth?
Michael Schrage at the Harvard Business Review warns that executives should be careful of analytics presented in a way purely to generate influence and win arguments rather than to generate insight. When using analytics to gain understanding of the dynamics of a business, make sure you understand the data “outliers” – and make sure analysts present the full picture that the data tell.

The Hidden Costs Of Social Media
Ron Shevlin discusses how with social media, the incremental cost of communicating with customers and prospects is zero. This has changed the way ROI is measured with new media as costs have shifted from message distribution to message creation and understanding which messages are most effective.

Social media ROI: It’s not about immediate results
Cheri Macale at The Next Web, summarizing Gary Vaynerchuk, describes measuring the ROI of social media as more like trying to measure the ROI of your Mom. Results are not immediate, and social media should be used to generate quality leads, engage with customers, and create the voice of the brand.

A pitch for PR to focus more on owned media
Deirdre Breakenridge writes about how PR professionals shouldn’t only focus on securing earned media. New content is getting added to a brand’s owned media arsenal every day. By working with all of a brand’s content, PR pros can help their clients tell an even broader story.

Written by Dean Cruse

October 14th, 2011 at 11:08 am

Will FOX cancel Terra Nova?

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By now you’ve probably seen one of our posts about this season’s new fall TV shows. For a few weeks, we’ve been using TweetReach to track tweets about all 25 new shows (we’re down to 22 now), and using the tweets to try to predict which ones will be canceled. And we thought it would be fun to bring a guest blogger who knows even more about TV than we do to help make predictions.

So, welcome Adam Rucker to the TweetReach blog! Adam’s been blogging and making videos about TV and pop culture for a long time. He’s even appeared on TV a few times. Here on our blog, Adam will sharing some of his – and Twitter’s – thoughts on new fall shows. And if you like what you see here, you can find Adam on Twitter at @ruckermore, on his YouTube channel, and on his blog

This week, Adam takes on FOX’s new show, Terra Nova. Will it be canceled? Let’s see what Adam thinks!

One of the biggest bets of the fall season is the one FOX took on its new sci-fi series Terra Nova. The show, which begins in the year 2149, stars Jason O’Mara as the head of a family that travels 75 million years into the past to live amongst the dinosaurs in “Terra Nova.”

The premise of the show is exciting in nature: super director Steven Spielberg produces the time-traveling mix of Lost, Jurassic Park, and Avatar. It’s also the most expensive new show in production this year with a pilot that cost a rumored $20 million to create and subsequent episodes that cost around $4 million each.

Unlike most shows, FOX ordered 13 episodes of Terra Nova when the original pilot was greenlit, meaning it’s unlikely that FOX will pull the plug on the show before it shows all the episodes it’s already paid for. Still, it is the viewer response to these episodes that will determine if FOX decides to continue pouring money into its investment or fill Terra Nova’s valuable Monday night time slot with another spinoff of Hell’s Kitchen starring Gordon Ramsay.

So what is the Twitter world saying about the big budget drama? In its first week on the air, Terra Nova generated nearly 90,000 tweets from more than 50,000 contributors reaching about 18.2 million people, which is nearly 10 million more than reached the recently cancelled Playboy Club (12K tweets from 9K contributors, with a reach of 8.6 million). Interestingly, the several weeks since the premiere haven’t generated much more attention for the show. In total, 111,000 tweets have reached 20.7 million pairs of eyes. But the attention doesn’t mean anything if it’s bad attention.

A look at the top four highest exposure tweets includes three from Entertainment Weekly linking to articles on the show, but number four is a simple review from English television host, Jonathan Ross:

This tweet was retweeted 111 times, reaching even further beyond @wossy’s own 1.2 million followers.

A tweet by E!’s television critic, Kristin Dos Santos, mocking the show’s inferiority to one of her favorites, Lost, reached her 73,000 followers and was retweeted 28 times.

Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the show either. Despite the big bucks spent on production, it came off as cheap and even cheesy in some parts.

But to be fair, not all of the Twitterverse had bad things to say about the show. Drew Carey’s positive review went out to his 627,000 followers and gained a spot as one of the highest exposure tweets about the show.


Jared English, founder of the incredibly popular celebrity gossip blog,, also had far-reaching kind words for the dino-thriller.

But what does it all mean anyway? For an expensive show like Terra Nova, my guess is a lot. A thumbs up or thumbs down from any one of these influential tweeters could very easily result in the loss or gain of hundreds of thousands (or in some cases, millions) of viewers. While various reports show that Terra Nova’s ratings have been “respectable,” there’s no getting around the fact that it is up against some stiff competition, including ABC’s ratings behemoth, Dancing with the Stars.

It just depends on what FOX executives are looking for. The network recently picked up its new comedy series, New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel, for a full season. While the budget of this good-natured, apartment-based comedy is probably a tenth of Terra Nova’s (and also generated far fewer tweets and tweeters), New Girl has reached nearly two million more Twitter users during its time on the air.

There’s still time for Terra Nova (at least 10 more episodes), but my guess is that, unless it gains a devoted following (quickly), FOX is going to stop paying the bills and its 13th episode will probably be its last.

Do you think Terra Nova is headed for extinction? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Written by admin

October 11th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Posted in Trends

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This Week in Social Analytics #19

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Hello again from This Week in Social Analytics, our ongoing summary of some of our favorite posts from the week in the world of measurement, analytics and social media. Enjoy!

I Miss The Social Media Echo Chamber
Adam Price of SpeakSocial warns not to get caught up in the social media echo chamber, where you worry more about updating and reading your various feeds and networks and can forget about paying attention to your customers. Good advice. Customer insight wins.

Real Time is Wrong Time in Measurement
Katie Paine comments on Google’s recent annoucement of real time Analytics and suggests that “real-time” monitoring, while interesting to watch, can be short sighted in terms of the decisions you might make based on the data.

Klout, Kred and the Ugly Truth About Social Influence Measurement
On David Armano’s Logic+Emotion blog, guest writer Jennifer Leggio discusses several critical considerations to take into account when measuring and acting upon social influence.

Social Media and Return on Investment: Some clarity.
On The Brand Builder blog, Olivier Blanchard advises marketers to make sure they ask the right question when looking at measuring social media ROI. Measure ROI by looking at the activity and outcome you are trying to achieve. Social media may or may not be a means to that end.

Written by Dean Cruse

October 7th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Unlimited full reports in TweetReach Pro

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Good news! We now offer unlimited full snapshot reports in the Plus, Premium, and Max TweetReach Pro plans.

Snapshot reports are perfect for a quick glimpse into recent Twitter activity about a topic, campaign or event. Full snapshot reports analyze all currently available tweets about your search query, which will be up to 1,500 tweets from the past week. And now, if you have a TweetReach Pro Plus, Premium or Max plan, you can run as many of those full reports as you want. That’s right – no limits, infinite reports!

And, just in case you run out of ideas for reports to run, here are a few suggestions.

Photo credit: iPod Infinity by wlodi

Written by Jenn D

October 6th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Features,News

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First fall TV show cancellations – The Playboy Club and Free Agents

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This week, NBC announced that it’s canceling both The Playboy Club and Free Agents. So, our question is, did the tweet numbers predict this? The answer is a resounding yes in the case of Free Agents, but in the case of The Playboy Club, the answer is slightly less obvious.

In its first week on the air, The Playboy Club garnered more than 12K tweets from 9K contributors, generating a reach of more than 8.6 million. And during the last three weeks, there have been more than 36K tweets posted about the show. These are not insignificant numbers; The Playboy Club consistently fell in the middle of our rankings based on volume, reach and contributors. But the picture looks less rosy when we dig into some of the tweets about the show and who’s posting them.

@HughHefner and other Playboy-affiliated accounts drove much of the conversation about the show. Hefner tweeted 30 times in three weeks about it, generating 22% of all tweet impressions about The Playboy Club. Other popular tweets called The Playboy Club a poor imitation of Mad Men and made jokes about not watching it. More than 8K tweets were posted the day the show was canceled, making it the highest volume day so far for the show. That’s probably not a good sign – more people talked about the show being canceled than the show’s premiere.

As for Free Agents, it was one of the three shows we discussed last week as a sure bet for early cancellation. It didn’t receive much attention on Twitter, only generating 8,900 total tweets over three weeks. And the little conversation it did spark was pretty lukewarm – no one seemed to love it and no one seemed to hate it – and even the cast seemed to sense the show would be canceled. Here’s a tweet from the show’s leading actor, @HankAzaria:

So, really, no surprises there. And now we wonder, what show will be canceled next? Will it be FOX’s big and boring Terra Nova? Some of the quieter CBS shows like A Gifted Man or Unforgettable? Or will it be one of CW’s relative duds like H8R or Ringer? We’ll know soon, and we’ll keep you posted.

Written by Jenn D

October 6th, 2011 at 11:24 am

Posted in Trends

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TakeFive with TweetReach – Evan LaPointe

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Welcome to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing interview series where we talk with notable members of the social media analytics community, pulling together insight, commentary and conversation around all things measurement, analytics, and improvement. This week we’re happy to welcome Evan LaPointe, Director of Client Performance at Search Discovery, creator of the popular web analytics blog Atlanta Analytics, and a recognized leader in the web analytics community.

TweetReach: Welcome Evan! Let’s start with talking about how you got started with web analytics. What got you interested in measurement?

Evan LaPointe: I got started with web analytics (before, it was just for my own businesses) in 2005. Before that, I was doing valuation work on stocks. It was good stuff to learn, but I really missed working on the web and wanted to do it full-time. Coming from an analyst role in the financial industry, an analyst role in this industry seemed like a good leaping-back-in point. And as for the second part of that question, nothing got me, nor currently has me interested in “measurement.” Measurement is just a means to an end, like measuring wood before you cut it to build a house. This industry is stuck on this concept of measurement, and that is something that needs to change soon if we want companies to understand the value we can create for a business. If they think we are just a bunch of guys with rulers, that isn’t a bright future. In the financial world, there is a huge distinguishing line between accountants (measurers) and analysts (decision makers). We need to cross this line pronto.

TweetReach: What metrics are most important for you and and/or your clients? What should we be measuring? John Lovett has written about the dangers of using the wrong metrics. Are there things we shouldn’t be measuring? Are there any “bad” metrics?

Evan LaPointe: John is right, there are grave dangers associated with using the wrong metrics, but I don’t agree with anyone who says that any metric is a bad metric. Data is data, and metrics are just a framework for data. More data will always give you more context and information, so there is no reason to ever consider data or metrics “bad.” Some metrics, however, require a lot of other data to give them context. Acting directly on these metrics (or any metric in a vacuum) is immensely stupid. Even holy grail metrics like conversion rate are immensely stupid to react to in a vacuum. And herein lies the problem between “measurement” and “analysis.” Measurement is something can can be done microcosmically: you can measure and report tiny little things that may or may not matter. Analysis, on the other hand, requires a networked understanding of the system. Without understanding how multiple things work together to produce outcomes, you aren’t doing analysis.

So as far as the types of things we do for our clients, we focus on two key areas (and the metrics reveal themselves in these efforts): revealing the influencers to cash flow, and creating dashboards that reveal where a business should spend its time. Revealing the influencers to cash flow is a very important focus, because we can’t always connect tactics directly to cash. But we can nearly always connect a tactic to something we know influences cash flow. For example, we know that a great social media presence has the potential to boost peoples’ opinion of the brand, understand the product or service more clearly, provide a channel for our brand to grow in terms of mindshare, give us valuable insight into where our product fails, and possibly drive sales directly. While most focus is on traffic and conversions driven by social media (and it’s critical to follow these), we have to also understand the positive qualitative aspects of running a business well. These are the things that have a long-term benefit, and distinguish brands like Zappos who have unprecedented relationships with their shoppers and the bank account to prove it. Over time, these qualitative aspects will reveal themselves quantitatively so we can better understand what incremental investment will get us. But to start, brands need to trust that there are immensely powerful and important qualitative factors they can control directly, but will only loosely be measured against financial outcomes.

On the dashboarding side, I don’t believe in dashboards for the sake of people “understanding everything that is happening.” People don’t come to work to understand what is happening. They come to work to make it better. Since this is the case, we need to provide them some way of knowing where to spend their time and energy. We’ve seen that one effective way to do this is build dashboards that are thin and wide, and have some intelligence built into them to draw focus to areas where the business needs extra attention. By using some basic models that are tailored to each business, we can reveal the “health” of various parts of the business (and their influence on other parts) so people can focus on what’s going to make a difference. And these dashboards do not offer endless drill-down capabilities: we want people going to the tools designed for this purpose (BI, web analytics, etc.) so they have everything they need: a dashboard could never give them a true analysis environment.

TweetReach: What are your recommendations for someone just getting started with social media analytics? What should they do first? What are some important considerations?

Evan LaPointe: First off, they need to talk to someone a whole hell of a lot smarter than me. Second, I would split the analysis into two pieces, in an ideal world. Piece one is finding as direct a connection to business outcomes as possible. How is the effort growing customer base, how is it impacting revenue in a cost-effective manner, how is it having equivalent outcomes to things you are paying for today? I saw a post where someone was criticizing social media and talking about how a Facebook campaign for Coke was stupid. What was stupefying was the article: did this writer have any clue what Coca Cola pays to reach 2MM people through any other channel? On top of that, there is no billboard that the instant someone decides they like it, it’s instantly shared with hundreds of their friends. And there is no television ad with polar bears that allows the viewer to provide instant feedback to the brand. Social media’s equivalent cost in other channels is outrageous, and many of its benefits are impossible to attain anywhere other than in social media. So, begin by measuring real return in terms of upside, and understanding the cost of equivalent reach elsewhere.

Piece two is that x factor that will be unique to your business. After you’ve defended your salary many times over in terms of real return or equivalent willingness to pay in other channels, you can begin dissecting the qualitative pieces and benefits of your social media campaign. This is where you take the comments, replies, feedback, sentiment, etc. and turn it into insight that can drive changes to product or new products, changes to how you market or interact with your customers, or any number of outcomes. Again, there are people who are a lot smarter than me when it comes to this stuff, but this is the rough outline of how I would approach it.

TweetReach: Let’s talk about consistency in measurement. There are a tremendous number of tools and approaches used to measure social media performance, which can produce results that are difficult to compare. Do you see the industry evolving towards a more standardized set of metrics or do you think we’ll continue to see a lot of variety and experimentation?

Evan LaPointe: In the social space, I think we will see a ton of variety and experimentation. We have no idea what to focus on to get a good picture of the true benefit of social media, and I, for one, think that’s very exciting. Social media can be used for some amazing and surprising business functions (like prioritizing IT’s efforts or helping product managers develop an offering based on very honest, real-world feedback). And beyond that, social media measurement means very different things to different businesses. Some have the opportunity to use it as a more direct channel (although that’s not always the best idea), while others use it as a support channel. Small businesses can measure based on interactions with individuals or small groups, while organizations interacting with millions of customers are forced to take a completely different approach. I really need to read John Lovett’s book; I’ve heard great things about it so far. He’s a far better person to ask this question to, but my gut says we are nowhere close to any sort of a set of standards or a common approach that can be shared among the majority of businesses.

TweetReach: Where do you go for analytics-related news and opinion – any particular sites, blogs or Twitter accounts that are of particular value?

Evan LaPointe: I keep in touch primarily via Twitter, and Google+ has become pretty good in this industry, too (although the ratio of self-promotion to sharing is a little high right now). I’m a big fan of Avinash Kaushik and his blog: he helps a lot of people get into this industry but stay centered, meaning he gives a lot of instruction on the “how,” but also frames it in terms of the “why.” Again, getting back to the obsession with metrics and measurement, he’s always been good about connecting it back to the financial outcomes and human side of working in a business. Eric Peterson is also one of those hall-of-famers who will make time to talk to people on twitter and share some of his wisdom (even though half of the time he speaks to me in parables). And you have this amazing community of people who are brilliant, many of who do not even know how brilliant they are. Everyone should get to know the folks from Keystone Solutions, energy-filled people like Michele Hinojosa, and people like Emer Kirrane who is like My Big Fat Greek Wedding Irish version: she thinks the root of everything is potatoes. I could go on and on, so just find me (@evanlapointe) on twitter if you’re looking for a longer list.

TweetReach: A great list. Thanks for your time and your thoughts, Evan!

As the Director of Client Performance at Search Discovery, Evan LaPointe is focused on using web analytics to help businesses take a holistic, data-driven approach to managing their portfolio of web strategies. Evan’s 15 years of hands-on experience developing, marketing, and improving web sites gives him the unique ability to approach web sites from a number of perspectives and work through any competing priorities to offer users the best experience possible, and businesses the best return possible. Evan is an active member of the web analytics community and a member and speaker for organizations like WAA, SEMPO, AiMA, and AMA. Evan writes for Search Engine Land’s “Analyze This” column and is the creator of Atlanta Analytics, a blog focused on translating web language into business language. Evan also manages the twitter feed @learnanalytics where people can have their web analytics questions answered for free, and is a contributor on the Google Analytics help forums. Recently, Evan created a breakthrough tag management system called Satellite, designed from the ground up to help empower marketers and analysts to have total control of the web measurement and analysis process.

Written by Dean Cruse

October 5th, 2011 at 8:03 am

Analysis of tweets during Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” announcement

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Today, Apple held a 90-minute event announcing their new iPhone and operating system upgrades. We tracked 319K tweets about the iPhone event, generating a reach of 40.3 million and 522 million impressions, from more than 175K different Twitter accounts.

Here’s a quick graph of tweet traffic during the iPhone event (graph times are in CDT). The first big spike hit 11,200 tweets per minute (tpm) at the announcement of iOS 5 coming to devices on October 12. The second major spike happened when the new iPhone 4S was officially announced, hitting 13,000 tweets per minute. During the 90-minute presentation, tweet volume was sustained well above 4,000 tpm. That’s pretty huge, if you’re wondering.

The most retweeted tweets were typically sarcastic comments about the new phone or detailed updates from the event. Here are the top two tweets in terms of retweets (with 845 and 786 retweets, respectively).

Overall, the accounts that generated the most exposure were news and media accounts live-tweeting the event and sharing updates from the presentation, including @mashable, @TIME, and @nytimes.

Finally, here’s overall tweet activity for the entire day of October 4. 148,205 tweets were posted during the first hour (10:00 a.m. PDT) of the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event. 

Written by Jenn D

October 4th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Events,Trends

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