SXSW Floods the Twitter Channels

The first day of South by Southwest has come and gone. If you work in the social space your personal and professional networks have probably been flooded with not just pictures of people playing in the rain in Austin, but also massive amounts of updates from the conference itself.

To get an idea of just what the volume of this looked like, Spredfast partnered with People Browsr to monitor March 8th and 9th, the 24 hours leading up to the festival and the first full day of conference activity, to see just what this activity looked like. It"™s no surprise that the group of attendees is hyper active in social channels, but the amount of sheer activity and their far-reaching effects for brands has important implications.

Looking at the most common references to SXSW, we monitored SXSW, SXSWi, SX, South by Southwest and Southby. In total, more than 253, 971 mentions were registered in the time frame. SXSW was by far the leading term used in Tweets, with SXSWi trailing as the second most used term in the 48-hour time span.

Even more interesting is the reach these numbers found across the Twittersphere. 119,301 unique users had a potential reach (people in their networks that saw the content) of 412,603,922 users. That"™s almost half a billion people across all the users"™ networks. And it means that the average user tweeting about South by Southwest has a network size of 3,530 followers "“ exponentially higher than the average user.

Beyond personal implications, these numbers speak volumes for brands trying to break through the clutter. It"™s clear that having your voice heard at the world"™s largest technology conference is no small feat. So what are brands doing to help maximize their presence and where should you take note to catch the eyes of this influential and connected crowd?

- Many brands are using and promoting custom hashtags to follow. Along with the general SXSW hashtags, companies like Chevy are using custom tags like #chevysxsw to help promote and aggregate conversations pertinent to their audience. In addition, establishing custom tags gives the brand the ability to mobilize attendees to specific events you may have scheduled over the course of the conference.

- Brands are also proactively sharing content from influential people. Not only does this help amplify the reach of useful/insightful content, it also helps a brand build trust with their audience as a source of great information.

- Live tweeting by corporate teams is another popular tactic that helps brands get more content shared. It also means that their networks have an increased chance of seeing their messages at any given point in their Twitter timelines.

- Giveaways and promotions are hotter than ever this year. Tweet to win, interactive scavenger hunts and custom Facebook promotions driven by Twitter hashtags all offer something compelling to your audience and are great ways to break through the clutter and get people to actually take action.

The next few days are sure to be chock full of big and breakthrough brands using innovative techniques to stand out in a sea of 20,000 interactive professionals. We"™ll be following the trends and reporting back with more ideas and data.

Have a reflection or innovative tactic to share in the meantime? We"™d love to hear it.

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