Thank you #promfest2014 from Shadow Marketing

Thank you #promfest2014 from Shadow Marketing

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A few weeks ago I had a conversation with our web developer Robin Whelan about a project he was supporting in his local town, Tramore Co. Waterford, Ireland. Robin was building a festival website http://thepromenadefestival.com/

Immediately I saw an opportunity for Shadow Marketing to get involved by supporting their digital marketing campaign. I offered to sponsor Social Wifi hotspots for the event, which the festival organisers Sean Corcoran (The Art hand) & Keith Daniels (Tramore tourism) found to be a fresh and interesting approach.

The initial plan was to install the Social WifI hotpots in a number of the key venues such as cafes, restaurants and hotels. Therefore, any wifi usesr within the venues would be asked to verify their connection via their own Social Networking accounts, by either liking the Promenade festival Facebook page or following @Promfest2014 on Twitter. The user would also be given the option to post the following to their own timelines “Here at the Promenade Festival in Tramore, having a great time, #Promfest2014” so not only would the user now see Social Media updates from the Promenade Festival on the ramp up to next year’s event but should they choose to allow posting to their timeline, then all their friends would now hear how great #promfest2014 was.

On the lead up to the festival being run over 4th, 5th and 6th July 2014 I overheard a conversation a friend of mine (Emer Powell) was having with Sean Corcoran about the need for more stewards to help manage the festival. I figured why not offer, seen as I love festivals, it’s local and I would be there on the ground should anyone have any questions regarding Social WiFi. The following conversation went something like this,

Me..Hey Emer do they need bodies for the event?

Emeryes, why are you interested?

Meyeah why not, what would I be doing?

Emerfloating around making sure everything is ok and looking important.

(Lightbulb moment)

Me….Ammm, why don’t I offer to live Tweet for the festival while I am floating around?

Within 20 minutes Emer who was PA for this festival had arranged admin access for @Promfest2014 Twitter account.

Two days & 3 Social WiFi hotspot installations later and I was on the road from Dungarvan to Tramore after collecting this T-shirt which we had designed especially for the event.

#promfest twitter T-shirt

#promfest twitter T-shirt

 

To say I was excited about running a live Twitter feed for the festival, is an understatement, but I was not prepared for the emotion which would be on display for the opening ceremony. In the busy period leading up to the festival I only had a fleeting involvement in preparation and so did not grasp the true reason for this event; connecting the emergency services with art and family entertainment to pay a special tribute to four members of the emergency services Stg. Patrick Mooney, Cpt. Dave O’Flaherty, Cpt. Michael Baker, Cpl. Niall Byrne, who died tragically 15 years ago when Rescue 111 helicopter crashed in dense fog in the sand dunes of Tramore, while returning from a search & rescue operation.

I was 17 at the time of this tragic accident and visited Tramore frequently with friends and family. The news of this accident really made an impact on me at the time,  15 years on I now find myself at the festival opening. As I listened to shaking voices pay tributes to the 4 fallen heroes, I felt a little out of place, standing there in my bright t-shirt, ipad in hand, taking pictures and tweeting them out to the masses. I felt a bit like an intruder….that’s when the true beauty of this festival shone brightly, rather than snarl, sneer and point the locals smiled, winked and laughed as I snapped & posted a live running commentary of what was happening – A memorial piece entitles “the Symbol of hope” being relayed from the sea to the commemorative monument on the promenade – this  involved over 100 emergency service personnel and culminated with Mark Mooney son of Sgt. Patrick Mooney pushed the switch to light the Symbol.

Symbol of hope relay

‘Go Mairidis Beo’ that others may live

My little piece in this jigsaw was to tell the story online for those not in attendance.  And here online I saw something marvelous; the relevance of this event to those on Twitter was far from lost, in fact the below tweet (1 of the 153 tweets I sent that weekend), was retweeted an amazing 18 times, considering the twitter account had only 200 followers, this shows how emotional context can reach far and wide when telling a story online.

Rescue 111 remembrance tweet at #promfest2014

Rescue 111 remembrance tweet at #promfest2014

I couldn’t think what better way to celebrate the lives of Rescue 111, than by bringing smiles to the faces of so many families through education of art, water safety and much more. I am sure many a child arrived home beaming about becoming a sand artist, helicopter pilot, musician or lifeguard.  Here are my top ten highlights of #promfest2014 in no particular order.

  1. Shah Smooth – acrobat, wowing the crowds with his charm, acrobatic acts and excellent dancing. 
Happy out!

Happy out!

 

2. Irish Whip Wrestling on the Promenade – As  I watched these super talented wrestlers put on an amazing show it took me right back to when I was a tot heading into Dungarvan with my dad to see the Giant Haystack’s wrestling. I recognized the hysteria, I felt that day on the faces of every single child ringside cheering wildly.

Wrestling on the promenade of Tramore

Wrestling on the promenade of Tramore

 

3.  Andy Coutanche aka Jersey Samdman, his fiancé and his art –Where do I start, I was lucky enough to chill out with Andy and his fiancé Claire (who he proposed to on the beach at Valetia Island only a few days previously) Such a lovely couple. Andy produced the amazing sand art you see below, which includes the #promfest2014 tag and SAR emblem.

#promfest2014 Sand Art - picture credit to @DanGoggin

#promfest2014 Sand Art – picture credit to @DanGoggin

Claire & Andy engaged in Ireland

Claire & Andy engaged in Ireland

 

 

4. #Promfest2014 online reach – One measure of success for this festival has to be the online reach of the Twitter hash tag #Promfest2014. In total there was 409 tweets sent by 106 different accounts, which reached 98,000 unique Twitter accounts and was seen 286,365 times in total by people on twitter.

#promfest2014 online reach

#promfest2014 online reach

 

 

5. The Celtic WomenFest –  Cheryl beer couldn’t have predicted the weekend she had in store when she decided to take Celtic WomenFest over to Ireland from the UK. While walking around Tramore, Cheryl tripped on a step and damaged her foot. A visit to A & E confirmed she had chipped a bone and pulled ligaments. Despite the pain Cheryl showed true spirit and battled on playing charming music & interacting with locals. I was lucky enough to be at O’Shea’s hotel when Cheryl and fellow Celtic WomenFest artist Mab Jones and Anne Lister  decided to play us some songs they wrote especially for the festival. Unforgetable.

Cheryl Beer injured and still playing.

Cheryl Beer injured and still playing.

 

6. Electric buskers – I passed this trio playing a few folk covers outside Dooly’s chipper and couldn’t get over how great they were. They played all day Saturday and Sunday, with a wide variety of songs. I must have passed them 20 times, each and every single time they were playing high quality covers, from Mumford and sons to the Beatles. On Saturday I stopped to ask their name, “We don’t have one, just Derek, Mark & Deane”, come Sunday the lads were wise enough to reply “Electric Buskers” when I asked again.

Electric Buskers Tramore at #promfest2014

Electric Buskers Tramore at #promfest2014

 

7. Happy families all round.

Families at #promfest2014

Families at #promfest2014

 

 

8. The emergency services display – The below pictures give a snapshot of the spectacular aerial and sea search & rescue demonstration. It was not only exciting for everyone watching, but educational. There was also a member of the emergency services giving a live running commentary on each part of four different rescue simulations.

SAR simulation at #promfest2014 - Picture credit to @DanGoggin

SAR simulation at #promfest2014 – Picture credit to @DanGoggin

 

 

9. The characters you meet at #promfest2014

Characters of #promfest2014

Characters of #promfest2014

 

 

10. The sun, the view and yes the rain – You couldn’t have asked for a better day on the Saturday of the festival, the sun was splitting the rocks, the ice cream was selling by the bucket load and every direction you turned, a postcard picture was ready to be taken. The Sunday of the festival was quite different, showers poured down frequently, but rather than driving families back into their cars, everyone found shelter and waited it out. To me this is a true measure of success. Remember this was a free event, no-one would be out of pocket if they decided to head home, but yet they stayed and were patient and yes they were rewarded with another great day.

 

Finally,  i‘d like to thank everyone involved with #promfest2014 for having Shadow Marketing as festival sponsors and allowing me to drive your “Twitter machne” it truly was a weekend I will never forget. Looking forward to #promfest2015 already.

PS. Thanks to all you Twitter heads for contributing to #promfest2014 online success – many of you get a mention below.

 

 

 

 

 

#promfest2014 Twitter role of honour

#promfest2014 Twitter role of honour

5 Tips to Optimize Your New Twitter Profile

5 Tips to Optimize Your New Twitter Profile

Twitter

Change is coming to your Twitter profile. Big, beautiful change.

Twitter is currently rolling out a profile redesign to all users, a redesign that puts an even greater emphasis on the great Twitter content that you share and one that provides some bonus opportunities to make a branding splash. Visual content will get a big boost. Top tweets will get a bump. And we’ll all be scrambling to find out what works best on this extreme makeover of our Twitter homes.

While you wait your turn to find your way around your new profile, you might be interested to plan ahead. We collected some Twitter tips from past stories, some psychological studies on marketing best practices, and some ideas on how each of these different factors might combine for some truly terrific tips on how to handle your new Twitter profile.

What’s changed on the new Twitter profiles

The Twitter redesign has a lot of people seeing shades of a certain other highly popular social network. It looks a lot like Facebook.

Here is a before and after of how the new Twitter profiles look.

Before: (I’m still waiting for mine.)

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 6.18.24 AM

After: (Buffer’s Adam Farmer already got his.)

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 6.12.26 AM

The full list of what’s changed appeared on Twitter’s blog when the redesign was announced. Here are the details:

  • Larger profile photos. These photos are now 400 pixels by 400 pixels, the same aspect ratio as before but with larger dimensions.
  • Customizable header image. This main image spans the browser, and users are encouraged to upload a 1500 pixel by 500 pixel image. Your current header image might fit, but the bigger scale might make it look a little fuzzy. (Images sizes are relative to device, too, so you might notice different layouts on different screens.)
  • Best tweets. Your tweets with the most engagement will appear in a larger text size inside your stream of updates.
  • Pinned tweet. You can pin one of your favorite tweets to the top of your profile page.
  • Filtered views. When visiting someone else’s profile, you can choose how to view their tweets: tweets only, tweets plus replies, or tweets with photos or videos.
  • Pinterest-style grid view of your followers, who you’re following, and your visual content.

These changes are being slowly rolled out to users over the next few weeks, so if you haven’t received the new profile yet, your turn is coming.

In addition, new users will start with these profiles, so if you’re at all interested in doing some early test runs to see how the profiles work, you can set up an alternate account and give the new design a go.

How might the new profiles affect you and your social media marketing? We’ve brainstormed some ways that you might be able to take advantage of this Twitter refresh. We’re curious to try these out for ourselves.

1. Header photos: Learn from the best Facebook pages

The comparisons of Twitter’s redesigned profiles to Facebook pages and profiles are obvious. So why not take a page from the most successful Facebook pages?

Many businesses big and small have found a way to use Facebook cover photos effectively. These inspiring samples might pique your own creative ideas for your new Twitter banner. One of my favorite lists of ideas comes from Constant Contact’s roundup of Facebook cover photos. Here are a couple standouts that you might consider trying:

Give back to your community with a user-driven header image

650x350xFB-cover-photos-for-business10.jpg.pagespeed.ic.l3oOjN54md

Show a behind-the-scenes look at your offices or employees

KUHF

Show what you sell – products, services, widgets, or alpacas

Alpaca-600x343

(One minor note here is that you may not want to copy over your Facebook cover photo directly into your Twitter profile because the dimensions may be off. Facebook is 850 pixels by 315 pixels, and Twitter is 1500 pixels by 500 pixels.)

Certainly, the new size for the Twitter header image gives you more real estate to show off a branded message. The previous headers were covered with your Twitter bio and avatar, but these new ones have room to spread out.

What are some of your favorite Facebook pages? Can you take a cue from them when creating a Twitter header image of your own?

2. Pin a tweet that drives an emotion

You now have the ability to pin any tweet of your choosing to the top of your Twitter profile. That’s a lot of freedom. Where to begin?

  • One of your best tweets
  • An upcoming event
  • A new announcement
  • A tweet that summarizes your brand and mission
  • A tweet that drives an emotion

You can go in a lot of different directions with your pinned tweet, so perhaps a good idea to keep in mind is the effect of emotion on your social media marketing.

We covered emotion in-depth in an earlier blog post, hitting on a number of different types of emotion and the feelings they engender. This particular emotion might be especially relevant to your social sharing strategy:

Happiness makes us want to share

Consider pinning a tweet that makes profile visitors feel happy—something positive, funny, or delightful, perhaps —and you might start a chain reaction of sharing.

Emotion in general is a good indicator of effective marketing, as evidenced in a study by IPA dataBank. Their research points to emotional content outperforming rational content nearly two to one.

emotional-vs-rational

3. Share more photos and videos

The value of visual content is a topic near and dear to our hearts (and our experiments) here at Buffer. We have seen great results in adding photos to our tweets and in making those photos as self-explanatory as possible.

By our numbers, tweets with photos outperform those without. Tweets with photos get 18 percent more clicks and 150 percent more retweets.

retweets

So what does this have to do with Twitter’s new redesign?

Well, photos and video are much more prominent with the design refresh. At the top of every profile is a list of links, many of which are familiar from before: Tweets, Followers, Following. One of the new additions is Photos/Videos.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 6.13.06 AM

People who view your profile now have easier access to the visual content that you post. You’re likely already making a push for visual content, so the redesign should just add more incentive to keep your content fresh because it’s now top of mind for everyone.

4. Be aware of Twitter’s No. 1 rule for @-replies 

If you have a tweet that you want the world to see, you should not start the tweet with an @ symbol.

Twitter recognizes this as a reply, part of a larger conversation. As such, these tweets are hidden by default in a number of places around the network, including the redesigned profiles.

The new Twitter timeline filters create distinct views of tweets, tweets plus replies, and tweets with photos and videos.

The default view is simply “Tweets,” minus the @-replies and conversations.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 6.12.48 AM

So if you want to ensure that your content is reaching the masses, be careful about when and how you use the @ symbol. And if you do start your tweet an @, be sure to place a period as the first character.

This type of tweet will end up in a stream:

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 2.58.18 PM

This won’t:

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 2.59.46 PM

5. Rethink your “favoriting” strategy

There are many of us on Twitter who use favoriting as a form of social currency—and we’re all quite generous. I’ve seen examples of people marking tweets as favorites any time a tweet mentions their name or anytime a conversation ends and there’s nothing left to say. Favorites mean different things to different people on Twitter.

How does Twitter feel about favorites?

According to the redesign, favorites might be more important than many of us thought. The new look gives a Favorites tab a prominent place in the main navigation.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 6.13.50 AM

With this new focus, you might consider treating favorites in a different way. One idea is to use them as social proof for your brand. Favorite the recommendations, testimonies, and positive blurbs from your customers and fans, and transform your favorites tab into a board of brand high fives.

How will you use the new Twitter profiles?

If you’ve already started playing with new ideas on the Twitter profiles, what are you trying? What works? If you’re planning ahead on what to do, which of these ideas might you try?

I’d love to help you brainstorm in the comments or hear your ideas on how to best take advantage of the new designs. Oh yeah, we can take the conversation to Twitter, too. :)