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Examining the decrease in social media activity for events

This data was originally features in the March 22, 2023 newsletter found here: https://www.trustinsights.ai/blog/2023/03/inbox-insights-march-22-2023-fact-checking-ai-social-media-at-conferences/

In this week’s Data Diaries, we decrease in social media activity for events. We noticed something recently as we were doing our network maps for Social Media Marketing World. While we couldn’t put our finger on it exactly, it felt like there was less public social media activity than previously. However, a hunch does not make an analysis, so we did what we always do: pulled the data.

In this exploration, we extracted the public Twitter data using the appropriate hashtags for 6 major events since 2016:

  • Content Marketing World
  • Social Media Marketing World
  • MarketingProfs B2B Forum
  • Dreamforce
  • Mobile World Congress

What did we find?

Chart of conference tweets

What we see is clear evidence that across the board, all conferences and events took the expected hit during the peak years of the pandemic; however, content creation on Twitter for events has been steadily dropping well before the pandemic. Things are slowly building back; 2022 was a rebuilding year.

However, for many events, the overall trend is clear on Twitter: decreased public social media content creation.

Now, before we jump to conclusions, there are a variety of reasons this could be the case, none of which the data exposes:

  1. Yes, it’s possible conferences are getting less engaging.
  2. It’s equally possible conferences are getting more engaging and attendees are getting more value from being at the event, which means less time on social media during the event.
  3. It’s possible that other social networks have become more important to attendees such as Instagram, Tiktok, etc. and conference content postings have moved to those networks.
  4. It’s possible that private social media communities and conference apps have improved to the point where conversations on public social media have moved into private, walled gardens.
  5. It’s possible that people in general are less enamored of social media at events and are simply choosing not to post content as much.

So what? What are the key takeaways here? If you’re a conference organizer, recognize that social media engagement has taken a hit year after year for most events on Twitter. If you’re using social media as a proof point of your event’s popularity, that tactic may be past its prime. If you’re a conference attendee, chances are organizers are still trying to get social media attention to their event and with less content being created at events, the chance for you to stand out and be noticed is greater.

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