A little birdy was telling me…

Nearly a year ago the record for the most number of Tweets per second was set during the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona at Wembley Stadium.  On average during the game, 6,303 tweets were sent PER SECOND.  This record surpassed the 5,530 tweets per second that were received during the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March 2011.

Since that day at Wembley the record has been broken on over a dozen occasions.  But what is interesting is the events that have pushed the record upwards and how they reflect on the society we live in.  Despite some historic events taking place in the world, the current top ten events are still dominated by sport and music.

Take the death of ex-Apple CEO Steve Jobs in October 2011.  Amazingly less people tweeted about this than his resignation a few months before.  However, neither event comes close to the FIFA Womens World Cup Final where Japan beat the USA or the announcement of her pregnancy by Beyonce at the MTV Music Awards.

The record currently stands at an amazing 25,088 Tweets per Second set in December 2011 during the Japanese TV programme Castle In The Sky where the viewers were asked to tweet in their support for a character in the programme. However, it is hard to believe that this record will last for long, especially with two of the biggest sporting events in the world coming up during the summer.

In June the eyes of the sporting world will be focused on Poland and Ukraine for the European Football Championships.  With England taking part (well for at least the first two weeks), the number of tweets per second will surely hit the 15 million mark during their games.  We have already seen the record set by the NFL Super Bowl in February surpassed by a number of football games featuring English teams and so it will be no surprise to see football once again be a major trending topic.

A few weeks after the tournament the world’s media will descend on London for the start of the Olympic games.  It would take a brave man to bet against the record being shattered in the thirty seconds before, during and after the “greatest race on earth”, the 100 metre sprint final.

With over 900 iPhones sold per minute around the world, it is not hard to see why the record will continue to be broken.  Smartphones have made it very easy to update what we are saying, seeing, doing and above all thinking and with our ability to watch events unfold on the move means the news finds us and not vice verca.

So what does that mean for brand owners? For the right positioning it can be huge.  Take Beyonce’s decision to reveal she was pregnant.  The hashtag #MTVAwards was being tweeted thousands of times per second around the world.  Such global advertising would have normally cost millions.

Some commentators still think Social Media is a fad that will eventually disappear.  I assume they were the same people who once worked at Microsoft and thought the Internet would never take off.

Written by Stuart Fuller, Director of Communications Group NBT.
NetNames is a part of Group NBT Limited.

10 May 2012