Twitter Trends: Foursquare, Highlight and JayZ at SXSW

SXSW is long over, but we got curious about something, so we’re putting together one last post. The event is the most connected, most wired and the most cutting-edge conference around. In particular the SXSW interactive component, SXSWi, is where the coolest Web, mobile and social networking ideas get their first showings.

Of course, everyone’s tweeting during SXSW, and our data analyst friends decided to analyze the hundreds of thousands of tweets that included the #SXSW hashtag to see what attendees were talking about.

SWSW Tweet Chart

Here’s the details on each:

  • #Foursquare: Words like “badge” and “unlocked” were part of tens of thousands of tweets. Foursquare was in full effect at the show, being used as a powerful marketing tool to a connected audience that’s predisposed to respond to it.
  • #JayZ: Jay-Z’s American Express-sponsored appearance with Kanye West at a March 12th show lit up the Twitterverse. The in-person crowd wasn’t large, but the YouTube live feed of the show drew a huge online audience, many of whom tweeted their opinions of the concert throughout.
  • #Pinterest: This latest Internet darling (and perhaps the first super-successful social media idea to really skew to the female demographic) was a topic of much discussion. Can online bulletin boards holding pretty pictures collected by users as they browse the Web turn into a moneymaking marketing tool? Maybe. Many publications and stores have already launched their own Pinterest pages.
  • #Kony2012: This wildly successful social media campaign that drew attention to civil war and violence in Uganda was just as popular at SXSW as it was to the rest of cyberspace during SXSW week.
  • Highlight Smartphone#Highlight: The breakout star of the show, Highlight, an app that identifies nearby strangers who have the same interests as you, was a big hit with attendees. Of course, such a tool is destined to work well at a conference packed with like-minded people. How well it would work on the streets of any major city remains to be seen.
  • #SocialMedia: It’s no surprise that social media would be a popular topic of discussion at SXSWi, which is basically designed to push social media into the future.
  • #Swarm: This generic hashtag, attached to any tweet that is trying to rally a crowd to do something somewhere, was high-ranking in our analysis. Flash mobs aren’t what they used to be, but there’s still a desire for people to connect face-to-face, no matter how isolating our technology can be.
  • #LeanStartup: Eric Ries, the creator of the lean startup movement, held a one-day seminar to teach attendees the principles of super fast, super cheap, and super agile business startups.
  • #IJustPlantedATree: During SXSWi, Nokia planted 44,000 trees in Texas after inviting 50 Twitter influencers to promote the hashtag #ijustplantedatree for 48 hours. Each tweet with that hashtag triggered the planting of five trees. There was even an online leader board to keep track of who planted the most trees.
  • #Tacos: Whether it was the Today Show food truck, the CNN food truck, the Mashable food truck, or any other of dozens of food trucks, tweeters couldn’t get enough of the free food that was handed out all around SXSW. Attendees put down their iPhones just long enough to pick up their free breakfast burrito.

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