BlackBerry’s rocky week shows the power of social media

July 03, 2013, 8:47 AM GMT+0

YouGov CEO, Stephan Shakespeare, analyses Blackberry’s volatile week on Twitter

Last Friday, mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry released disappointing first quarter results. As might be expected, this caused a ripple on social media – but it was not the only Twitter spike for the brand last week.

Using YouGov’s social media tools, we can compare how three very different BlackBerry stories reverberated.

There was little conversation about BlackBerry on Facebook, so I will focus on Twitter. Starting with the volume of tweets about a brand, we can see that Friday was the biggest day but Tuesday, when BlackBerry’s Secure Work Space solution was launched, was not far behind. On both days there were around 2.5 times as many tweets about the brand as on an average day.

So in terms of generating volume, the good news and the bad news created virtually the same amount. Yet when it comes to the percentage of the UK Twitter population hearing about the brand, or its reach, the results story had by far the greater impact. On Tuesday, BlackBerry reached 12% of the Twitter population, only a little higher than average. Later in the week it hit 30%.

Yet on Wednesday, mentions of BlackBerry reached 50% of the UK Twitter population without an increase in volume. How did this happen? A single tweet from Stephen Fry – “Well! Fabulous day at Wimbledon, but entirely forgot phone. Managed to charge the BlackBerry Q10 which I left in the car, battery dead” – caused a greater spike than all the tweets on the two other days combined.

What do I take from an analysis of these three days? Different events cause very different impacts on social media. To know what it means you have to have your eye on volume, reach and how both translate to the real world.

This article originally appeared in City AM