Perhaps it was the rainy weather, perhaps it was the fact that four well known local Twitter users appeared live on the show, or perhaps it was just the conversations, but Dubai Eye 103.8FM’s Dubai Today show really got the UAE’s Twitter community buzzing on Tuesday.
On hearing about local social media folk heroes Wild Peeta’s presentation at the Corporate Communications Conference on Monday, Dubai Today presenter Jessica Swann (a.k.a.@JessicaSwann on Twitter) was keen to have the speakers on the show. Tiring of more traditional conference presentations, Wild Peeta had turned to their fans and, somewhat bravely, had asked four of their social media followers to talk about Wild Peeta’s social media campaign and business on its behalf: on 24 hours notice, unvetted and unrehearsed. So, Spot On’s Alexander McNabb (a.k.a.@AlexanderMcnabb), Mohamed Younes Parham Al Awadhi (@wildpeeta), Paul Castle (@DaddyBird) and Uzma Atcha (@Lhjunkie) were cordially invited to appear on Dubai Today (as was @yahya101 who sadly couldn’t make it to the studio at short notice).
Spot On PR notified its social media followers in advance, as it usually does about Alexander’s public appearances, as did Wild Peeta, together with Twitter reminders just before the show. However, the reaction to Tuesday’s show took us all a bit by surprise! Whilst not strictly accurate, as one tweep put it, everyone on Twitter was listening to Dubai Today!
Encouraged to use the Dubai Today Twitter hashtag #DubaiToday, within a couple of hours listeners had not only made the tag ‘trend’ locally (as tracked by UAETweets.com), but had made #DubaiToday trend globally (appear on Twitter list of top tags in use). By mid-show (Dubai Today runs between 9am and 12 noon) #DubaiToday tweets were peaking at more than 200 tweets per hour and over the course of four hours, more than 500 tweets were exchanged continuing discussions on Dubai Today, including contributions to the show that were read live on air. By the end of the day, 118 Twitter users had taken part in conversations with and about the Dubai Today show by using the #DubaiToday tag and had tweeted some 700 times between 8am and 8pm Tuesday.
No cash prizes, no crisis, no scoop
It’s worth noting that the reaction on Twitter was in response to a fairly intellectual discussion about the merits of social media marketing. There was no competition for expensive air tickets or cash prizes, nor any significant breaking news. This was simply mid-morning talk radio where the conversation seemed to strike a chord with the online community.
During the same time-frame Spot On saw between 250 and 350 click-throughs on its links inviting social media users to listen live to Dubai Eye (sorry, this is as accurate as we can be with this statistic), which it had posted across a range of social networking sites on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, including Twitter.
Meanwhile many elements of online conversations surrounding the Dubai Today show did not use the Dubai Today show hashtag at all, and so the number of tweets inspired by and about Dubai Today discussion topics on Tuesday was far in excess of 700, perhaps double.
In terms of engagement, this is really quite impressive. For sure, the Dubai Today show has never been able to engage 118 telephone callers on a single show, and yet 118 people had their say (obviously in addition to those that sent emails, SMS messages or called-in to the show). Many brands are delighted to generate a few comments on their product or service per day. Dubai Today got hundreds of comments on Tuesday, more than 80% of them during a four hour period over the show. It’s also worth noting that we’re not talking about views, visits to online content or passive radio listeners: this was 118 people that were engaged and responded in some way to the radio shows content.
And how many people did Dubai Today reach on Tuesday via Twitter? We will never know exactly. However, what we can tell you is that the 118 Twitter users who tweeted using the #DubaiToday hashtag had combined aggregate following of 71,500 Twitter users. Also that the likelihood is that as many as 200 were involved in related conversations, if we were to count those that didn’t specifically use the #DubaiToday hashtag. And that many (if not most) of the Twitter users involved probably had offline conversations of some kind about Dubai Today. That’s a lot of conversations.
The power of twalk radio!
Update 4 March 2010
You can now listen to some of the discussions aired on Tuesday’s Dubai Today program via Dubai Eye’s podcast page.