Ok so its not a big thing right. It’s twitter.
Well yes, it is a big thing, it’s the Building Awards.
The Building Awards ‘celebrates and rewards excellence and outstanding performance in the UK construction industry’. As far as I can tell it is one of the biggest construction awards nights of the year in the UK.
Held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the 2014 Building Awards which were held last night attracted over 1200 people, who were entertained by Rory Bremner and awards presented by James Corden. A bit like the Brits for UK Construction then.
And it was big on twitter too – 816 tweets sent by 313 contributors to date and counting, as I ran a report this morning as people were just travelling in to work. No doubt the hashtag #BuildingAwards will be used a lot more in the next few days.
Something went wrong
So its big. But the problem is, if you were following the specially created @BuildingAwards account hoping to see the winners, you wouldn’t have seen the winning announcements in your home stream, at least, not most of them.
This is why.
Here are a selection of tweets from the @BuildingAwards account announcing the winners as they were announced on the night.
One of the first awards to be announced was Turner and Townsend’s award for Consultant of the Year. Here’s the tweet.
@turnertownsend WIN Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the Year (>100 staff) @haysnews #buildingawards
— Building Awards (@buildingawards) April 2, 2014
Now quite a few people saw this tweet. They saw it if they were following a search for the hashtag #BuildingAwards. They saw it if they followed @TurnerTownsend and @BuildingAwards. But if they didn’t follow @TurnerTownsend (and perhaps they wouldn’t, if they were one of the shortlisted other consultancies) then they wouldn’t have seen the tweet in their home stream, because the @TurnerTownsend username was right at the front of the tweet.
So great for Turner and Townsend and all their followers (who also follow @BuildingAwards) but not so good for anyone else wanting to know who wins the awards.
When I noticed this mistake by the team running the @BuildingAwards twitter account I tweeted them about it, but they didn’t reply. Either they were too busy or the tweets were scheduled in advance (which would be a bit risky!). In any case they didn’t change the pattern for any of the corporate winners. If they had a twitter account, the username went right to the front of the announcement.
This only changed once the individual awards were announced like this:
Chief Executive of the Year goes to Vincent Clancy, CEO @TurnerTownsend @BentleySystems #buildingawards#buildingaward
— Building Awards (@buildingawards) April 2, 2014
What is the effect of this mistake? Difficult to tell. The @BuildingAwards account has over 4000 followers, but only a proportion of them follow each of the finalists – why would they?
Of course if you were following the hashtag you’d see all the tweets that included it, so that was a way round. But it seems to me to negate the point of having a dedicated twitter account to announce the winners if your followers won’t be able to see the announcements.
A lesson Learned?
Next time you send a tweet with someone’s @handle in it, think about who is going to see it. Then my work here is done.
PS I first wrote about this phenomenon back in 2009 with a post called ‘Twitter: How to Reply’.
PPS If the @BuildingAwards team would like to learn more about how to use twitter properly and effectively perhaps they might like to come along to the Twitter for Professionals workshop I’m running about it at the Building Centre on 29th April. Or perhaps not!
PPPS Congratulations to all the winners!
Great stuff – wise words throughout!
Thank you Julian
Martin Brown says
Su, an important lesson and as you say it IS a big thing, with twitter now the established medium for instant news sharing from events and in particular awards events.
Through lack of important twitter syntax /understanding of how twitter works, the reach and impact of the tweets from building awards was very much restricted.
To understand how restricted I ran a quick check through Tweetbinder (a service I use to monitor and understand the effectiveness, reach and impact of tweetchats and of course to learn for future chats). For #buildingawards it showed 351 contributors, 450k reach and 1.9 million impact (the number of times a #building awards could have been seen)
I would have thought the numbers to be much higher than this for the most prestigious of awards – compare with say be2campawards that had 351 contributors (same as building awards!) but a reach of 732k and impact of 7.5 million, or with our recent tweetchat on CSR that only had 39 contributors, but managed an impact of over 3 million.
A number of reasons for this, key being as you stated if you were not following the winners you wouldn’t have seen them. Also lack for pre-announcement using the hashtag perhaps missed the opportunity to build a buzz and engage with construction industry influencers / amplifiers (the 1st use of #buildawards seemed to be once on the 30 March and then not really used again until morning of the awards)
Lesson here though is for Building Awards to now really analyse and understand the statistics behind the #buildingaward ‘campaign’ for the next one.
Tweetbinder report is here – http://twtb.in/TElk8QA8nbO
Thanks Martin, and thanks for running a Tweetbibder report. Yes the reach statistics are a little disappointing given the importance of the event.
One of the things about the Be2awards is that they had some experienced tweeters live blogging and tweeting the event, so quality as well as quantity. I wonder if that is a factor.
It is difficult for established media companies to feel they can get outsiders in to help spread their message. After all they are experienced journalists used to a big audience for their content. But social media is a different animal requiring different skills. They aren’t hard to learn, or you can hire them in. Not accepting there is a problem is a bit embarrassing though.
Gary Lewis says
Really interesting report, thankyou. There are 100s of these award nights – the home automation industry just celebrated ours – I am going to go back over the organisers tweets and check your point. Thanks again.
You’re welcome Gary. Its a little thing, but just goes to show that its isn’t always simple to pick up a new technology and make it work how you want. Let us know if you find any clangers!