A SOCIAL media initiative that sparked an outpouring of pride in Limerick shows no signs of slowing down and has demonstrated a global reach since it was launched on Monday.
The #LimerickandProud Twitter trend, started by local councillor Daniel Butler as a reaction to Donal MacIntyre’s Breaking Crime programme, which was broadcast on TV3 on Monday night, continues to unfold.
Mr Butler tweeted in response to the programme: “Can we try get #LimerickAndProud trending?”
The Twitter response was immediate and massive with people sharing pictures and simple messages about their pride in Limerick. There were almost four million impressions for the trend over a 12-hour period.
An analysis of the hashtag done for the Limerick Leader by Newsaccess Media Intelligence monitoring agency has demonstrated that over 4,000 tweets were sent using #LimerickandProud, with an extremely high engagement level of 97% - not typical for such trends.
It is also estimated that the potential reach of the tweets –the maximum potential Twitter audience based an aggregate number of followers of each account that either tweeted or engaged with the hashtag – runs to a staggering 38 million.
“From the latest view I have, it has a very high potential reach, it is around 38m accounts that could have potentially been reached since Monday,” said Paul Moriarty, head of insight with Newsaccess.
“It is probably one of the best examples of the organic hashtag. So this is something that is not sponsored by a particular company, it is not something like the #LimerickGiant last year that was a specific event, it purely came from one man’s brain and was unleashed on Twitter.
“The most interesting part, by comparison to the #LimerickGiant or sponsored tweets, is that engagement level that really shows that people felt an emotional connection to the tweets. You are looking at about 97% engagement, which is a seriously high level.
“The amount of people that are individually tweeting are actually finding that people are reacting to what they are saying, almost with every tweet that they send, and that wouldn’t be the norm with Twitter trends,” added Paul, himself a Limerick native.
While the bulk of interaction was in Ireland, a high percentage of engagement has come from North America and Australia, with interaction from Japan to Finland and other far flung destinations.
Reacting to the social media storm, Cllr Butler said it was “great to see Limerick people empowering themselves and being proud of their city. “Sometimes when we see things in the national media, we can often become defensive when we have nothing necessarily to defend. It is good to see pride in our city and it has been a great thing, it has gone all over the world and back again.”
The councillor for Limerick City West said it was “a positive message, giving out positive energy”.
“City of Culture has had a role to play in that, there is a renewed sense of pride in our city and a new engagement and being active in promoting it,” he explained.
Nigel Dugdale, who represents the Limerick City Business Association and works with Limerick Marketing Company, has has been key to the development of the trend. The @limerickcitybiz account he manages was the top influencer of tweets and Nigel said the reaction was “phenomenal”.
“I think it is an opportunity now for us to take that hashtag and turn it into a marketing tool that will allow people around the world to talk about their love for home and people internally to talk about their thoughts and spread out a positive message,” he added.
“You couldn’t pay for advertising like that. It is a phenomenal reaction and it was a good idea.”