Cat Gloria is a Sophomore at the University of Florida. She is currently interning with Olytico as part of the CAPA study abroad programme.
Dubliners packed into the Iveagh Gardens Thursday June 15th to Sunday the 18th to taste a diverse selection of dishes from squid-ink risotto to fresh fondant cupcakes. What brought them there? Ireland’s premiere food and drink festival: Taste of Dublin. The celebration of food brought in upwards of 30,000 food lovers. Being a food blogger myself, I knew I had to taste what the talk was about so I attended the festival on the opening night.
The very first Taste of Dublin was back in 2006 with only fifteen restaurants participating; this year over twenty of the finest restaurants in Ireland came to serve food. This year’s theme was “Flavours of the World”, reflecting Dublin’s ever diversifying food landscape, so restaurants were asked to incorporate a foreign ingredient into their dishes. In addition, drinks and entertainment made for an unforgettable event.
The hype carried over into social media during the fun-filled days and far after the festival was over. At Olytico, we monitored hashtags like #TasteOfDublin and social media activity around the event to understand how Ireland felt about this year’s festival.
— Dr Darina Coffey (@darinacoffey) June 17, 2017
Tracking the event on Twitter
We tracked social media activity around the event from weeks in advance all the way through the Monday after the event. People were already talking about the event a couple weeks before the doors opened and a steady stream of content flowed in throughout the weekend of the festival. Over five days, Olytico analysed 10,773 tweets, published by a total of 3,618 accounts. Collectively, the tweets generated over 55.4 million potential impressions.
Because Taste is a global brand, we had to be wary of mixing in social media response to other events going on around the world. The weekend of Taste of Dublin coincided with two other Taste festivals in London and Helinski. To avoid factoring in response to these other festivals, we excluded tags that weren’t Dublin-specific from our analysis. However, #Taste17 (2,583 tweets), which was the official hashtag, was the top hashtag in our analysis. The second most-tweeted? #TasteOfDublin of course, with 839 tweets.
— Urchin Bar (@UrchinDublin) June 17, 2017
Top hashtags linked to giveaways
Many of the trending hashtags were started by different companies selling at the festival instead of event-goers, an interesting dynamic that shows the power of businesses over social content. A giveaway theme was seen in the top hashtags with #competition (412 tweets), #win (385 tweets) and #giveaway (67 tweets) influenced by several restaurants at the festival who offered tickets for re-tweets, such as Flavour Safari.
More winning hashtags were #SmallBatch (179 tweets) and #DBFreebie (74 tweets) driven by Teeling Whiskey and Dublin Bus who also offered free passes to the festival. Dublin Bus’ original tweet offering the tickets was also the most re-tweeted of all festival content (212 re-tweets), and Teeling’s took third (175 re-tweets). This just goes to show how much people will do for free tickets.
— Teeling Whiskey (@TeelingWhiskey) June 12, 2017
— dublinbusnews (@dublinbusnews) June 8, 2017
Not surprisingly, the most-talked-about tweet was from Avis Ireland (41 replies), also offering free tickets to the festival. And News Talk’s tweet featuring a VIP ticket giveaway got the most exposure with 670,568 impressions in total.
— AVIS Ireland (@AvisIreland) May 25, 2017
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) June 12, 2017
Other top hashtags
In a non-competitive spirit, some of the top hashtags referred to the handy-dandy online food ordering and waiter service provided at the festival: #JustEatWaiters (78 tweets) and #FindYourFlavour (118 tweets). The hashtag #fw20years (84 tweets) also trended celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Food & Wine Magazine.
— Róisín Glynn (@RoisinGlynn) June 17, 2017
The official Taste of Dublin twitter account was the top contributor, with over 9.9M impressions on their 600 tweets. Other top contributors came from two groups: publications and companies. Usually having the most followers, these groups tend to have a large influence on what is talked about on Twitter, in this case about Taste of Dublin.
The top-two publications were Irish Times (2,495,052 impressions) and Independent (1,966,955 impressions). An Irish Times article was actually the URL from the event with the most impressions (1,221,788), the article gave people insight into this year’s food before the festival even started.
The top-two contributing companies were Just Eat with 2,218,707 impressions and Food & Wine Magazine with 1,666,523 impressions, both of which were at the festival.
— Taste of Dublin 🍴🍾 (@TasteDublin) June 18, 2017
— Irish Times Food (@IrishTimesFood) June 17, 2017
What did people tweet?
The word cloud contains the Top 100 terms found in the 10,775 tweets analysed. The larger the word, the more often it appeared.
The top word talked about regarding the festival was TasteDublin (7,083 tweets). Taste17 (2,583 tweets) came in second, and Taste (2,020 tweets) in third. Tickets (1,833 tweets) and Win (1,513 tweets) were next up due to all of the competitions. Nevenmaguire (913 tweets) was one of the chefs who taught at the festival.
In addition to Twitter, Instagram proved to be one of the foodies’ favourite outlet to share their experience at Taste of Dublin. Olytico analysed several hashtags, such as #TasteOfDublin, to get a handle on the numbers. Unlike on Twitter, the daily volume of content on Instagram peaked Sunday although the numbers were fairly consistent on all of the event days.
The top-two posts with the most likes both came from cookbook-author and blogger Rozanna Purcell, receiving 3,879 likes combined on her photos advertising her cooking demos at the festival. Also the top publisher, she generated the most exposure with 580,100 impressions perhaps due to her large following of 193K Instagram users.
The most talked about Instagram post was from Lovin Dublin, with 58 comments. People tagged their friends in the post picturing the gin tent at the festival. The second-most talked-about post featured a contest for festival tickets from the Camden Court Hotel, with 20 comments in total.
Surprisingly, Rozanna Purcell surpassed the official festival account as the most-liked publisher with a total of 5,062 likes for the weekend. So the second most-liked publisher was the official Taste of Dublin Instagram account with 4,667 likes on their 138 posts about the event. The posts featured high-quality images covering all aspects of the festival; the food, drinks and most importantly, the people. The visually-appealing posts made the account also the most talked-about with 129 comments, and most-seen with 1.6M impressions.
The enormous response on social media to this year’s Taste of Dublin just goes to show how food not only brings people together, but sparks a universal conversation. The talk on social media really enhanced the event itself; each picture, tweet and post added to the excitement. Not surprisingly, each year the popularity of the festival grows and more and more people attend. At Olytico we understand the power of effective social media communications and appreciate our role in helping leading festivals to benchmark their activities. We recognize the importance of identifying actionable insights each year so that they can build on consumers expectations and deliver better festivals year on year. To find out more about Social Media Monitoring, get in touch here https://olytico.com/contact/.