Humans tweet up media frenzy

The first phase of the Human Brochure campaign held in Canberra over the weekend induced a social media frenzy, with organisers deeming it successful ''beyond their expectations'' in putting the capital on the holidaymakers' map.

Although some data for determining the campaign's success is still being analysed, Australian Capital Tourism director Ian Hill said even he was surprised at the number of positive remarks from the 250 participants on social media.

''It certainly exceeded our expectations remarkably'', he said.

Since Friday, the ''humans'', largely selected for their social media presence, posted 4300 tweets, 2700 Instagram images and 1100 Facebook comments.

At times so many posts by the ''humans'' were sent to the Human Brochure website it struggled to keep up.

On Twitter, #humanbrochure trended in Australia's top five most-tweeted subjects, higher than events such as Halloween and the Windows 8 launch, indicating the widespread interest the campaign achieved.

Douglas Nicol, creative partner and director at The Works, said the success of a campaign like this was measured by how many people were reached and the sentiment of the posts.

''You would expect a social media program like this to have 80 per cent positive sentiment towards a product or service, and the stats show Canberra is way above that,'' he said.

Mr Hill said so far figures indicated that 92 per cent of the posts were extremely positive, indicating a good result for ACT tourism.

Mr Nicol and Mr Hill said the important thing was that participants had recommended Canberra as a holiday destination to their online followers.

Independent social media expert Hugh Stephens said, however, that measuring how effective a social media campaign is at changing attitudes was difficult.

''It's virtually impossible with campaigns like this one to try and put a number on the return that you're getting, because you have to deal a lot with intangibles - things you can discretely measure,'' he said.

''Sentiment is something that's quite seasonal, so you have to measure it over a long period of time.

''A lot of things that were posted were positive, but as far as conversations around Canberra, it's way too early to tell if there's been an impact,'' Mr Stevens said.

Australian Capital Tourism will meet on Thursday to evaluate the weekend's success and discuss the second phase of the campaign to be held in February.

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