Like Me? Follow Me.
The Super Bowl on Sunday proved just how important social media interaction has become for companies, with many regarding online interaction as just as important as the 30-second TV advert slots.
Social media monitoring tool Brandwatch recorded the 6,711,989 tweets relating to the games thirty five sponsors and ranked the companies in terms of the number of tweets and whether it was a positive or negative comment. The overall winner on the night was NBC with 41,545 people commenting on Twitter. Other companies, such as Coca Cola also used Twitter to interact with their audience live after their advert with the help of the brands famous polar bears.
However, Mars’s recent campaign to offer celebrities a four figure sum to post a number of ‘tweets’ regarding the companies Snickers bar has shown the clear controversy and dangers of using social media for commercial ends.
In January, Rio Ferdinand posted a series of tweets to his 1,986,393 followers appearing to suggest the footballer had found a new hobby:
As well as many other followers of Rio, I was beyond bemused by these tweets and the one that followed, which featured a picture of Rio holding a Snickers bar and the slogan “You’re not you when you’re #hungry #spon”.
Photo taken from Lockerz - http://lockerz.com/s/177408824
Rio wasn’t the only one with the likes of Katie Price and Cher Lloyd posting messages about China’s GDP and quantitative easing respectively, followed by a promotional picture of them and the chocolate bar.
Once I found out it was an advertising ploy, I actually thought Mars were being rather clever and entertaining and almost one hundred people also showed their appreciation by retweeting the picture.
However, many large corporations are still learning from their mistakes on the social media platform. Last week McDonalds hoped their sponsored campaign using the hashtag #McDStories would inspire heart-warming stories about Happy Meals and enjoyable scenarios over a cup of fresh-bean coffee. Instead the plan backfired and attracted a large number of McDonald’s critics who turned it into a #bashtag to share horrible experiences.
The fast food company pulled the campaign within two hours, but the #McDStories had gathered too much steam and instead McDonalds had to discover the hard way that crowd-sourced campaigns are seriously hard to control, let alone stop.
How to Prevent Negative Responses on Twitter
If your business is currently using social media to gain more attention and to interact with your target audience, then these examples should be used to understand the fine line between what online audiences find clever and what they believe to be crass. Your content should be engaging and interesting rather than simply a clear advertising ploy. This will be the key to enticing new ‘followers’ and ‘likes’ to your page.