Real-time brand tweeting is an art, not a science

As everyone knows, there’s a second kind of competition going on during the Super Bowl, and it has nothing to do with football, commercials, or puppies: The Twitter Bowl. Which brand can win the pithy, real-time Twitter conversation?

Oreo famously slam-dunked this in 2013 with its “dunk in the dark” tweet after the Super Bowl power went out. It received thousands of retweets and favorites and became a textbook case on real-time Twitter marketing.

This year, it looks like McDonalds and Buzzfeed were two such winners, according to social analytics company Social Radar. Among other things, Social Radar tracks the spikes and dips in Twitter activity around the Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands and Techmeme tech media leaderboard, analyzing the number of favorites, retweets, and replies to companies like eBay and The Washington Post.

During the 2015 Super Bowl, McDonalds was the cause of several big spikes which raised the engagement average for the entire Interbrand 100. It did so by tweeting live to other brands’ commercials, complimenting them and giving away the products free (even a car) to some of the people who retweeted them according to an AdAge story. Its own Super Bowl commercial wasn’t the most shared across social media sites — that honor went to Budweiser — but it claimed its crown in Twitter conversing.

Social Radar’s Tech Media Index includes top 95 tech media companies ranging from Bloomberg to Gigaom, as listed in the Techmeme leader board. Buzzfeed took the prize for top Twitter Super Bowl game. Not surprising given the company’s mastery of viral content and its substantial audience. Its peak tweets made fun of Katy Perry’s halftime show.

https://twitter.com/BuzzFeed/status/562069630492372993/photo/1

Buzzfeed and McDonalds didn’t necessarily have the most creative real-time tweets of the game. There were plenty of others who clearly planned in advance, like Cheerios, which tweeted a picture of a cheerio to represent people’s shocked open mouths during the final minutes of the game.

https://twitter.com/cheerios/status/562083246876684289/photo/1

Despite perfect timing and creative marketing, Cheerios’ tweet didn’t quite take off like those of McDonalds and Buzzfeed. It received hundreds of retweets and favorites instead of thousands.

Looks like real-time brand tweeting is an art, not a science.

Facebook is considering adding a type of “dislike” button

On Thursday, Facebook held its second ever public Town Hall (here’s our coverage of the first). It’s a chance for Facebook users to ask CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the product, the company and his vision. Here are the highlights:

The dislike button

Facebook is thinking about introducing a type of “dislike” button, but it’s not sold on the idea. Zuckerberg said the company has been considering new variations on the like button for some time.

“There are more sentiments people want to express than just positivity,” Zuckerberg said. When people share moments that are sad or controversial, there isn’t a quick, easy way to empathize with them. “People tell us they aren’t comfortable pressing ‘like’ when someone lost a loved one,” Zuckerberg offered as an example.

However, don’t expect the company to roll out a “dislike” button right away. Some people have asked Facebook for a dislike button so they can express negativity. “We don’t think that’s good for the world,” Zuckerberg said. “We’re not going to build that.”

Instead, Facebook is going to figure out ways to express other sentiments besides just positivity.

Getting silly with it

The rest of the Q & A carried on with a mix of quirky and compelling questions.

Several got big laughs from the audience. One woman wanted to know Zuckerberg’s favorite pizza toppings. (“If you’re going to be eating pizza you might as well have fried chicken on top.”) Another asked him, “If we were married, how would you handle Facebook with our daughter?” (Leniently.) A third thanked him for driving up the price of her home with the Facebook campus. (“That’s the first time anyone has ever thanked me for having Facebook raise housing prices!”)

Was Zuckerberg not told about the emotions study?

On a more serious note, Zuckerberg addressed the emotions testing study that garnered Facebook a lot of criticism earlier this year. He implied, but didn’t outright state, that he wasn’t told about the experiment beforehand. “Anything that might affect how you share stuff, that’s something I should know about,” Zuckerberg said. “The way we did it, I think we could have done it a lot better.” He went on to explain that in the future Facebook will have systems to ensure “the right people within the company know about it” and “can decide whether it’s an appropriate or right thing to be testing.”

Graph search

The last piece of product news Zuckerberg shared was around Graph Search. The company wants to roll it out in different languages and other parts of the world, but it has struggled in developing the product. “It’s a lot of work — there are so many different posts on Facebook,” Zuckerberg said. “I think there’s a trillion posts.” Since Graph Search must comb them all to serve relevant answers, it’s a huge undertaking. Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook hasn’t made it easy for the community to tap into its network’s knowledge, whether around places, restaurants, movies or more.

“I’m an impatient person so it’s taking longer than I want to roll out search in other parts of the world,” he said. “We hope to deliver this sometime soon.”

This post was updated with more details as the Q & A unfolded.

Facebook introduces Like button to mobile apps

Facebook’s “Like” button has gone native on mobile. As of Thursday, Android and iOS developers are able to add it inside their apps, giving users the ability to “like” an article, the app itself, certain content within the app, or the app’s Facebook page. Those likes will then appear on the user’s Facebook profile the same way their desktop browser “likes” do. It’s closing the loop, so that mobile app creators can turn their users into Facebook fans without having to reach them via a website or email.

Facebook store flops demand a shift in emphasis

Last week, a negative Bloomberg story about Facebook storefronts described how GameStop, Gap, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom had closed their Facebook stores. That doesn’t mean retailers should give up. Instead, they should put their Facebook stores in the hands of their marketing and promotions staff and prioritize marketing objectives over sales.

Ping Gets Better, But is it Enough?

Apple’s first update to version 10 of its media player software iTunes brings some great improvements for Ping. It shows that Cupertino actually cares about the success of the product, and that it’s interested in what users have to say about its services.