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.

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.

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.

Twitter now lets you track your tweet’s impact on-the-go

Twitter’s analytics tool, which tells you how many people have seen your tweets, among other things, is now on iOS. When you’re out and about, if you’re dying to see whether your latest quip went viral you can view it in the Twitter mobile app. On your tweet’s detail page, you’ll see a “view tweet activity” button. Following it shows you how people engaged with your tweet, the percentage that favorited it compared to overall views, the total tweet impressions, and number of profile clicks it generated.

Suicide prevention charity suspends tweet-scanning service over ethical concerns

The Samaritans suicide prevention charity in the U.K. has suspended its controversial Samaritans Radar Twitter app, which scanned the tweets of people that subscribers follow, in order to find signs of heavy depression and alert the subscribers. Critics, many of whom have experience of mental health issues, pointed out that the app was a gift to stalkers and trolls, and a disincentive to using Twitter to vent. Consent was a major issue, with the people being monitored not even receiving notifications when their tweets were flagged. In a Friday blog post, the Samaritans apologized “to anyone who has inadvertently been caused any distress” and said they would test “potential changes” to the app. The suspension took too long to arrive, but I’m glad it has.

What I learned while live-tweeting a friend’s funeral

Posting to Twitter from someone’s funeral might be seen as inappropriate, but to me it seemed like the perfect way to honor my friend — and it also allowed others to feel as though they were part of the ceremony even though they couldn’t be there.

We are all living inside the notification hell

Like you and millions of others, I find myself trapped inside notification hell. Emails, notifications, tweets, text and instant Messages, Facebook Alerts — are part of our over-notified self. Here is a video that does a great job of capturing this notification hell we live in.

Not banned in Boston: Tweet seats come to a theater near you

In what purists see as capitulation to attention deficit disorder, several Boston theaters plan to offer special “tweet seats” for cell-phone wielding patrons. Boston is following in the footsteps of venues like the Palm Beach Opera and Norma Terris Theater that already breached the tweet/no-tweet divide.

Blaming the tools: Britain proposes a social-media ban

It seems totalitarian states like Egypt aren’t the only ones struggling with the impact of social media and the desire to muzzle services like Twitter and Facebook. Britain says it’s considering a ban on social media in the wake of the riots in London.

Project Runway brings fan voting to Twitter

Project Runway viewers are already big social media users, sharing thoughts about the show while watching it live. So why not use Twitter as a way for fans to vote for their favorite contestant. That was the thinking behind Project Runway‘s Fan Favorite contest.