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

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Credit: BuzzFeed

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.

1 Comment

Sharon Fisher

I actually thought those McDonald’s ones were incredibly annoying and not well done.

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