Last week’s solar eclipse was marketing gold for many US companies. Campaigns will have been planned for months with NASA-style precision. But did all that planning turn into engagement success on social media? Or were some brands left in the dark?
Can you guess which of these four posts ‘eclipsed’ the rest?
We've looked at which Facebook posts got the most engagement on the subject.
- 1) LADbible's repost of a tweet about pug dogs?
- 2) ABC News' live video of the eclipse?
- 3) Tarot.com's guide to finding your solar identity?
- 4) Or raw food aficionado David 'Avocado' Wolfe's eclipse slideshow?
Answer: The pugs.
Don’t believe us? Then take a look at the breakdown below of the top four Facebook posts talking about the ‘solar eclipse’ over the last two months.
Not only did LADbible's pugs win out, the others had nothing to do with science (let's not get into a debate about astronomy versus astrology...).
Actually, talking of astronomy, where’s NASA in that list??
This is where your choice of keyword becomes important, because NASA didn’t talk about the ‘solar eclipse’. They instead used the wording ‘eclipse of the sun’. They also led with the official hashtag #Eclipse2017.
Let’s take a quick look at the official hashtag. Which of these four Facebook posts do you think got the most interactions with #Eclipse2017? Was it:
- 1) NASA's live video post?
- 2) A donut explainer video from Texan retailer, Junk Gypsy?
- 3) A cute video from the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society in South Dakota?
- 4) Or Ivanka Trump's post on the event, with pictures from the White House?
Okay, so NASA nailed that one with 1,812,724 interactions. But let’s take a look at those others for a minute shall we? (especially the kittens, you should definitely click on the kittens).
If you were asked what an animal shelter, a Texan clothes brand and Ivanka Trump had in common, you'd expect the answer to be around some incredulous clickbait fake news story, not that they'd have some of the most engaged Facebook posts on #Eclipse2017.
So what does all this tell us?
- Relevance is relative: It’s clear from this that you don’t have to have anything to do with the subject to get a HUGE amount of engagement from your posts.
- You need to stay true to your fan base: These top posts may not have been related to the eclipse directly, but they did all stay true to their own brand and fans. They recognized that their followers were also interested in the eclipse and made best use of that.
- Video is effective: It’s an incredibly effective medium for conveying a complex issue in very simple terms. Cute and/or funny videos are also a winner (to be fair, cats have been known to rule the internet - there was even a museum exhibit in New York dedicated to that fact...)
Popular posts = creative fuel: other people's content can provide you with creative ways for improving engagement for your own campaign. For instance, curating the most popular posts from other users into one easy to access article is a quick win for gaining more engagement. Another is to analyze what type of content people are engaging with the most. Three of the top eclipse posts were 'explainer' videos using donuts, dogs and cats. NASA - and others - can use this approach in future campaigns as they're clearly successful.
- You can’t ‘own’ a hashtag: You may start the campaign, but once it’s out there, you have very little control over it. This can be a positive thing for your brand as you are increasing reach, but you also need to consider the opposite. What happens if you construct a fabulous social media campaign that then gets hijacked by others? Perhaps by a competitor, or worse, by trolls or activists?
That last point is an important one. Often the difference between a successful campaign and an unsuccessful one is simply making sure you’re listening and reacting quickly.
Listening can be achieved by having 24/7 social media monitoring in place which alerts you to high levels of activity on a particular campaign. You can then watch out when social media influencers get involved for example, and also spot if things start to take a wrong turn.
Once a campaign takes off it can spiral quickly. That means you also need to be able to scale up your activity at a moment’s notice. Without the resources in place to deal with an exponentially rising number of comments you run the risk of missing something important.
As with all activity online, time is of the essence. Be sure you have the right support in place before you run your campaign. After all, you don’t want to wake up to find your campaign has been eclipsed (sorry!) by someone else do you?
To find out more about listening through social media monitoring and how to keep on top of your brand online, 24/7, 365 days a year, get in touch with the Crisp team.