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A #LightsOut Social Media Strategy

One tweet, four words, and a photo. That’s all it took for Oreo to make one of the biggest advertising dunks (pun intended) on social media last night.

That’s not to say that Oreo’s TV commercial, which aired before halftime, wasn’t already succeeding in that department. A 3-second call to action asking fans to “Choose Your Side On Instagram @Oreo” increased their followers by tens of thousands according to Mashable.

But prior to Beyonce’s explosive halftime show, brands like Taco Bell, Calvin Klein, and Volkswagen were taking over my Twitter feed.

And then the lights went out.oreo tweet

Shortly thereafter the online conversation shifted from football, Beyonce, and commercials, to conspiracy theories and power outage jokes. And amongst this frenzy, someone at Oreo tweeted: Power Out? No Problem. with a photo that had included the following caption: You can still dunk in the dark.

So what? Well, unlike all of the many brands vying for attention during the Super Bowl, Oreo was among just a small few to roll with the punches and capitalize on the unexpected events of the evening.

Here’s a few of the other brands that managed to get their message out during the blackout:

Tide tweeted: We can’t get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out. #SuperBowl #TidePower. Meanwhile, Audi tweeted a joke about Mercedes Benz, sponsor of the Super Dome, not being able to keep the lights on. And according to Twitter, it took just 4 minutes for advertisers to bid on the search term “Power Outage” – Bud Light and Speed Stick were two of them.

What We Can All Learn From America’s Favorite Cookie

If you’re still asking yourself what does a cookie and a power outage have to do with my social media strategy, than you might be missing the social part of social media.

Whether you are selling cookies or cars, social media is a way to engage and interact with your brand’s loyal (and potential) fans. Unlike a TV commercial, billboard, or newspaper ad, you can’t just unveil your message and walk away. Social media is meant to be interactive and relevant.

For social media to work, you have to engage with fans and be flexible enough to participate in the conversations that develop organically. I’m not saying to not have a plan, because you should, but if someone isn’t monitoring social media, then there is a good chance you are missing out.

I’d wager that most brand’s Facebook and/or Twitter feeds will have mentioned something about the Super Bowl, but how many will have joined in on the real time conversation about the evenings unplanned events? Others did join in the fun, such as Tide, Audi and Volkswagen, and by doing so, their timely tweets undoubtedly enjoyed a larger-than-usual audience. I don’t even follow Oreo on Twitter and my feed very quickly included several references to the very-delicious cookie.

So next time you log into Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ – do more than just tweet or post. Look to see if any of your fans or followers have written on your wall or tweeted at you, and respond to them. Also, check the trending topics for fun ways to add to the conversation.

Note of caution: make sure you understand the context of the trending topic or you may find yourself receiving unwanted attention (i.e. CelebBoutique).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat some Oreos.  

By Jamie Paton

 

Jamie Paton

Jamie Paton is a Project Manager at PCG Digital Marketing by day and a TV connoisseur by night. As an SEO strategist she spends a lot of quality time on social media sites and with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.

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