In a recent campaign, Bob Dylan invited fans in Canada to create a video for his song “Duquesne Whistle” in the same style as his classic video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Fans could participate in a contest by choosing words or phrases of the lyrics, write them on a sign, take a photo and then tag photos on Instagram with the hashtag #dylanlyricphotos.
About 130 images were uploaded using that hashtag and some of them ended up in the final version of the video:
Have you added a lot of historical dates to your Facebook timeline? Well, even if you have added dates all the way back to your birth or the year your company was founded, I doubt many can match the timeline of the Tower of London in England. It’s timeline goes back almost 1,000 years, starting in 1066 when the first fortress was being established after the battle of Hastings. Impressive!
The Swedish candy producer Bubs sells a raspberry licorice candy called Hallonlakritsskalle (Raspberry Licorice Head) that is very popular on Facebook. For a while it has been one of the Swedish brands with most fans on Facebook, currently about 360,000. But getting a lot of followers is one thing, getting them engaged in your content is another. The last four months, Hallonlakritsskalle has only posted about one new update per month. On the other hand, those posts generate a lot of likes and comments.
What I wanted to show was how one single creative image can spark a lot of engagement, but also that the engagement is short lived. The image below was posted on Aug 23 and generated about 5,600 likes and 100+ comments. This equals an engagement rate of 1.9% which is good, but not spectacular.
In celebration of LGBT Pride Month, Nabisco owned cookie brand Oreo posted an image of a rainbow coloured cookie on its Facebook page earlier this week, with the caption “Proudly support love!”. An incredibly simple, but yet smart move to generate a lot of buzz. The image has currently generated 256,000 likes, 47,000 comments and 81,000 shares. The image was also tweeted and has been retweeted 3,100 times at the moment.
Of course, this is a calculated move by Oreo and they are certainly aware that the image will stir up some controversy. Some media reports are talking about boycotts against Oreo, but that news angle seems grossly exaggerated. In fact, most comments seem to be supportive, so digging up a few negative comments just seems sensationalist on the part of the traditional media.
A few boycott pages have been launched on Facebook but they have about 20-30 likes, so in comparison with the quarter of a million likes and more than 80,000 shares, it is nothing.
It is a bold move and by the looks of it, Oreo is getting deserved praise for it.
If there are a lot of negative opinions about your brand, social media may become your worst enemy. We often hear that brands should engage in meaningful conversations with fans through social media. But when there is a lot of controversy or negative opinion around a brand, asking people on social networks to speak up might not turn out the way you expect. McDonald’s experienced this when they initiated the hashtag #McDStories, in an attempt to get people to share nice stories about the fast food giant. Instead, people who disliked the brand, hijacked the hashtag on Twitter and started tweeting complaints and snarky comments.
A similar thing is currently happening for the Liverpool FC striker Luis Suárez. He has been involved in a number of contorversial incidents during the football season in the UK, being suspended for racist comments against Manchester United defender Patrice Evra for example. And then later refusing to shake Evra’s hand before a game, later in the season (disclosure: I am a United fan).
But no answers have yet been posted by the forward. That might be due to the fact that the hashtag is more or less filled with accusations about racism and nasty comments about Suarez’ looks.
Once again we see that brands (or celebrities) underestimate the power of social media and that they really have no control over it. If you invite people to participate, they won’t automatically show up and play nice. If your house is not in order, you will learn the hard way what people really think of you.
In social media, it is just as important to know what your fans think as it is to know what your enemies think.
People move, but their Facebook profiles stay the same. So if you are a lawyer that need to serve a court claim to an individual, Facebook may just be a good alternative to sending a letter. A lawyer at the law firm Stephenson Harwood has convinced the High Court in the UK to let him serve a court claim via Facebook to an individual that they could not locate the postal address of.
Jenni Jenkins, an associate at the law firm Memery Crystal, commented:
“The courts recognise the increasing power of social networking sites like Facebook. It’s all very well serving proceedings at a last known residential address, but people move house all the time. Your email or Facebook account moves with you.
“If a claimant can identify the defendant from their photo and establish that the Facebook account is active, this is a perfectly sensible way of serving a claim and giving the defendant an opportunity to respond.”