Luis Suarez in McDStories-like gaffe on Twitter

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).

Today, Suárez is taking questions from Twitter users under the hashtag #InterviewLuisSuarez. More than six hours ago, he tweeted that he would now be answering questions.

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.

interviewluissuarez twitter hashtag

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.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is finally on Twitter

International top media outlets like Gazetta dello Sport, Sky Italia, AP and Al Jazeera have been fooled by people pretending to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Twitter. Even his own club AC Milan has been fooled by a Twitter impersonator. His agent Mino Raiola told Sky Sports back in October 2010 that Ibra is not on Twitter. But finally it seems that the Swedish striker has launched an official Twitter account at @Ibra_official. In a post on Facebook on Feb 14 he states that we now can follow him on Twitter as well.


The first tweet was on Jan 15th.

Tweets are automatically posted via the official Facebook page, which currently has 2.5 million fans. How can we be sure this time it is the official account? Well, it has been confirmed by the Danish PR agency The Perfect Brands that they represent Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The agency is posting the updates so Ibra himself is not tweeting. Not yet, at least.

Via Ajour.

Infographic of 10,000 tweets

Not only have I been blogging for 8 years today. I reached another milestone just now. Since November 2007 I have tweeted 10,000 times and to celebrate this occasion I have produced this little infographic of my Twitter history. It was partially created with the service, but about half of the content has been included manually by me.

Happy 10,000 tweets to me! You can find me on Twitter as @kullin.


Whitney Houston is dead – Twitter user beats media with the scoop

So I wake up to hear the tragic news that the fantastic singer Whitney Houston is dead. As often happens these days, I found out via social media, this time via comments on Facebook. When the story broke, the news spread on Twitter at the speed of over 1,000 tweets per second. The first hour there were almost 2.5 million tweets about her death, according to

And once again we find an example of how Twitter beat traditional media with the scoop. Twitter user @chilemasgrande tweeted this 27 minutes before the first news outlet tweeted.


Here is the first confirmed tweet from AP about the death of Whitney Houston, a tweet that has been retweeted more than 11,000 times.


But Twitter and Facebook are not the only social media channels that become outlets for grieving fans. On Instagram, there are thousands of images posted with the tag #whitneyhouston and hundreds more are being added as I post this.


And on Pinterest, photos of Houston are being commented, pinned and repinned. This photo has currently been repinned 900 times and has more than 100 comments.

Source: via Marenda on Pinterest


Social media is becoming the place where we both discover news and share our thoughts. This story is just one more example of that.

Facebook is driving more traffic to Pinterest than to Instagram

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the new social media darling Pinterest. The online pinboard is growing quickly and according to a new report from Compete, Pinterest is also driving a lot of traffic to other social networks. People are sharing images and videos on Pinterest which in turn drive traffic to sites like Facebook. According to the State of Social Media report from Compete, Pinterest delivered 1.7 million visits to Facebook in November 2011, an increase by 62%. As a comparison, that is almost double the amount of referrals from an established site like

In this social ecosystem, social networks in turn drive traffic back to Pinterest. It is quite interesting to see that Facebook is already driving more traffic to Pinterest than to Instagram (0.16% share vs 0.06%). And this was before it was announced in January that Pinterest was among the sites that could start auto-update to the Facebook timeline, which possibly means that more images are now shared on Facebook than in November.


Twitter on the other hand is still driving more referrals to Instagram than to Pinterest.


The difference between how Facebook and Twitter drive referrals to Pinterest and Instagram is interesting. I don’t have an explanation to why this is, but one theory could be that the demographics of Pinterest users better match Facebook users while Instagram users are more like Twitter users. Says TechCrunch:

“Unlike most web startups, Pinterest’s core user base is not the typical early adopter set from the west and east coasts of the United States. While the Pacific and North East regions contained the most Pinterest users in May, now its strongholds are in the East South Central and West North Central States, such as Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Mississippi.”

According to TechCrunch, a large portion of Pinterest users in the US are 18-34 year old upper income women from the American heartland which may explain why some of the more popular categories on Pinterest are food, pets, hair & beauty and travel.

Another explanation can of course be that Instagram mainly is an app and that its web presence is not very good. When you click on an Instagram photo there’s hardly no way to get that user to keep on browsing on the site. You can’t even click on my name and explore more of my photos, so visits to is not at all encouraged. On Twitter, Instagram photos are viewable within the site and in for example TweetDeck (but I don’t know if that counts as a “visit”).

Also, a tiny but important detail. When you tweet a photo from Pinterest, it doesn’t include the caption in the tweet, which might reduce the willingness to push the send button. Fix that, and I am sure more people will share pinned images on Twitter.

Note: Swedish readers may want to read this story about how Pinterest is driving millions of visits to a blogger.

“Sweden” – the world’s most democratic Twitter account

What would you do if you were able to tweet on behalf of an entire country for a week? Would you recommend things to do and places to see, share opinions and ideas? Or would you use foul language, post pictures of fruit that look like genitals and post links to your own site? The former is at least the idea that one person should do for a week for Sweden’s official Twitter account @sweden, “the world’s most democratic Twitter account”.

The project Curators of Sweden is an initiative of the Swedish institute and VisitSweden. The idea  is that:

“…each curator will share both their own and relevant third party’s thoughts, stories, information and other content that is somehow linked to Sweden. The idea is that the curators, through their tweets, create interest and arouse curiosity for Sweden and the wide range the country has to offer. The expectation is that the curators will paint a picture of Sweden, different to that usually obtained through traditional media.”

Now, what a brilliant idea to turn to the crowd and let ordinary Swedes share their views on Sweden. The only problem with letting go of control is that, well, you have little control. You see, there is one thing I’m not particulary impressed with in this campaign so far, and that is the actual tweeting.

The whole purpose of this activity is that the tweets should be linked to Sweden and create interest in Sweden. But I have a hard time seeing that tweets containing foul language, mentions of dreams of racist jokes or jokes about planning terrorist attacks on Twitter are what the Swedish Institute had in mind.




Or images of fruit that look like…

@sweden instagram

Then I also find it a bit unprofessional to use this opportunity to repeatedly link to your own website (in this case the news site




My intention is not to pick on this tweeter. I’m not offended and I can see the humour in most of this. I also understand you must have a high tolerance for the type of content or it would run the risk of being boring. And there are plenty of links that have a Swedish connection (although many don’t). But there’s a time and place for everything, and as an observer, this is not the kind of content that I appreciate being posted on the @sweden Twitter account.

This leads me to question if the “curators of Sweden” were given any rules or guidelines and if so, what the account owners are doing to make sure these guidelines are followed. At least they articulate, in the disclaimer, that tweets may be removed, which indicates some sort of monitoring and rules.

“Si/VisitSweden do not endorse any Curator Submission or any opinion, recommendation, or advice expressed therein, and Si/VisitSweden expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with Curator Submissions.

Si/VisitSweden reserves the right to remove Curator Submissions without prior notice.”

I really like the idea with Curators of Sweden and I hope it picks up some pace. Right now, I’m just underwhelmed.