#NBCFail: When Twitter Trends Aren’t Your Friend

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Any brand would jump for joy if its name had remained a trend on Twitter for several days. This is the kind of stuff Twitter marketing professionals dream of. Unless, that is, it was trending with the word #fail after it. NBC has fallen under some serious scrutiny for its coverage of the Summer Olympics, and displeased fans have taken to Twitter to air their complaints.

Given the fact the Olympics is a global event, no network is ever going to be able to make its audience completely happy. Just imagine the nightmarish logistics involved in such an undertaking. Tape delay is the No. 1 thing folks snipe about every four years and this time is no different. Yet what makes the whining and kvetching different in 2012 is how Twitter is making NBC stand up and listen to its viewers complaints. #NBCfail is the hashtag critical Olympic watchers are using and on Saturday, the hashtag got a real workout. Twitter users were ticked off when NBC news announced that Ryan Lochte had won the gold medal even though viewers couldn’t see the event for several more hours. Other Twitter users wondered why the opening ceremonies weren’t available live and questioned the delay of men’s basketball over women’s cycling.

Media critic Jeff Jarvis told the Associated Press, “#NBCfail is filled with a lot of crying and snark and humor, but NBC can actually learn something from it.” Olympic producer Jim Bell has taken notice of #NBCfail and has hopped on Twitter to address some complaints. The power of a negative hashtag is never more powerful than during a global event like the Olympics, so it’s a wise move to have folks like Bell fielding comments from time to time.

Still, it’s baffling that NBC hasn’t fully embraced the digital era. Yes, there is live streaming coverage of the events but not all of them and not easily. And instead of attacking Twitter users who are unhappy, why doesn’t NBC use Twitter to let folks know what event is on next and what time certain things start? Twitter and Facebook should be working overtime for NBC during the Olympics and right now they seem like an afterthought.

Readers, what say you? Is NBC doing the Olympics proud? Or are they stuck in old school problems while ignoring new world solutions? And is #NBCfail a fair hashtag or just mob-mentality bitching? Sound off below!

Blog Like the Big Brands: Disney Parks

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Every Monday, we take a look at how some of the world’s most popular and successful brands use blog creation and blog marketing. Today, we’re keeping our hands and legs inside the cart at all times, making sure our seat belts are securely fastened and hopping on the roller coaster that is blogging with Disney Parks. Enjoy the ride!

Summer is the time when Americans and travelers from around the world grab the kids and head over to their favorite theme park. And nobody does theme parks like Disney. For years, Disneyland and Disney World have been the subject of hundreds of unauthorized blogs. The parks inspire impassioned fandom, wild rumors and even legitimate news stories. In short, bloggers love chatting about what goes on behind the scenes at Disney Parks. Never one to miss a chance to grow its audience, Disney Parks has taken blogging into its own hands. The Disney Parks Blog, while not imaginatively titled, certainly delivers the goods for readers of all ages who want to see what’s happening at Disney Parks around the globe. Bright, packed with a wide array of content and, most importantly, family-friendly, the blog takes on a chatty travel magazine vibe. After all, the point here is to inspire readers in these economically-challenging times to whip out their credit cards and book a Disney-flavored vacation.

While this writer didn’t do exactly that, I did like the playful tone and fun-filled “who knew?”-type of facts the blog provides. Also great is the blog’s use of tons of contributors, videos and series that profile different parts of the park.

And that brings us to this week’s big brand blogging tip: less pontificating, more collaborating! Disney relies on dozens of writers to provide fresh, up-to-the-minute content. Instead of one person chatting day after day about the same topics, Disney Parks has a sort of news network working to provide stories and develop ongoing blog series. Different writers can infuse a blog with a new voice and personality while staying true to the company’s vision. Series are another fantastic idea to give your blog that magazine feel even if you don’t have the Disney budget. We love Disney’s video blog series, Every Role a Starring Role, which highlights employees like Riverboat Guides, Stage Technicians and Sketch Artists who aren’t as famous as Mickey and Minnie but still vital to Disney’s success. Any non-profit can do a series like this profiling donors or volunteers. Likewise for small businesses. Use your blog to show customers what your devoted employees do every day.

Five Things You Might Have Missed!

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

If you think the Google Fiber project is a breakfast cereal and you don’t know how to make white trash beer cans into works of art, you need us. Our Five Things You Might Have Missed has the hottest news in online video creation, digital engagement and branding news to ensure you’ll always know what your cool coworkers are talking about.

1.) Searching for Cable: Google already controls the way you find things on the Internet. Now the company wants to control how you get onto the Internet. This week, Google announced as part of its Kansas City-based Google Fiber project that it would launch its very own super-fast Internet service — which includes becoming a cable TV provider. The $500 million dollar project is a big game changer for Google and for cable and Internet providers. It’s big branding news for sure… but what makes it list worthy is the twist: Google Cable and Internet will only be available in communities that come together and rally enough interest to have it brought to their town. Nicely played, Google.

2.) Talked-about Trailers: Sensing that we were already over the drama and sheer crappiness surrounding most summer films, Hollywood has moved forward in pushing big-budget fall films with spectacular trailers on the verge of going viral. This week alone saw the release of online videos for two highly-anticipated films. Trippy sci-fi fest Cloud Atlas got an online documentary video which sent film buffs into a frenzy while The Life of Pi had fans of the book tweeting like crazy. Movie trailers are now able to reach more viewers and generate more discussion thanks to online videos and social media, and these two clips prove we’re still crazy about the movies.

3.) Blue Ribbon Winners: PBRart.com is the latest social and digital campaign from Pabst Blue Ribbon. The beloved beer of hipsters and hillbillies alike has brewed up an art contest in search of America’s next great beer can artists. Ironic, cool and inventive, PBRart.com is digital engagement at its most creative.

4.) See Things Differently: We were inspired by this clever visual campaign by Owl Optics Glasses which turned urban windows into chic eye-wear with the help of a big fake nose. This ambient, outdoor advertising not only got noticed by passersby but also translated into increased web traffic. According to I Believe in Advertising, the brand’s website, Facebook and Twitter traffic increased by more than 420 percent.

5.) Game Time: Rounding out our fivesome is the “Could You Be a Medalist?” game from The Guardian. Think old school arcade action in a branded Olympics-themed advergame. It’s our favorite at-work timekiller of the summer.

Twitterquette Refresher for Chaotic Times

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Twitter marketing specialists witness the power of the platform on a daily basis. With a few well-chosen words, a marketer can tweet messages to followers that carry more weight or power than many traditional advertising campaigns. Yet this double-edged sword can slice a marketer in half if the wrong words or sentiments are chosen. The horrific events that happened early Friday morning in Aurora, Colo., brought out the best and worst in social media. In light of these events, we here at Brandsplat thought it might be time for a quick list of Twitter dos and don’ts for marketers during times of tragedy.

Don’t preach or judge: If you use Twitter in a professional capacity at all whatsoever, the rule of thumb is to keep your opinions about highly-charged news stories to yourself. You don’t want to apologize to clients later or have to retract a tweet, so just zip it. Send texts to your best friend instead of venting online. Your career will thank you for it.

Do use Twitter to spread positivity: Is your business doing something to help the victims? Are you involved in a great community project? Do you have fun photos of you and your co-workers at a fundraiser? By all means, tweet those darn things. Twitter can get clogged with ranting messages from CrazyTown, so messages of happiness and hope stand out and get great retweets, too.

Don’t make jokes: Playboy model and insensitive jerkface Tricia Evans got taken to the rack on Monday for making a tasteless joke about the tragedy. And justifiably so. If you have to ask if it’s too soon or in poor taste, trust us — it is. Leave the subversive yet smart joke telling to the pros.

Do more research: Part of any great Twitter-for-business strategy is wisely and repetitively using hashtags. But a hashtag can backfire if you don’t know why it’s trending. UK-based Celeb Boutique hopped on the hashtag #Aurora on Friday but used it to promote the company’s dress, also named Aurora. Naturally, Twitter users roasted the company, which then had to apologize. We say avoid the whole mess and just do five minutes of research before you have to unstick your foot from your mouth.

Blog Like the Big Brands: Williams-Sonoma

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

It’s time to face the facts, kids: We’re living in some pin-happy, inspiration-board-sharing, photolicious times. And many companies look to tailor corporate blog content management plans to fit these demands. We say: Why not? The exchange of ideas and inspirations ultimately is a good thing. It may be true that one man’s glossy photos of pumpkin muffins is another man’s how-to blog about chalkboard wallpaper, but there’s no harm in spreading around the idea love. Brands like Williams-Sonoma have built empires on inspiring people to try new things (while using its fabulous products, of course) and now the company has turned to branded blogging to help preach the good word of “Why not try something new?”

Williams-Sonoma’s blog The Blender is just the ticket for the Pinterest generation. Filled with recipes of the day, drool-worthy photos of the gourmet life and really easy-to-use tricks, The Blender helps Williams-Sonoma finally tackle blogging with the style and finesse the rest of the brand just oozes. Founded in 1956, Williams-Sonoma was born during this country’s first era of do-it-yourself homemakers. Therefore, it is fitting that the company, after a few snoozy attempts, would catch its blogging stride as the American DIY trend rockets into a high-tech, eco-conscious new dimension. Stark and well-organized, the real star here is the food. A blog for a company like Williams-Sonoma should make you hungry while simultaneously making you think you can be Julia Child. The Blender accomplishes both.

The million dollar blogging tip that any company — whether you make scones or sprockets — can take away from The Blender is this: Don’t be afraid to teach your readers something. Clearly, the majority of blog readers want to find something clever that they can tweet or pin or email to their mothers. Peppering your blog with information about your products, company and industry sets your blog apart. The Blender tells us, “Sure, you can do canning. It’s really easy and we have lots of cool things to help you, too.” We believe them because they are confident, knowledgeable and consistent. Interior design, gardening, computer software, pet care, public speaking, barbecuing — whatever it is you and your company are experts in, you can pass it on to your readers. If it’s a helpful blog post, it could literally live on and be forwarded zillions of times over.

So don’t be afraid to teach the children a thing or two. (And P.S. If you’re looking for blog creation experts, we can help you with that.)

Five Things You Might Have Missed

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

So you’ve had that kind of week, huh? You know, the one where seemingly everything, including the latest social media marketing and digital branding news, has just slipped by you? Don’t worry about it! Our Five Things You Might Have Missed List will get you all caught up.

1.) Chicken Run: Certainly the social media branding story of the week — perhaps even the summer — was the hubbub over Chick-fil-A. You couldn’t tweet or log onto Facebook without reading the controversial comments from the fast food company’s COO Dan Cathy. Cathy said he and his organization were “guilty as charged” when it came to being “anti-gay.” So everybody online was buzzing about Chick-fil-A and a social media boycott was in full swing. How Chick-fil-A plays its next PR moves as this story developes will certainly be something to watch.

2.) Hold the Lettuce: Another viral story from the world of fast food came from Burger King this week. When pictures of employees sticking their feet in a tub of Burger King lettuce popped up online, BK rightfully flipped out. Posted on free-for-all site 4chan.org, the photo’s tag led the company to find the violators in a northeast Ohio franchise of the chain and they were fired immediately. Handled quickly and using all the proper channels, Burger King put out a fire that could easily have gotten out of control.

3.) Something Stuck in Your Teeth: This print campaign for Colgate, courtesy of Y&R Brazil, shows Photoshop disasters trumped by the power of good-looking people with stuff stuck in their teeth. Nevermind a missing ear or six fingers! That guy didn’t floss! It’s clever and memorable stuff — and heavily blogged about too.

4.) She’s the Mayer: Everybody, it seems, from TV’s talking heads and branded blogs to tech writers and politicians, had something to say about pregnant newly-anointed CEO of Yahoo! Marissa Mayer. Jaws dropped when she announced she would be working through her pregnancy and they continued to drop when rumors of a $500 million salary circulated. Whatever happens with the former Google employee, one thing is for sure: Mayer was a blogger’s dream come true this week, and for that we salute you.

5.) Mariachi Moments: And, finally, what better way to shake the blues away than a little Latin music? Doritos UK continues its viral video awesomeness with more mariachi covers of unlikely songs performed for some o.g. British gringos. This recently-released video for “Love Machine” should cure whatever ails you.