The Power of Social Shares

Marketing 2014-03-07

Sunday night saw Ellen DeGeneres set a retweet record with an Oscars selfie which with herself, included Jared LetoJennifer LawrenceMeryl StreepBradley CooperPeter Nyong’o Jr.Channing TatumJulia RobertsKevin SpaceyBrad PittLupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie. Within an hour of the image being posted, it had surpassed the previously most retweeted tweet of all time! That was an image of Barack and Michelle Obama embraced in a hug after it was announced he had been re-elected for 4 more years. Up until me writing this, Ellen’s tweet has received 3,320,100 retweets, in just 5 days! She actually ‘broke Twitter’ with fans going crazy over it. So, how did she gain this World Record title? Having a number of A-List celebrities in a picture and asking people to share the image whilst you host the Oscars can’t hurt can it?

This image has prompted a number of ‘Oscar selfies’ from various Twitter accounts. Probably most famously this image from Terry Shipman who posted a cute selfie of him and his two dogs and told his son to retweet the image. In an hour and a half he had received 1,000 retweets, much to the surprise of Terry and his family. The morning after he awoke to 30,000 retweets of his image and to date has received 157,187. Pretty impressive for somebody who previously had written single figure numbers of tweets and had only 20 followers.

The real time aspects of Twitter are what make it so successful, and what helps brands become so successful online. An example of a brand that understands this is Oreo. They have a light-hearted approach to current events, such as posting an image of Xbox controllers incorporated with Oreos at the time of their much-anticipated release. To holiday-themed Oreo images such as Father’s Day 2013, a campaign of ‘custom dad tats’, where fans tweeted about their dads and Oreo responded with images based on tweets received, for them to be then printed out onto transfer paper and worn as a temporary tattoo. Their most iconic moment on Twitter came in the form of a real-time tweet posted during 2013’s Super Bowl. A power outage happened and Oreo went straight onto Twitter with an image that simply involved a dark background and an Oreo, with the caption ‘You can still dunk in the dark’, which sparked over 15,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook.

The power and opportunity of social media for businesses is growing by the second. It’s a great way for companies to see what their customers and competitors are saying about your brand, suggestions, comments and complaints. It’s also a brilliant way to keep everyone updated on what you’re doing and what’s coming so always keeping consumers interested in your brand. By using engaging tools, mixing up your content and working out a posting strategy that works for you, you can better position your brand and amplify your voice.

Have you come across any virals that you’ve shared? Tweet me with them @JennaAtNotch

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