This week: Super Bowl records on Twitter, Toyota backfires, Pinterest income, Facebook eyes mobile, and social media addiction
Best new Super Bowl record: Twitter
TwitterBallThe Giants may have triumphed in the Big Game, but Twitter also emerged from the Super Bowl as a winner. Last Sunday's game broke all previous Twitter records, making it the biggest social-TV event ever recorded. According to Twitter, the final three minutes of the Super Bowl helped push total tweet volume to more than 12,000 tweets per second, besting last year's MTV Music Awards. Game day ads also scored with social media users. Bluefin Labs tracked more than 985,000 social media comments specifically related to Super Bowl commercials—topping the total for the entire telecast of the 2011 Academy Awards.
Best Super Bowl campaign to serve as a warning to marketers: Toyota
Just when social marketing was starting to feel boring, enter Toyota's Super Bowl campaign misstep. Here's what happened: The usually savvy car-maker programmed several automated Twitter accounts to send promotional messages to advertise "the Camry Effect." The problem? The messages were set up to go to anyone who used a Super Bowl-related hashtag, meaning users were bombarded with the same tweets over and over again. The tidal wave of spammy messages understandably miffed Twitter users and Toyota quickly pulled the plug. Lesson for marketers: Automated messages are rarely the way to create real engagement.
Best approach to generating income quietly: Pinterest
It seems like I can't read a social media article lately without seeing Pinterest mentioned. While some are claiming that Pinterest's marketing power is overated, others are reporting that the social network is secretly cashing in by adding affiliate tracking codes to the links shared by its users. Pinterest didn't tell users that it was altering or profiting from the links they shared, leaving many questioning the company's ethics. Meanwhile, Gentlemint, dubbed a "Pinterest for dudes," is another site to watch, according to Chris Brogan. He thinks both sites signal a "new trend for extremely targeted curation in niche communities." Translation: Small might be the next big thing in social.
Best next move in mobile: Facebook
Facebook is also coming under scrutiny after its IPO filing last week. Some are reporting the social network's claims that it has 845 million "monthly active users" and 483 million "daily active users," are inflated. Apparently the network counts people who "like" content or cross-post content from other sites as "active users." Experts say these users aren't of much interest to Facebook's advertisers. What will be of interest to advertisers? Facebook's anticipated move into mobile and local marketing once the company goes public.
Best new finding: Social networking is addictive
A new study from the University of Chicago has found that social networking is more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. In fact, social media cravings are harder to resist than the desire for sleep or sex, say researchers. This study is a good reminder that I am lucky. Lucky that I can mask my bonafide social media addiction. Whenever my family and friends tells me to get off Twitter, I claim I'm working. What's your excuse?
— Dianne Molina