Home » OPINION » Columns » TODD SMITH — Solar eclipse outshined Super Bowl on social

TODD SMITH — Solar eclipse outshined Super Bowl on social


Last week’s solar eclipse spurred more than 9 million tweets globally, along with 240 million interactions (posts, reactions, shares and comments) from more than 66 million Facebook users.

Twitter showcased how the volume of conversation about the eclipse aligned with its path across the U.S. with an insightful interactive map.

The Weather Channel’s Chasing Eclipse 2017 Twitter livestream reached 7.1 million total unique viewers.

Facebook said the solar eclipse sparked more discussion than Super Bowl LI, adding that 67 percent of users discussing the eclipse were women, and 20 percent were located outside of the U.S.

The top 10 eclipse-related hashtags on Facebook were:

1. #eclipse2017

2. #solareclipse2017

3. #totality

4. #eclipseday

5. #nasa

6. #pathoftotality

7. #felizlunes

8. #brillatuluz

9. #greatamericaneclipse

10. #eclipseglasses

And the five foreign countries discussing it the most were:

1. Mexico

2. Canada

3. U.K.

4. Brazil

5. India

There were more than 129,000 eclipse-related Facebook Live videos from publishers and users, and all eclipse-related videos (not just Facebook Live) totaled more than 365 million views.

The top Facebook Live video, with more than 29 million views, came from NASA, and at one point during eclipse day, more than 500,000 users were tuned in.

Also, a 360-degree Facebook Live video from NASA, in 4K resolution, totaled more than 3 million views.

Social Media Platforms Leverage Video Content, Ad Revenue

Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter are embarking on a massive grab for video content, hoping to drive increased usage and capture a greater portion of digital video ad revenues with familiar ad formats such as pre-roll and mid-roll, according to a recent eMarketer survey.

“Consumers – particularly young people– are viewing video programming on more devices and in more destinations than ever before, and social platforms want to capture their attention,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report, “Video Advertising in Social Media 2017: Showtime for Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.”

Video advertising has become an important revenue stream for social media properties.

Being limited to the “social” bucket has stymied growth. The broader digital video ad business is something that all social properties have been targeting.

eMarketer predicts U.S. digital video ad spending outside of social platforms will reach $13.23 billion this year, up 23.7 percent from 2016. By 2021, spending will reach $22.18 billion.

eMarketer does not include video outlays on social platforms in its digital video ad spending forecast, instead counting them in the rich media forecast. Rich media, which will be a $10.33 billion market in the U.S. this year,

Although Facebook has deep pockets and an enormous audience, its success is by no means ensured. Consumers today don’t go there to watch shows, so Facebook must change their behavior by offering insightful programming and a robust video platform.

Meanwhile, Snapchat’s “shows” are quite short, benefiting its position as a place for creative, quick-hit content for the young audience. TV networks are the primary programming partners, and the ads use Snapchat’s familiar vertical video format.

But many marketers have yet to get comfortable with creating video ads on Snapchat. As the company continues to roll out programming, the challenge will be to convince them to develop for its unique format.

Twitter is relying on its real-time model, emphasizing live and event-driven video content. Like Snapchat, Twitter has turned to a familiar format – its Amplify video publisher partner program – for delivering ads in new shows. The company has a lot at stake on its video strategy, given its sliding user growth and resulting falloff in ad revenues.

Google Docs Upgraded

People using Google Docs will now have an easier time collaborating.

The search giant said recently it has upgraded its popular online word processing service to make it easier to use for big projects that require a lot of input from others, often at the same time.

The changes are intended to improve how people are updated about multiple, recent edits. For example, one update lets users see all of their team’s edits in one place, “version history,” while another one lets people see “clean” versions of documents without other people’s edits or comments.

People can also choose to either accept or reject a person’s edits all at once to avoid having to manually approve each individual change on a document.

The updates make Google Docs more akin to Microsoft’s competing Word, which includes similar editing capabilities.

Golf Mic | Johnson – Spieth Playoff Was Epic Heavyweight Fight

On the eve after the epic Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, perhaps the greatest fight of last weekend was the courageous performance of Dustin Johnson outlasting Jordan Spieth in the FedEx Cup playoff opener, The Northern Trust.

Down to his last shot, Johnson watched his 17-foot par putt stay on the high side of the hole and thought for sure it would miss. He took two steps of hope to the right, then pumped his fist in a rare show of emotion when the ball swirled around and into the cup.

Given new life, Johnson reached deep for strength and powered a drive to the far edge of the fairway. It was the longest drive all week on the 18th hole. The No. 1 player in golf was seizing the day.

Spieth lost for the first time in six tries when leading by two shots or more, and there wasn’t much he could do while Johnson played bogey-free through the final 29 holes. But both golfers duked it out in fine fashion and kept viewers glued to their seats every bit as much as the Mayweather – McGregor tilt.

Both Johnson and Spieth boxed their way to the top of the FedEx Cup list – and are set for another stellar tournament this weekend in Boston. For that Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth take the Golf Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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