Did Betty beat Bacardi? Did an edgy shoe brand edge out one of the biggest game platforms? Last week, we asked and ClickZ readers voted for their picks among the dwindling list of contestants in our Holiday Social Showdown. This bracket-inspired contest has tested the social media skills of brands like Coca-Cola, AT&T, and eBay.
Big name brands Absolut, Coke, Gap, Etsy, PlayStation, Target, Toys "R" Us, and Verizon Wireless were knocked out in the first round. This past week the competition was stiffer, as AT&T, Bacardi, Betty Crocker, Best Buy, Build-A-Bear, Converse, and Xbox vied to stay alive.
Judging is based on campaign innovation, social engagement data from SocialBakers, and expert insight from Ken Kraemer, executive creative director at social media marketing agency Deep Focus.
Ebay vs. Build-a-Bear: Build-A-Bear Wins!
We pitted eBay against the create-your-own stuffed animal brand, and while eBay put up a good fight, Build-A-Bear kept its fur in the game another week. The auction site impressed in the first round with the introduction of its "The More the Merrier" app which taps Facebook data, and requires people to share virtual versions of gifts to enter a contest to win the real thing. Bear's live, interactive, and social "Get Your Wish On" experience also caught our attention last week.
In this matchup, however, Bear beat Ebay on Twitter. Ebay's "Twitter seems a little all over the place - thorough, but a constant barage of unrelated topics, products and deals," said Kraemer.
In contrast, Bear maintained a consistent approach to Twitter, using fun voice ("Pawsome," "Beary Happy 10th Bearthday") similar to the one used by its Get Your Wish On elves. The brand also frequently mentioned its holiday deals by promoting its "7 days of online savings" on Twitter.
"We talk a lot about what's your social voice and tone... and [Bear is] doing a really good job of that in their tweets," said Kraemer.
Facebook "People Talking About" numbers suggested a higher level of engagement with Bear than with Ebay in the past week. According to data from SocialBakers, Bear's "People Talking About" rate rose by more than 3,000, to around 24,000 while Ebay's fell by nearly 40,000 to around 72,000.
A whopping 97 percent of ClickZ readers picked Build-A-Bear for the win, too.
Best Buy vs. AT&T: Best Buy Wins! A key element of a winning holiday social campaign is freshness. This round's losers tended to neglect the holiday campaigns they've launched recently, and AT&T was one of them. AT&T clearly invested in its custom holiday video app for Facebook which features comic actor Will Arnett, but the brand did not promote it at all in the past week in Facebook and did so just once on Twitter.
Best Buy has scored with its series of humorous holiday gift guide videos on YouTube, and added a deals-based video this week. Another launched this week shows the brand's dedication to web video, though "Best Buy Happy Dance" may not cut it when it comes to going viral. The relatively lengthy clip features a flash mob style eruption of dancing among customers in a Best Buy, but lacks in authenticity. "It's clearly not real," said Kraemer. "When you try to fake people out, they know and they're smarter than that."
Still, while Best Buy's somewhat contrived video lost points, the brand’s steady social holiday drum beat won out over AT&T.
The Best Buy vs. AT&T contest was tight in our reader poll; 46 percent bet on Best Buy, and 54 percent went with AT&T.
Converse vs. Xbox: Converse Wins! Yet again, neither of these brands blew us away. However, Converse at least introduced new holiday-related content, while Xbox failed to add to its holiday social efforts, which include a Facebook e-card app introduced in November and not mentioned on Facebook since.
Converse continues to push out new holiday daily discount-related videos on YouTube, including "Chucks Hit the Pan," which promotes a discount on "Green Eggs and Ham" themed sneakers, and features ham and green-yolked eggs frying in a skillet.
Also, a recent Twitter promo asked followers to describe their worst gift ever for a chance to win a $50 Converse gift card. While Kraemer argues that Converse, "could be doing a better job of making it bigger in the social channels," Xbox has simply been too "quiet" on social platforms to warrant going another round.
In the past week, the Facebook People Talking About rate fell for both Converse and Xbox; Xbox fell by around 37,000 to 99,000, and Converse fell by around 1,000 to 70,000.
Readers agreed with ClickZ's choice, with 63 percent voting for Converse and 37 percent choosing Xbox.
Betty Crocker vs. Bacardi: Betty Crocker Wins!
Betty Crocker continues to elicit lots of posts from fans on Facebook, and has yet to even launch what could be an exciting component of its social holiday campaign: its #Betty911 cooking tip hotline-style hashtag initiative on Twitter. "Their Facebook wall is very active," said Kraemer. There's a lot of people just posting stuff.... That's sort of a brass ring kind of thing."
Indeed, people are posting photos of homemade holiday goodies, even when they're not made with Betty Crocker products. One fan who posted a photo of a dome-shaped cake recently wrote, "Everything was homemade from the carrot cake to the cream cheese frosting and to the fondant! Nothing betty crocker but thougnt i share [sic] my holiday treat my 2yr old son and i made."
Besides promoting it on Facebook and Twitter this week, Bacardi didn’t do much to embellish the Facebook-data enhanced custom holiday video campaign it launched earlier this month. In this case, Bacardi is a brand that took the "launch it and forget it" approach, suggested Kraemer.
ClickZ's reader predictions were spot on. They chose Betty Crocker over Bacardi 58 percent to 42 percent.
Vote for Your Holiday Social Showdown Third Round Picks below, and check back December 22 when we'll crown our round three winners! The winner of the ClickZ Holiday Social Showdown will be crowned on December 29.
Voting has ended for this round.
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Articles written by ClickZ's news staff.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT