HBO television host and Daily Show alum John Oliver took some pointed shots at brands on Twitter this Sunday, criticizing several specific brands, and Corporate America in general, for trying to cash in on touchy trending topics. Kevin Shively explores this topic futher. It’s become common practice for brand marketers on Twitter to “newsjack” popular topics and hashtags, cashing in on the influx of traffic, even when it isn’t appropriate. Oliver condemned this type of marketing, calling for more responsibility from brands, telling corporations that Twitter is “a cocktail party” and that they don’t belong there, so they should act responsibly. He even provided a “pledge” for brands who agreed with his sentiment. You can watch the video clip here. Please note excessive swearing and controversial content. That was Oliver’s point. There are many ways to engage and grow your audience on Twitter. Trying to leverage these more serious conversations has more potential to backfire than the good it presents. Look companies, your silence is never going to be controversial. No one will ever go, ‘I can’t believe it. Skittles didn’t tweet about 9-11 yesterday, they must support terrorism. I’m never eating them again.’ - John Oliver, Last Week Tonight What Oliver’s Segment Can Teach Us It would be easy
With decidedly little fanfare, Microsoft’s research-oriented FUSE Labs launched a new, student-oriented social network last weekend. While very much an experimental product at this point, So.cl (pronounced “social”) does highlight once more that the Redmond-based software giant is keen to keep its boffins thinking outside the box in order to find the next big thing, first.