The Best (and Worst) of the Solar Eclipse on Social Media

August 23, 2017

Monday’s North American solar eclipse was significant in a number of ways.

Aside from being a cosmic event of literal astronomical proportions that truly contextualizes our collective worldview and relative place within the universe, it was another conversation piece for us to all chime in on online.

Hell yeah. 

In our post-Oreo Super Bowl tweet world, events of this magnitude are now expected to be chimed in upon through social media both in real time and through meticulously crafted micro-campaigns supporting a dominant piece of digital conversation. Oftentimes, these conversations can lead to breakthroughs in social trends (that Oreo tweet will be discussed in digital marketing courses for years). And just as often, they fall pretty flat.

This week’s solar eclipse was no different. Take a look below at some of our favorites, and what we can learn from some less successful content.

The Good: Creativity Shines (Kind of Like the Sun When There is Not a Solar Eclipse)

AT&T took the opportunity to engage in some powerful storytelling in support of technology that assists the visually impaired. Beautifully shot and capitalizing on the moment we were all tuned in for, #EclipseImpossible was a success in our eyes.

The 76ers embraced what we’ve come expect from social media big brand tweets (as seen further below) and add an absurdist punchline to throw us all off. It’s a tweet that harnesses NBA Twitter’s sense of humor that could have easily gone wrong, but instead went so, so right.

Social media platform manager Hootsuite went above and beyond for a fairly meta piece of comedy on social media’s share-centric nature with this absurd piece, commenting on the thirst for engagement that comes from such massive cultural events. Irony sells, and Hootsuite inadvertently did receive a good amount of those sweet, sweet shares and RTs this piece mocks.

We’re quite impressed overall with GE‘s Snapchat geofilter strategy, which blanketed custom geofilter coverage across the United States’ path of solar eclipse totality throughout Monday. Aside from witnessing a stunning celestial event, lucky Snapchatters were treated to extra bragging rights to add to their stories.

The Bad: The Brands Were At It Again

It’s nice to know that we can always rely on our favorite brands, and their circle-shaped products, to weigh in on some easy eclipse content. You know, just to let us know they’re totally with it. We’re growing a little weary of the tweets you’ll see below, as this type of cheap content can quite often communicate a minimal amount of effort being made.

Fairly obvious, eh Reese’s?

Ditto. Thanks, Pizza Hut, for reminding us that pizza is round.

This is cute, but not much more.

OK, Hostess. Even MoonPie agrees.

And our most egregious offender… DiGiorno.

The teachable moment here? In widespread events like these, big brands and organizations are now expected to push the limits of their creativity much further than ever before. Micro-campaigns must do more than simply comment on a current event in the way these above tweets do.

We need to see another layer beyond a cute GIF. If social media is indeed our real-time conversation platform, let’s encourage a broader stroke of creativity and bolder experiences from content that’s created in celebration of such events.

Any really great #SolarEclipse2017 social media moments we may have missed? Let us know on Twitter.