If you were on Twitter last nite during the Super Bowl, you probably had a blast with the rest of us participating in all the chatter around the game, and the commercials. Many of us were using the #brandbowl hashtag to critique the ads in real-time, in fact I was seeing 100 new tweets coming in every couple of minutes. For reference, that's about FOUR times the volume of a busy #blogchat.
But one thing many of us noticed was that the companies buying these very expensive Super Bowl ads, weren't doing anything to engage with us. I didn't see a single ad with a reference to the company's social media presence (someone tweeted that Honda's ad had their Facebook URL, but I missed it). And the only activity I saw during #brandbowl were a couple of companies (Coke and eTrade) tweeting that their spot was coming up.
For all the hype that Twitter has gotten for being mainstream, and all the talk about how big brands are starting to leverage social media, tonite was a cruel reminder that many companies still have little idea of how to engage with potential customers via social media. Anyone that's used Twitter for ANY amount of time knows that its members love to use the site to discuss and connect over any type of event like this. Whether it's the Super Bowl or the Grammys or the season premiere of Lost, we are there and we are talking.
The water cooler is now online. Companies need to understand this, and start engaging with customers in a place where they are already chatting.
Oh well, maybe next year...