How Ellen Broke Twitter

When Ellen tweeted a selfie taken at the Academy Awards on Sunday, it broke a major record and became the most retweeted tweet EVER.

Pretty big deal, right?

She beat out President Obama’s “Four More Years” tweet, that held the previous record with over 700,000 retweets.

But, what was it about this picture that caused it to be such a success?  And what can brands learn from this moving forward with their social media efforts?

Well, here’s 5 reasons why it went totally viral.

1.The Tweet was Hilarious

There’s no denying it- Ellen is really really funny.  Her comedic chops are top-notch, and she isn’t afraid to push boundaries (she ordered pizza at the Oscars, I mean, COME ON!)
Her tweet “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars” was silly but filled with the perfect amount of humor (we all know the struggle of taking group selfies and not having long enough arms!). It made people laugh and smile.

Brands- take note! When humor is used (tastefully), it can help your content become Internet gold.

2. Visual content is key

Consumers LOVE seeing visual content . Hubspot reports that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco)  And research shows that 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)
Pictures and videos make for a more entertaining and enjoyable experience, and help consumers feel a closer relationship with the brand. That’s why infographics and branded content are usually have high number of retweets.
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words: well it’s also worth tons of retweets.

3. The Picture Played Off a Current Trend

With the creation of Snapchat, selfies have been all the rage. Celebrities, politicians and people all across the world take selfies to share on the Internet. Ellen played off this huge trend, which was both smart and pretty hilarious.

4. Timing is everything

Live tweeting and real-time marketing.  Tons of brands have been doing it on Twitter, and, when the content is just right, it works. People are in that mindset when an event is happening, and they’re looking to see what other people are saying. Again, though, it’s all about having the right content and sharing it at the right time. Ellen did just that.

5. Celebrities (and personalities) have power

Celebrities have the power to influence others! People listen to what they have to say, and they care about what they think. Real-life people have the 2-most retweeted tweets of all time, more than any of the biggest international brands on Twitter.

Besides the amount of attention they get from the media, celebrities have something that many brands don’t: an authentic personality. To get consumsers more engaged, brands should create their own “voice” and “personality.” (here are some great tips on how to do that: Make it authentic and real and relatable.)

Did you retweet Ellen’s selfie? Why do YOU think it was such a phenomena?

Published by laurenhaslett

Lauren is an Account Executive at DigitasLBI in Boston. She lives for social media, a cappella & the amazing recipes & DIY crafts she finds on Pinterest.

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