We have seen a lot of brands and organizations who participated in this year’s Solar Eclipse, and of course, the conversations amongst the social media professionals was: Who will be the one brand (or team) we will be talking about the next day on and offline for having great brand integration and strategy for the event?

I went out on social media to find the answer since I wanted to make sure I was bringing back some amazing examples to share with my students.

Well, I have to say, there were a lot of brands and teams that really brought out a lot of the stops for their Solar Eclipse, especially the sports teams. I have been a fan of the #SMSports community for years, and have the pleasure of calling many of these professionals my friends. They really brought their A game.

MoonPie: Best Authentic Response

When you think Solar Eclipse, you think of MoonPies. A classic snack and one I saw many of my friends get when they were getting all ready to go for the big event. This tweet was in response to Hostess Snacks update, and all it took was five characters.

Social Media Lesson: Definitely showed a human response.You don’t have to say a lot to make a powerful statement. Each word (or in this situation, character) counts and you have to be able to share it at the right time and know how it will be received by your audiences. AND – I found out this was a UT graduate who was responsible for this update (Congrats, Courtney!)

NASA: Best coordinated social media effort for event

Of course, NASA had the best coverage of the Solar Eclipse across the social media channels. When it comes to an event like this, visuals and strategic integration across all social media platforms is key. One platform is going to only reach a certain audience, and NASA was able to cover everything really well.

Social media Lesson: Integration and coordination of channels and content for big events where you have a lot of audiences coming in at all directions is key.

Hootsuite: Best Karaoke Version of the Eclipse Song

Love the Hootsuite team. They brought their A game not only for tying in their content, but they were able to create a pretty cool video capturing the popular tune for the day (“Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler).

They did their own version called “Social Eclipse of the Heart” which was song by some of their stellar team members. Not only was it creative (and integrated a lot of social media references) – but it also featured Owly! Well done, Hootsuite!

Social media lesson: Personalize the content that reflects on your brand, but think about how to differentiate your content from what others are doing. EVERYONE was posting a photo or video blocking the song – Hootsuite took a different and memorable approach. Identify the gaps for content and venture out to separate yourself from others.

Phoenix Suns + Atlanta Hawks: Best team “burn” and conversation

Absolutely love the sports and social media teams for the professional sports, and I got a chance to see some of my favorite accounts on Twitter go back and forth. The first update was from the Atlanta Hawks, and what was great was they integrated their brand appropriately to the event. This is where a lot of teams, brands, and professionals get in trouble – when they try too hard to interject themselves into the conversation. The Atlanta Hawks did this very well, and got a great response.

And then the Phoenix Suns responded – classic! The classic “block” move on Twitter.

Social Media Lesson. Conversation and driving engagement amongst your audience takes insight, but also a little humor. Think creatively and see what works and aligns with both your brand voice, as well as your community.  is all in good fun and all, but it shows the social media professionals and teams behinds these accounts truly know social. Well done, Suns and Hawks!

Oregon State Beavers: Best community content coverage

Russ Houghtaling and his team at OSU are some of the BEST in #SMSports. They were in prime location and position to get the full effect of the Eclipse, and they covered it not only at every angle, but every possible contact point on social media with the COMMUNITY first mentality. They brought forth content you really could see yourself being part of the experience. You were not just witnessing the event at Oregon State, you felt you were there. That’s powerful content, but also shows the innovativeness of the team behind the Oregon State Beavers account. Well done, Russ and team! (S/O to Justin Karp for letting me know about this).

Social media lesson: When planning a social media event, think about how to get your community involved and be part of the experience. Think about the specific tools you have to be able to best utilize this feeling for everyone. Oregon State used video, but also live video and 360 video all in a creative, and integrated way.

National Geographic + airbnb: Best surprise partnership

That’s right. National Geo and airbnb did a sponsored partnership Instagram story for the Eclipse event. I was surprised (yet intrigued) to see two powerhouse brands – that may not be the two brands you may think about partnering together – for this event. They were able to showcase a IG story that was branded yet appropriate for this specific event.

Social media lesson. Explore not only traditional partnerships, but innovative and out of the box ones. Think about different audiences (and sources) you could reach that have not yet been tapped into. Innovative collaborative efforts can produce rewards you may not have anticipated.

Overall, I think there were a lot of winners today amongst teams and brands for social media. There are many examples here we can look at and see what worked, what lessons we can take away, and what to consider and keep in mind for future events.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Best Wishes,