The Social Media Bunnies Evolution

Lessons Learned

The Social Media Bunnies took on this Social Media Marketing challenge by finding topics that interested us and collaborating to write fun blog posts. The first strength we recognized in our team was the comfortability with different social media platforms. Pooling our networks and social media accounts, we decided to market on Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter as our main channels. In addition, we decided to write articles with specific mediums in mind so that our article would both get views and follow the social norms of the platforms. Throughout this project we learned lessons that will help us moving forward in our careers. Stay tuned while we discuss three factors that had the biggest impact on our blog posts.

1. What is the value of a six second duration session of a Reddit User?

The Social Media Bunnies undertook our competition for viewers (sessions), click-through (bounce-rate), and length of time on the site (session duration). When writing articles, we considered the medium when deciding on a topic for the week. While considering the channel for certain topics, we did not originally consider the effect of these channels on the metrics we were measuring.

Reddit and Tumblr campaigns caused the number of sessions to skyrocket in a short amount of time, with the page duration inversely plummeting toward zero.

Earlier Sharings of Reddit & Tumblr Fame – Analytics

The 2,121 viewers during this time period solidified the Social Media Bunnies’ place as #1 for the number of sessions. In the past weeks, we have focused on sharing through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as our channels of choice. The effect on page duration and bounce rates is staggering.

Past Week of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Sharing – Analytics

When comparing these strategies, another question comes to mind. In the ever changing world of social media and content marketing, what is the value of a six second session from a Reddit user? Did the content soak into the viewer’s brain during those six seconds, enough to make a lasting or at least subconscious impression? The overarching question of numbers vs. substance comes to mind. In our case, the numbers won while the duration lagged behind.

2. Social Norms and Mediums of Choice

It is crucial to understand the micro-cultures on each of the websites that you choose to engage in,  tone and ideas can make or break your article. Posting and engaging in the domains you are most familiar with is strongly advised  It also helps to use the resources you have at your disposal, such as knowing your neighbor is a strong influencer on Twitter. Catering your content to your strengths can get you a running head start to achieving your goals.

Social Media Bunnies wrote a Pokémon article because one member had a large network for Pokémon on Tumblr. However, because we wrote the article with a negative spin Reddit reacted badly. Reddit didn’t like how we talked about Pokémon Go needing to be revived because they were still very much active in the game. If we had written the article or at least titled it with a more positive spin, Reddit may have reacted more positively. However on Tumblr it did very well and due in part to having an engaging and original photo that was enticing to click.

We made a crucial mistake with “Apple Goes to the Dark Side”. We were able to keep the article on the first page of the Apple subreddit and getting a landslide of viewers, we violated one of the subreddit rules that forbids users from posting their own content. We would have gotten away with it but we reacted to comments in an attempt to increase engagement and the subreddit realized that we had posted our own content. As a result, the article was taken down and our largest sources of (potentially viral) views was cut off. In addition, one of the Bunnies was banned from Reddit.

Social Media channels are designed for connection. But the connections have norms of engagement, and the network is not forgiving if you violate their rules

3. Dropping the Ball on Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who land on your website and decide to leave without going to a second page. A higher bounce rate, such as our bounce rate of 95%, indicates that we were not successful in convincing users to stay on our page to digest our material. Our team could/should have counteracted this by incorporating more links and/or multiple pages into our material. This would have been the best strategy to keep users on our pages, however we failed to incorporate this piece of advice. Any bounce rate above 80% is considered very poor by Google Analytics standards and even 70-80% is not is not ideal. One of our biggest problems in this regard is that we boosted our posts on sites such as Reddit and Tumblr, which are not known for creating low bounce rates.

The lowest bounce rate we achieved, was 40% from an email campaign from our United Airlines article. This is only based off of five sessions which suggests that linking our material to the most intended audience, was the most effective way to bring down bounce rates.

Recently, one of our Bunnies did go through and added relevant outside links to such articles as “Apple Goes To The Dark Side”. While we are still waiting to see the result of this effort, we are confident that it will bring down the bounce rate over time and encourage search engine optimization.

Analytics by Landing Page


The End Result

Analytics Overview by Campaign

Throughout this experience the Social Media Bunnies succeeded in our goal of garnering the largest number of views but fell short in the duration and bounce rate categories. Our primary mediums of Reddit and Tumblr were conducive to this sort of outcome. Connecting our content to trending topics in the social media sphere, such as Star Wars, Apple, Pokémon, and United Airlines, enhanced the effect of our chosen channels. The flashy name on the content can get clicks, but to be able to appeal to all the various segments within this interest group is a task for only the most herculean marketers.

Social Media Bunnies Out.

Review our previous works:
  1. The Top Five Corporate Social Media Cage Matches
  2. Apple Goes to the “Dark Side”
  3. Can Pokémon Go Be Revived?
  4. The 5 Secrets to Social Media Marketing
  5. Social Media #struggle: United Airlines
    1. United Take Your Turn
    2. United & THE INCIDENT
    3. United’s Response & The Backlash
    4. What Comes Next for United?
  6. The Social Media Bunnies Evolution: Lessons Learned

Social Media #struggle: What Comes Next for United?

Now that the damage is done what are some steps that United Airlines can take to rectify this blunder?   

Apologize, apologize, apologize!

Admitting when you have made a mistake can go a long way when trying to preserve your brand’s image. It of course does not help that UA immediately after the event stated that the passenger was being “belligerent and rude,” which turned out to be not true. Admitting your company was wrong can have a lasting effect with consumers, as long as the apology is perceived as genuine.

Cut their losses and jump into the “Big Bath”

It seemed UA only started caring about the incident after their stock took a nosedive once it became apparent that this would become viral in the social media stratosphere.  Taking monetary measures in order to make the situation right (whether you want to or not) can add to the commitment of the apology. Paying for the victim’s hospital bill would be a great place to start.

Commit to solving “Overbooking”

Having a better tracking system to determine which employees need to get on the plane will help avoid last minute overbooking issues.  Being transparent with consumers about how this process works will add a level of comfort to their purchases.  Even though this practice is widely-used by many airlines catching these issues before passengers board planes will avoid the level of escalation that we saw during the incident.  

Missed a section?

United, Take Your Turn 


UnITED’s Response & The BackLash 


Social Media #struggle: United’s Response & The Backlash

The story of a United Airlines passenger being dragged from his seat to make room for an airline employee on an already overbooked flight went viral Sunday night. This story has since become a publicity nightmare for United’s CEO and staff. On April 11th, one day after the incident, United CEO Oscar Munoz released the following statement: “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”

For many twitter users, the word “re-accommodate” stood out more than Munoz’s overall message.

In response to the incident, United Airlines has maintained its customer service presence on its social media accounts. Prior to Sunday their online tone was very simple and informative, whereas now their interactions are much more positive and caring, which is probably not a coincidence.

Again on Tuesday, United posted a statement on its website for its employees:

Dear Team,

The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.

I promise you we will do better.



In a last attempt to quiet an outraged public, Munoz publicly stated, “I continue to be disturbed by what happened. I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way. We are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again.” Munoz has pledged to look into the incident with a full public report by April 30, as well as a review into the company’s partnerships with law enforcement and reevaluating its policies on giving paying-customer seats to employees and overbooking strategy.

Chapter 4: What Comes Next?

Social Media #struggle: United & THE INCIDENT

On April 9th, a United Airlines flight choose to seat four employees last minute and in turn ‘re-accommodate’ four passengers. At this point, the passengers had already been checked-in and seated. As per protocol, they offered a $400 compensation, hotel for the night, and flight the next afternoon for any volunteer willing to leave the plane. When no one accepted this offer, United representatives upped the compensation offer to $800 but still received no takers.

At this point United decided to have a ‘computer algorithm’ randomly select four passengers to the leave the plane. One couple that was chosen begrudgingly left the plane but the third passenger selected didn’t want to get off the plane.

A man refused to leave the plane, claiming to be a doctor who needed to see patients in the morning. A security officer was called to escort him off the plane and escalated to manhandling the passenger by wrestling him out of his seat and dragging him down the aisle off the plane. During this process, the man’s head was smashed against an armrest and further bloodied.

What made this incident different than a possibly similar incident in the past was the availability of phone cameras and social media. No less than two passengers sitting nearby recorded the entire incident on their cameras and then posted to social medias. The virality of the incident and videos could not have existed 10 years ago. The video in question was shared on social media and led to a plethora of memes of sites such as Reddit, Imgur, and Tumblr. Even traditional media jumped on the United meme bandwagon to gain views from the viral subject.

The excess of evidence of the mishandling of the situation led to outrage at the canned PR jargon that the CEO of United spewed out in response.

Chapter 3: Click here to hear more about United’s response and the backlash that ensued.

Social Media #struggle: United, Take Your Turn

In a week full of social media and corporate snafus, it’s difficult to choose just one. As referenced in the graphic above, United is the winner for this week’s Social Media #struggle.

Chose your own adventure:

United’s Social Media Track Record


United’s Response and Community Backlash

What comes next for United?

Or Just Follow Along for the Ride.


United’s social media presence before the most recent overbooking incident seems fairly tame, referencing various destinations, travel themes, business, new planes added to their fleet, and employee recognition. In 2008, eons ago in social media terms, United faced the “United Breaks Guitars” fiasco. The music video made the Time’s top ten viral videos of 2009, and significantly damaged United’s image for years after the incident.

More recently, United faced another incident regarding leggings. Two women on employee passes wore leggings for their trip on March 26th. They were denied entrance to the plane. Passengers in plain view, most notably Shannon Watts, tweeted about the situation and it quickly experienced a viral effect.

United may need a lesson in corporate responses through social media: how to respond and whether to respond at all.

The next day, United released an official statement, “To our customers … your leggings are welcome!” Other airlines jumped in with their own responses to the incident.

United Airlines recent leggings incident lighted a media firestorm, but barely affected stock prices. Not to be easily forgotten, United went back for another round.

Chapter Two: The Incident



Upon release Pokémon GO was one of the most successful apps ever, with immediate viral public appeal. It was so popular, in fact, that it crashed Niantic’s servers due to the popularity. One can speculate that Niantic underestimated the popularity of the product. Pokémon GO was constantly in the news and the public eye during July, August and September. Much like the late 90’s, Pokémania was in full effect, and just like in the 90s, Pokémon Go’s popularity has subsided. In our opinion, Niantic lacked a long term business strategy when launching this product. With the recent release of Gen 2, what can Niantic do to regain some of that “spark” from the summer of 2016?

Here are some ideas that could revive the franchise:

  • Boost marketing efforts during spring
  • Capitalize on social media apps
  • Trading with friends
  • Encourage outside social interactivity
  • Capitalize on the nostalgia factor

Boost marketing efforts during Spring 2017: The weather will be nice enough for people to walk outside and be active again, give them something they can do outside! There is no better way to regain an audience than reminding people of your product as they come out of their winter hibernation. We suggest marketing on social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. Their next best marketing move will be finally releasing the long-awaited Legendary Pokemon to kick-off another chapter for the game series. 

Ellen managed to persuade a Bulbasaur to stick around for a photo-op.

Capitalize on social media apps: Pokémon Go should first decide which channels best suit its needs and then put processes in place to make sure that these channels are feeding customers through the funnel of decision making for purchases and providing the full-frontal user experience. Partnering up with Snapchat, much like bitmoji, can help Pokémon GO stay relevant and “in” within the eyes of the target demographic: millennials.

Trading with friends: Part of what made Pokémon so popular in the 90’s was the ability to become social with other people by simply trading IRL. Having a trading mechanic (which so many people have been asking for) that limits trading Pokémon to people within 4 feet of you will help users attain Pokémon they don’t have in their home biome.

Encourage outside social interactivity: Setting Pokémon lures should be an incentive for Pokémon GO players to gather. The lure setter should earn extra XP for everyone catching Pokémon in their lure, which means more $$ for Niantic. Since their revenue comes from their limited PokéCoin sales and by selling user information, seems as though they’re about due for a steady cash flow.

  1. Capitalize on the nostalgia factor: Nostalgia is a MAJOR
    Remember the good ol’ days…

    factor in games and platforms that have been around for multiple generations. Just look at the Super Mario Run app. These 2nd Gen Pokémon create less feelings of nostalgia and home for long-time Pokémon community members. Pokémon Go needs to unleash the power that’s already inside. New Pokémon Go fans are not as familiar with the newer generations. We recommend having small story lines that introduce the new generation of Pokémon. Sticking with the first 151 Pokémon is not a sustainable strategy and moving forward they need to work harder to integrate newer generations.

  2. Historically speaking, the Pokémon franchise can attribute its popularity to the social interactions it facilitated, whether that be meeting another Pikachu lover or trading someone for the their best Pokémon card. In the early 2000s once the original Pokémon fever had died down the franchise was able to stay relevant within their niche market, with the constant release of new Pokémon generations. Even though the Pokémon franchise was not as prominent in popular media’s eyes the Pokémon Company has survived more than 20 years with each Pokémon game outselling its competition.  We believe Pokémon Go can be revived.