Month: February, 2010

A (Short) Tale of Two Twitter Squatters

Social Media5 Comments

Late 2009, AdAge guest columnist Michael Werch conducted a social media experiment where decided to impersonate a famous brand and see how long it would take for them to notice and what the resposne would be.

For two weeks, he posed as a Twitter representative of Heinz under the username @HJ_Heinz where he shared information about the brand as well as recipes and tips when using Heinz products. In other words, he was an advocate for the brand. Once Heinz got wind of the account, however, it was swiftly shutdown and Werch’s username changed to @notHJ_Heinz with a stern warning that he had violated Twitter’s rules.

In contrast, @Adelaide_FC started life as the unofficial Twitter account for the Adelaide Crows with an unnamed fan tweeting regular updates and news about the team including links to the Crows official website. Once the Crows found out about it, however, they did not ask Twitter to close the account but instead reached out to @Adelaide_FC and asked if he would continue tweeting officially for the team.

Today’s digital tools have empowered consumers to spread the word and share their passion. However, it is up to brands themselves to decide how much control of their brand and their message they are willing to cede to their customers.

How much control do you think an organisation needs to keep over their brand?

Do unofficial brand advocates need to be kept on a leash to prevent them from saying something damaging or are brands better served letting them spread the word authentically and without interference?

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Parenthood1 Comment

A self-professed marketing and technology junkie, there’s few things I love more than the interweb. However, one of the hardest things about becoming a parent has been finding the time to indulge my various interests and habits.

Luckily my good friend Michelle Prak (@Prakky) had an awesome suggestion on her blog that we’ve since incorporated into our weekend routine.

Allocate one hour of uninterrupted ‘screentime’ where mum takes the kid and it’s just me and the iMac.

I can choose to do whatever I want with that time whether it’s blogging, researching, tweeting or just surfing. If I don’t get what I wanted to done because I was too busy screwing around, that’s my own fault, but generally it means that I’m more efficient with my time online.

For any parents struggling to find the time to blog or do anything else online, I highly encourage you to give it a go!

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Some cool presentations

Digital Strategy2 Comments

Slideshare is an great place to find inspiration. No matter your poison, someone is bound to have put up a presentation about it with lots of really talented people all over the world sharing their thoughts.

Here are two recent favourites…

Writing for the Web: The Right Strategy
View more presentations from Shay Howe.
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In the digital age, musicians must also be marketers

Digital Strategy, Music, Social Media13 Comments

It’s no secret that the music industry, more than others, was rocked by the astounding growth of digital. The new formats and methods of distribution (not to mention rampant piracy) turned the entire industry on its head.

While the major record companies and big acts such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have figured out new models to succeed in a radically changed consumer environment, new artists are still struggling to figure things out.

For the most part, they remain focused on the traditional method of putting out demos and gigging until they get ‘discovered’ by a label. But in the wake of dwindling record sales, labels slashing rosters and doubling down on acts that are expected to have hits, opportunities for new and truly original artists have become scarcer and scarcer.

NERDSpeaking at the Midem music conference, NERD frontman, Pharrell Williams offered some advice for new artists, that new artists don’t need to be as reliant on a label to make it big if they know how to market themselves.

“I would probably build a site, a home for my music, a destination where people could come and see me and what I do and what I’m thinking about.”

“I would want to establish myself and show the world that I have interesting music, but I would create that world. The more dimension that you give your music and your website, the more creative it becomes.”

For new acts, there couldn’t be a better time to start taking control of their own destiny. You need only look at Lady Gaga to know there are now endless opportunities to get heard and be seen, all without the support of a label. The challenge is in being savvy enough and brave enough to get onto those digital channels, publish your content and start building a following.

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