Author Archive

Social media VS Social Business

Posted by on the 13th of August 2013 | Comments

Boardrooms, marketing meetings, and agencies around the world are abuzz with the words ‘Social Media’, however, “Social Business” is still a relatively new term that needs some clarifying.

Let’s start with the definitions:

Social Media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.

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SXSW: Behaviour on the Internet

Posted by on the 18th of March 2013 | Comments

The majority of all the sessions I attended had one key point – explaining how humans behave on the web, and how we can take “advantage” of that behavior.

Sounds easy, but it seems most of us, as much as we use the web, take little notice of the finer human nuances to how people share, gather, read and talk. In a talk about cyber bullying with the creators of, they highlighted the fact that in certain communities people enjoy being anonymous. This simple human truth – that we all have secrets and don’t necessarily share everything with everyone – is why many LGBT forums exist, allowing people to come together in a closed community and talk about their challenges or fears. Community, even in anonymity, is strong.

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SXSW: Social Media ROI

Posted by on the 12th of March 2013 | Comments

It was with great interest that I attended a working group session on social media ROI. The room was filled with both brand marketing as well as agency social media people. I must state up front this was an open discussion session and not a talk from a panel.

First off, I was fascinated at how sales focused most of the questions were, with the majority of the Q&A revolving around how people have succeeded in selling more via social. Considering the environment and audience, I really would have thought the conversation would have progressed a bit.
The main points, which we’ve all heard over and over, are outlined below:

• Billboards can’t track sales so why should social.

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SXSW: Lessons from the Shanzhai – how we can innovate better

Posted by on the 11th of March 2013 | Comments

Lyn Jeffery from the Institute Of The Future has drawn fascinating correlations between the counterfeit goods industry in China and how their approach can help western businesses innovate faster. Their most lucrative market at the moment is technology, where the counterfeit mobile phone market is said to be worth $15billion, and the Shanzhai produce all of these handsets.

The Shanzhai (A collective network of counterfeit goods manufacturers in China) get products to market faster, in bigger volume and cheaper than anyone else, but how do they do it?

The Shanzhai work in highly effective agile networks, and there are five rules they apply to innovation:

1. Never build anything from scratch

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SXSW: Social Media and TV

Posted by on the 11th of March 2013 | Comments

A big discussion point at SXSW is the learning and innovation around social and television. The US pretty much leads the entertainment business and their social media integration into their television series, reality, sports and news has been quick to market. Stepping back to look at trends and what has worked @jdeeringdavis shared her insight, as well learning’s from the social team at WWE.

The most tweeted about categories are still Reality TV, Sports, Series and One time special events. Interesting insights:

– Reality TV & One Time Events – The selection of hosts and the conversations around them show there to be more conversation on social media than the actual contestants. This could be a strategy from the producers

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Demystifying Online Reputation Management

Posted by on the 19th of November 2012 | Comments

A Q&A between Keenan Harduth (Head of ORM) and John Beale (Head of Strategy)

######1. What exactly does ORM stand for?######

* Online Reputation Management

######2. That’s nice, but what does it mean and what does it actually do?######

* The ORM process lets you listen to the thousands of conversations happening online, measure sentiment – which affects reputation and lets you take a look at the people who mention your brand. It’s like stalking on steroids. And with pie charts.
* It let’s you know what your brand looks like online, and what you can do to change or maintain that.

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The real problem with social media strategies? Traditional agencies

Posted by on the 8th of October 2012 | Comments

Media strategists are slowly starting to understand digital as both the client and the agency demand a more holistic approach, but what about social media?

For many, the environment is daunting as it goes against what most media strategists are trained to investigate (such as reach, frequency and Gross Rating Points). Social media means consumers have the voice to talk back, but for many, it doesn’t even feature as a blip on the radar as a channel because it’s foreign to traditional media strategy which is all about broadcast.

To me, social media fits in the media mix just as much as TV, radio or print. However, the current agency briefing model doesn’t lend itself to this type of thinking. A few different approaches I’ve seen are:

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Content and Community Q&A (Part 2)

Posted by on the 7th of August 2012 | Comments

To continue from last week’s post Content and Community Q&A (Part 1) where I chat to two of Cerebra’s Content guys, Reece Jacobsen and Leyash Pillay, here’s part 2:

6. Wait, so let’s be honest, have you ever had to ban a fan, and why?

R: I’ve had to ban more than one. Even though I said earlier I relish the challenge of changing a rant into a brand plus, trolls will still be trolls. It’s like Alfred from the Dark Knight said… “Some people just want to watch the world burn”. I’m a patient guy by nature, but even I can get called a C#$^ one too many times.

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Content and Community Q&A (Part 1)

Posted by on the 2nd of August 2012 | Comments

We all know that content and community management is a sought after skill. Brands are now starting to realize that it plays an incredibly important role, and not just anyone can do it. That being said, these guys are also on the frontline dealing with fans and followers on a daily basis. Its not easy out there, so I chatted to two of Cerebra’s Content guys, Reece Jacobsen and Leyash Pillay, to find out how they cope, and their tricks of the trade:

1. You’re the custodian to several large communities in South Africa, and we’re a multicultural country – we have 11 National languages for heaven’s sake! Do you think South Africa is unique in the way fans and followers interact on social media?

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Facebook Timeline smacks down Tab views

Posted by on the 11th of July 2012 | Comments

Following the recent changes to the Facebook Timeline, our reporting for clients started showing a serious drop in visits to tabs, as well as actual tab stats showing lower engagement than previous campaigns B.T. (Before Timeline)

Below is a timeline versus tab view for one of our clients, which is also co-incidentally one of the largest fan pages in South Africa. This trend is mirrored on all of the other pages we manage.


Stats on other pages show Tab views not growing at all with fan growth
– Page X Tab (Sep 2011) 2,658 views with 4,564 fans
– Page X Tab (June 2012) 1,146 views with 7,650 fans

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BULLETS WITH BEALE: Social Media updates, in easily digestible portions

Posted by on the 16th of May 2012 | Comments

Today, a quick overview on GM pulling their Facebook ads

Here’s a very interesting read on GM pulling their advertising from Facebook:

The decision was made for two different reasons:

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Social Media CRM

Posted by on the 16th of February 2012 | Comments

I touted Social Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) as one of the key trends in social media in South Africa for 2012, and I think it needs some explaining.

What is it?

Social CRM is the process of linking customer profiles (back-end data) with customers’ social profiles (front-end data), providing a 360 degree view of the customer when engaging.

Why is it important?

Social CRM has seen huge growth in the more established social markets overseas due to the rich data that social brings to the table. But there are some key reasons why it’s important for those companies who engage in social media.

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