Snap #11: Learning from the ‘Biebs’


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Of all brands active on social media celebrities seem to generate the hugest buzz and attract the largest followings. This got me thinking, which celebrities have had the most success on social media and why?


My research showed unsurprisingly that Justin Bieber is currently ranked number 1 as the celebrity with the greatest social media power across the globe. He has amassed the highest Twitter following with over 45 million followers as well as having huge fan bases across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

The success Bieber has achieved through social media is unparalleled. A simple YouTube cover may have set the ball rolling, but since he was first discovered back in 2008, the Bieber team has done an outstanding job at marketing Justin, cleverly engineering the huge cult of ‘Beleibers’ that exist today. So just how did Justin Bieber generate such mass hysteria and achieve the incredible success he enjoys today?


Like any brand Justin had a skill set which people could consume. He used YouTube to spread awareness of his expertise and increase recognition of the Bieber brand. For brands just starting out on social media, YouTube is a great method to generate awareness and begin building an online reputation.

Direct Engagement

Social media is the perfect platform for speaking directly to consumers, and developing a one-on-one connection with them. Bieber has captured the hearts of thousands through directly engaging with them on Twitter. He often singles out fans responding personally to their tweets and requests. Brands need to model this tactic to build up solid relationships and customer loyalty, which will then translate into beneficial purchases and transactions.

24/7 Presence

Justin+Bieber+Celebrity+Social+Media+Pics+8khh1khYgUKlBieber never wanders too far from social media. He regularly updates his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with content that interests his followers e.g. daily shirtless photos. It is crucial that a brand not neglect their social platforms once created, and continuously post and tweet about things relevant and appealing to their audience.

Know your audience

Justin Bieber had developed a solid and fiercely loyal fan base of ‘Beliebers’ through understanding the demographics and attitudes of those who follow him and tailoring his music, appearance and marketing to fit in with them. Brands need to develop a thorough grasp of the consumer segment/s they are targeting and ensure their social presence across all mediums is consistent and segment appropriate.

Be Everywhere

Facebook  official justin bieber Accout [Shoutingblogger.blogspotJustin maintains a presence on just about every social platform e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google + just to name a few. Although most brands aren’t trying to take on every form of social media out there, it is important to be active across a variety of mediums, and stay up to date with all the new networks popping up.

What are your thoughts on how Justin Bieber has achieved his success? Are there any other celebrities that stand out in your mind through their social media activity?




Snap #10: The Day Our Mobiles Became Our Wallets


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Mobile Wallet Apps are beginning to hit Australian shores with MasterCard launching their MasterPass in August and Visa in talks with payment providers, promising a pre-Christmas launch. Australia is following in the footsteps of big global brands Apple and Google who launched mobile wallets Apple Passbook and Google Wallet overseas in the past year.MasterPass_on_Mobile_large_verge_medium_landscape

The mobile wallet enables consumers to pay for things in an easy and fast way using their smartphones rather than whipping out their wallets. The idea is of course to provide a convenient way for shoppers to organise their wallets and give them a simple way to track all of the items they usually carry around with them i.e. loyalty cards, tickets, boarding passes and gift cards.

New Zealand is also about to burst onto the scene, set to roll out their own version of the electronic wallet in 2014 and us Aussies are keeping very close tabs on our Kiwi neighbours.

Telecom Digital Ventures, the NZ Company behind the mobile wallet, are attempting to build on the current payment options that are already working overseas, wanting to include a transport card into the wallet further adding to its convenience.

Here’s a taste of their upcoming wallet

The primary challenges facing the success of mobile wallets are security fears and a lack of trust. People want reassurance that their information and details are being well protected and are not at risk. I, however have little doubt that in the next couple of years, companies will develop rock solid protections for their technologies and more and more people will jump onto the mobile wallet bandwagon.

What are your thoughts on the mobile wallet; does its convenience outweigh security concerns for you?  




Snap #9: Click, Like, Post, Share


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Just how shareable is your brand?

BuzzFeed is the leading media company for social news and entertainment as well as being the king of procrastination tools! I’m sure you’ve all been there at one time or another.


What you may not be aware of is the way companies have been using BuzzFeed to market their brands. Unlike other social networks like Facebook where people tend to lurk and maybe share a status update or two, 75% of people who visit BuzzFeed intend to share what they discover. With BuzzFeed achieving over 60 million unique visitors a month, the potential for brands is huge.

However, to use BuzzFeed as a marketing tool, brands need a different approach and different content to usual.

BuzzFeed collaborates with brands to produce content that people are interested in, want to share and isn’t straight out advertising. As CEO Jonah Peretti puts it:

It has to be about a message. There has to be reciprocity. The brand has to give some content or something of interest in exchange for a little bit of attention.

 So why is BuzzFeed successful?

1     Customers are learning new things they can then use to impress their friends with


2      It isn’t in your face advertising


3      It provides readable content that is light hearted and easy to process


4      It’s all about creating headlines that are click magnets


What kind of things have you shared from BuzzFeed? Do you know of any brands that are effectively using BuzzFeed at the moment?



Snap #8: Volvo’s Golden Hamster


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Have you encountered ‘Charlie the Hamster’ yet? If not, you are missing out.

Charlie travelled all the way from the UK to Spain to feature in Volvo’s online film ‘The Hamster Stunt,’ steering a 15-ton Volvo truck up a quarry. He maintained full composure and poise throughout, emerging as a true star and amassed 3.2 million YouTube views in 1 week.

Volvo has really excelled through this short film, communicating information about their new system, which allows drivers to manoeuvre heavily laden trucks with the least amount of effort, in an extremely creative way, attracting an audience that would not usually be interested in their message or the Volvo brand at all.

This is actually the third of such stunt videos demonstrating the superior and unique capabilities of Volvo trucks. The first, shown below features Faith Dickey crossing a slack line between two trucks as they travel towards a tunnel at extremely high speeds.

It is a captivating stunt; I held my breath the whole way through.

So now bears the question, why are these Volvo ads so successful?

The answer is quite simple; the films draw you in right from the start; sends powerful, visual messages about the product and are only a couple of minutes in length.

What are your thoughts on Charlie the Hamster and Volvo’s other stunts? Do you think they are effective advertisements?

Snap #7: The Social Shopper


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Do you spend more time online than watching TV or listening to the radio?

Social media usage is constantly increasing and the amount of time spent online is fast surpassing that of TV. The move online drastically changes the profile of your typical consumer and has produced a new type of consumer, the ‘social shopper.’

A social shopper is exactly what it sounds like:

a consumer who regularly uses social networks, apps and smartphones to do their shopping.

The social shopper presents huge opportunities for retailers to influence customers through social media. The infographic below clearly shows how social media is affecting online shopping.


Studies have shown that 40% of social media users will buy an item after sharing, liking or tweeting about it. Additionally, social media leads to roughly equal amounts of online and in store purchases.

Pinterest has been identified as the network with the greatest chance of driving spontaneous purchasing, people see items friends or brands have pinned and it creates in them an instant desire to have the product.

One brand that has successfully capitalised on Pinterest’s potential is well known online retailer ASOS. With over 43, 000 followers, ASOS has created 20 boards displaying product ideas, lifestyle, celebrity content and competitions.



What’s your take on social shoppers and how retailers can effectively target them using social media?Have you seen any brands that have successfully tapped into the potential of the social shopper?

Snap #6: When Ads Know You Better Than You Know Yourself


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UberMedia claims it is reinventing mobile advertising through putting the consumer first. They offer businesses help connecting to the right customers through predictive ads, tailored to a person’s exact location and likes. The idea is that instead of ‘annoying’ the customer with irrelevant ads, UberMedia uses social signals to link consumers with what they need, at the moment they need it.

CEO of UberMedia, Bill Gross reckons his methods achieve a click through rate of between 5 and 10%, 10 – 20 times greater than average rates.

Earlier this year Nike partnered with UberMedia to trial their mobile advertising techniques. In a campaign for their new Carmelo Anthony shoe, they targeted consumers who followed the New York Knicks’ players on Twitter as well as those whose smartphones were GPS-tracked on hiking paths, running trails and tennis courts over the last month. When these people were within 100 steps of Foot Locker or Nike store, a shoe shaped ad would pop up on their phones pointing them in the direction of the closest store.


Although this new innovation with mobile advertising appears incredibly effective, does it not seem a tad invasive? Knowing eager advertisers are tracking your every movement isn’t a comforting thought for many.

However, no need to worry, Gross has an answer for everything! His UberMedia service is opt-in; allowing users who find being followed an invasion of privacy to turn off the tracking in their phone settings.

Mobile advertising definitely seems to be the way to go at the moment; it has been identified as the fastest growing digital sector, experiencing 190% growth over the last year.

 The key advantages of mobile advertising are:

  1. Huge audience
  2. The channel is always available, you have 24/7 access to smartphone users
  3. Allows for real time engagement i.e. giving users the right information at the right time
  4. Low costs compared with TV and radio ads.



As seen above, another company successfully tapping into the goldmine of targeted ads is Best Western. The hotel brand has partnered with PayPal using location based mobile advertising to reach consumers near airports or competitor’s locations. The growing trend is for travellers to book hotels last minute, from the road and Best Western’s new mobile campaign provides customers with the perfect answer, showing them exactly how far they are from the nearest Best Western hotel, before directing them to book on their website.

So, what are your thoughts on predictive ads, do you think it’s an invasion of privacy or do you think targeted mobile advertising is the future of advertising?


Snap#5: #firstworldproblems Hashtag Hijacked


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We are all familiar with it and many of use it to complain about our trivial issues, I’m referring to the hashtag #firstworldproblems.


Earlier this year, charity organisation Water is Life made it their mission to get rid of the hashtag #firstworldproblems in order to raise awareness about the real issues and challenges facing those living in developing countries.

Water is Life kicked off their campaign with an ad. featuring Haitians reading out #firstworldproblem tweets and responding to them. The clip is extremely thought provoking and unbelievably effective; one of the exerts flashes to a young boy sitting on a pile of rubble retelling one’s complaint of their leather seats not being heated, the image speaks volumes. The campaign was a great success amassing donations of over 1 million days worth of clean water.

Whilst Water is Life has successfully embedded social media into their marketing mindset, other non-for-profits have yet to grasp its full potential. Social media can hugely benefit NFPs in that it provides effective tools for communicating messages to large audiences at a low cost. Additionally, social media is a great way to influence behaviour change and can get more people giving and adopting positive behaviours e.g. donating blood. It is crucial for NFPs to get on board. 

Another NFP who has wholeheartedly embraced social media and through it reached thousands is the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD). They claim that 1 in 6 people around the globe, including 500 million children suffer from seven NTDs and so launched a campaign called End7 that aimed at eliminating these diseases by 2020.

End7 involved a YouTube video featuring celebrities watching footage of the tropical diseases and their reactions, followed by a plea for just a 50 pence donation, enough to treat one child. The idea was that many viewers get turned off by painful images and never make it to the end of ads. Seeing celebrities viewing the footage was supposed to make people want to watch whatever was causing such reactions and ultimately increase awareness and donations for the cause; and it worked.

Within a week of being launched the video received 300,000 views and generated 60,000 pounds of donations, which went to treating 120,000 children who are victims of these horrible diseases.

 Have you seen any good examples of NFPs using social media or do you have any thoughts on how social media could benefit charities?


Snap #4: Siri battles it out with Google Glass


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With the imminent arrival of Google Glass into the mainstream market, Siri seems to be feeling understandably threatened. In an effort to protect herself, Siri has started a campaign snidely mocking Glass. Try hitting Siri with the command “Ok Glass”; you will be immediately struck with humorous retorts such as

I think that Glass is half empty.


 Just so you know, I don’t do anything when you blink at me.

Here’s what happened, when I attempted to “Ok Glass,” Siri.


However, Google has responded to Apple and Siri’s taunting, claiming Glass will retaliate strongly with: ‘Siri, it’s not you, it’s me. You see, I just met Google Voice Search and fell hard for her. She doesn’t just listen; she understands me.’

And the war is on!

Siri’s reaction to Glass is of course a tactic by Apple to bring their brand back into the limelight through utilising Siri’s witty nature, which, has so endeared users in the past. However, in addition to engaging with a somewhat playful catfight with Google, the real attack against Glass will be from Apple’s iwatch, which is reportedly being prepared for release in 2014. Apple CEO Tim Cook came out earlier this year declaring his lack of confidence in the ability of Glass to be successful as a mass-market device and the belief that consumers will be more attracted to something that can be worn on the wrist i.e. the iwatch.

I tend to agree with Apple on this one. I think Glass sales will definitely be hindered by its appearance and the fact that it is so visibly noticeable on the head. Females in particularly are unlikely to be attracted to such an accessory.


Google Glass

What do you think about the war between Siri and Glass; do you find Siri amusing? Do you think Glass is a real threat to Apple?






Snap #3: Australia Embarrassed on Social Media


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7th of September marks Election Day throughout Australia and campaigns are well under way.  A huge trend emerging in this year’s election is the attempt to connect with voters using social media. Politicians and parties both big and small are turning to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in the race to rally up voters. But have our politicians got it right?

Kevin Rudd has gone all out there, running a “selfie” campaign under the name ‘kruddmp.’ No doubt his most sensational selfie yet shows him in trouble with his razor.

The image was quoted as being:

The cut that stopped the nation

and undoubtedly you were all stopped in your tracks upon viewing this image.


Although the photo amassed 8,000 likes and 295 retweets, did it really help increase the popularity or credibility of our current prime minister? Many took to twitter lavishing in yet another opportunity to criticise Mr. Rudd as seen below.

 @szabosolicitors : In case you missed it earlier: Tony Abbott has a vision for Australia. Kevin Rudd has a vision of himself #selfies

Flipping to the other side, Tony Abbott has been accused of maintaining a somewhat robotic persona on his social media platforms and failing to showcase #therealtony. Yet, despite his seemingly conservative approach, he has unintentionally managed to cause quite the frenzy on social media in the past week when describing MP Fiona Scott as having ‘a bit of sex appeal.’ Feminists and critics were horrified! These comments led to the online circulation of images of Mr. Abbott in his famous ‘budgie smugglers’ with the caption “just how much sex appeal does it take to win an election, Tony?”

This blunder by Mr. Abbott followed one earlier in the campaign where he slipped up replacing ‘repository of all wisdom’ with ‘suppository of all wisdom.’ This humiliating gaffe went global, with twitter comments flowing under the #suppository.

Last but definitely not least; one cannot forget Stephanie Banister. Yes, this One Nation candidate really takes the cake majorly botching up an interview when referring to Islam as a country and confusing ‘Qur’an’ with ‘Haram.’ She ventured even further suggesting the Jews follow Jesus Christ and then claimed the National Disability Scheme was going fine, when it has yet to begin. Stephanie’s comments went viral, as people across the globe entertained themselves with the humour of Australian politics and comparisons were even drawn between her and Sara Palin.

So now the question arises, Australian politics have been ridiculed immensely through social media, any tips on how it can redeem its name? 

Snap #2: Ooops…


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The Perils of Social Media 

‘United breaks guitars!’ Who remembers that famous tagline?

United Airlines was one of the first brands to suffer at the hands of social media way back in 2008. They were attacked on YouTube by a frustrated musician, Dave Carroll who claimed that United Airline damaged his band’s instruments during a flight and then refused to take responsibility. The worst part of the incident is that Dave warned United of his video prior to its release and they dismissed it without a second thought. Wow, times have changed.

Here’s a taste of why Dave’s campaign to grab United’s attention was such a hit, the song even hit number 1 on iTunes.

More and more, brands are being damaged through social media as they underestimate the power platforms such as, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter give consumers. Brands must work to protect their reputations more than ever before.

A UK journalist cleverly observed:

The Internet loves a marketing disaster. It makes few allowances for the brands that try and fail. It never forgets. And it rarely forgives.

A more recent brand to fall victim to social media is McDonald who tried to use its own hashtag #mcdstories to promote its brand and engage with customers. What resulted instead was a torrent of horror stories and cynical criticisms from McDonald haters.


Both United Airlines and McDonald’s have undoubtedly learnt a lot from these disasters.

However, here are a few pointers on how to avoid such a debacle to begin with:

  1. Define clear business objectives for using social media: do not enter into social media without a plan
  2. Don’t be naïve, be aware of the risks: those critical of your brand are just as likely to seek you out on social media as those loyal to your brand
  3. Monitor, monitor, monitor
  4. Establish clear policies on how to respond to a social media crisis

What do you think brands should do to avoid a social media catastrophe?