We work with property developers, architects and interior designers. Funnily enough, even though they are not accountants, sometimes our clients struggle to find inspiring things to post on their blogs, Pinterest boards and Facebook pages.
There are a couple of bad things about the Internet – too many cats and Rihanna wannabes – but there is this great, mind-blowing thing: anything you can think of (and beyond) is online.
Therefore stop saying you are short of ideas, and focus on the following tasks:
- Inspire me
- Inform and entertain
- Seduce me
And show you know what you are talking about. Are you an architect? Go on Tumblr, click on “Find blogs” and get lost in a sea of blogs dedicated to any kind of porn, from cabins to bricks. Or just type “fireplace” on Pinterest, and see where it will bring you.
Cabin porn, on Tumblr.
Fireplace porn, a Pinterest board by Eva Lichner.
Inform and entertain.
Images are powerful, but reading about architects, buildings and typography and “collections of collections” is pretty cool, too.
Do it with photography, or, even better, video. Like this one. Pure architecture porn. Oh Lord, it’s getting hot in here…
What do you think?
Luxury Beauty Brands 2.0 / How to look classy online, feat. “Snooki” Polizzi, L’Occitane en Provence, The Sanctuary and Josie Maran.
I don’t have a TV set. The last time I had one I was at uni. It was 1997. The other day I went to visit a friend; he’s got a TV set, and suddenly I found myself channel surfing like a young Leroy “The Masochist” Smith in Big Wednesday.
After a little while, I sat and wondered:
It looks like there are way more Snookis, WAGs, Tulisas, Geordie Shorettes, TOWIE-sque beauties out there than Carole Bouquets, Audrey Hepburns and Zooey Deschanels.
Moreover, brands often – even plush ones – when it comes to social media, tend to adapt their image to the latest trend, which means that several times they end up looking like a chav, i.e. a not very classy individual with an expensive Burberry cap.
It’s true, thanks to gangsta rappers and Reality TV stars now luxury brands are much more ‘street’ than before, LOL and YOLO and the rest, but still, a luxury brand should stay true to its roots and perpetuate the purest ideals of beauty, elegance, and excellence (that means Coco Chanel is a good style icon, Nicki Minaj is not).
So, if you really need to give it a twist, use your brain.
Want to depict immortal beauty and allure? Ask Ellen von Unwerth to take care of the photoshoot, just like The Sanctuary did (and yes, you are right, we created their website ;)).
Want to engage your customers and keep them coming back for more? Choose culture, nature, healthy recipes and Vintage Posters of Provence, instead of OMG-scandal-scoop-unseen-footage-blah-blah-bloody-blah.
Want to use Instagram in a different way? Stop posting pictures of parties with Rihanna and Drake, and give us some real pictures, like Josie Maran. She’s a mom and a business woman, and found a way to make these traits live together; moreover, her Instagram images show a brand’s human face, and the real deal, i.e. how to look cool and well-groomed even if you have to take care of a wild 1-year-old baby.
What do you think?
Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Part 2 / Less Tavor, More Tumblr. Or, Think Outside the (Pill) Box.
I was having a “Sunday Roast Social Media Conversation” the other day, trying to explain to a friend my views on the beauty of medicine, and the importance of aesthetics in life; he said “a pill is a pill, mate”, to which I replied “Ceci n’est pas une pill”, paraphrasing René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images.
He didn’t get it. Neither did I.
The nitty-gritty, anyway, is that a pipe is a pipe but also something else, and pills are pills but are also something else – something beautiful to look at, with all their colours and shapes – and once again art and medicine found themselves sharing a compartment on a train, and once more we should try to think outside the (pill) box, and realise a pharmaceutical company should have a social presence that goes beyond the mere link-news-functional-post-done-ciao.
Nothing new here – Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome, the American-British pharmaceutical entrepreneur who co-founded Burroughs Wellcome & Company, was also a philanthropist and an art lover. According to Wikipedia “Wellcome had a passion for collecting medically related artefacts, aiming to create a Museum of Man. He bought very widely anything related to medicine, including Napoleon’s toothbrush, currently on display at the Wellcome Collection. By the time of his death there were 125,000 medical objects in the collection, of over one million total.”
If you leave in London, go see the Wellcome Collection TOMORROW. If you don’t leave in London, come down here and visit the Collection instead of Primark and other “cheap and unchic” attractions. Here’s the Collection’s website: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/
How to turn this into digital matter, then? A few suggestions will follow.
Anyway, once again, remember the dogma: INFORM AND ENTERTAIN.
In 2009, I went to the Wellcome Collection to see “Exquisite Bodies: or the Curious and Grotesque History of the Anatomical Model”, an astonishing collection of anatomical models. From the bearded lady to Damien Hirst’s Hymn, how cool would they look on a Pinterest board?
You can’t avoid Facebook
Yep, that’s true – Facebook is like Rihanna: wherever you go, you can’t avoid it. Therefore, make the most of it.
Pfizer is doing a good job on the social network, posting inspiring things, vintage photographs and beautiful etchings.
(From the Pfizer Photo Archives: An etching, circa 1915, of Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Brooklyn, New York)
As you probably know, I’m a big fan of Tumblr. How to use it, when it comes to medicine-related stuff? Look at Medical School (http://medicalschool.tumblr.com/). Brilliant.
Is this one of Yves Klein’s monochrome works from The Blue Epoch? Nope, it’s the human spinal cord in cross section.
Abstract painting or colourised SEM of anthrax bacteria?
Luxury property developers online / Here’s why a stock photo of a cute young lady barefoot on an expensive sofa in an over-the-top living room is not enough.
So, you’ve got your cool new user-friendly website, designed by the hip agency in East London. It features Young Beautiful Woman Smiling To Herself In Mirror Stock Photos ©, and top-of-the-line SEO-boosting content, all groomed with terms such as “passionate”, “inspirational”, “visionary”, “forward-thinking”, “multi-award winning”, “hands-on-approach”, “in-house expertise” and “exceptional end results”. You also have a “creative” section, a real must-have, nowadays. One of your clients is the Saudi Arabian Royal family – perfect. Moreover, you have a Facebook page in which you paste relevant links, five times a week, and a Twitter account, because your PR lady told you it’s MANDATORY to have one.
Is it enough?
Nope, because you still missing one, simple, but crucial point: you sell experiences, not just an expensive bunch of bricks.
Therefore, remember: LIFESTYLE is the key concept.
Here’s a few things you might want to consider.
You should have a blog
First of all, a blog is better than a Facebook page for SEO, offers better conversion tracking, and a longer shelf life. A well-written blog really shows that expertise you are bragging about. It proves you know the score, and that you are an authority in your industry. It can even be a good read, for the potential client, the aspirational one, and even for the one who doesn’t have two pennies to rub together, but still likes to snoop around grand mansions.
Here is a good example of a sweet blog that features music, street art and other interesting topics, and doesn’t just talk about ‘why you should choose us’ (link: http://londonewcastle.com/blog/)
Pinterest, what a great tool! Use it well, and it will help you create and communicate a complex message. Global luxury asset broker and concierge service provider GC Privé have a seriously cool Pinterest account, featuring lifestyle-centred boards – such as this one, in which you’ll find useful tips for a swell night out in the Big Smoke.
Instagram the Hell out of it!
Yes, put your expensive iPhone to good use: download Instagram, take a gazillion pictures, and share them everywhere. Once again, it’s not just about bedrooms and kitchens, it’s about LIFESTYLE. Therefore, I expect to see places, food, travels and cocktails. The guys at Adelto are doing a good job, get inspired by their snapshots.
Back in the 1980s, people used to visit exotic places and take a gazillion pictures with big black squared point-and-shoot cameras, then come back home, invite people over, give them crackers, salty biscuits and pistachios, show them the gazillion pictures, and bore them to death.
Here’s me riding a camel. Here’s Jen posing in front of the Great Pyramid. Here’s our driver, Rashid, eating ice cream. Here’s Fritz, a German fellow traveller, dancing to Lady Gaga, on the boat, during the Nile cruise.
And so on and so forth, multiplied by a gazillion times.
We already spent some time explaining why Burberry, AKA one of the toppermost social brands ever, AKA the reference when it comes to all things digital marketing-related, is surprisingly weak on Pinterest (and Instagram), when they talk about London.
I mean, London is not exactly like Hull – two streets, three pubs, fish & chips shop, that’s it – so why are they always posting pictures of Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Tower Bridge and other rather unoriginal stuff?
The only explanation is they hired a team of social media veterans – meaning they are a bunch 75-year-olds accountants with a passion for colourless clichéd holiday photography.
Now, my point is: do you want to show London’s vibe, its characters and countless shades of Majesty and Beauty, in an original and unique – yet organic mummy-friendly – way? Then get inspired here:
Tips, food, places, photos of sheep roaming next to Canary Wharf, parks and green spaces, iconic design, healthy eating, tilt-shift photography, vintage, art and characters. Of course, this is not the perfect Pinterest account, the one scientist will study in the future and social strategists will talk about for many years to come. Yet, although this is not a a £4.95 billion business – like Burberry – they inform and entertain and tell the story of a great place, in a very pleasant way.
What do you think?
Dear Rebecca Minkoff, you are doing it right! But you should get some Twitter tips from Mangal 2, the Turkish restaurant in Dalston.
Twitter reminds me of David Lynch: many say it’s the best thing ever, others show hatred to the platform and its quasi-sectarian users – they have their own jargon, and codes according to which you constantly have to talk to peers, and use lots of hashtags – others simply don’t get it.
Whether you like or not, though, Twitter is an unavoidable tool if you have a digital presence. The problem is how you use it. According to an article published by The Verge, ‘Millions of people use Twitter on a regular basis, but how many of them are bona fide masters of the microblogging medium? If you ask them, more than 181,000.’ Brace yourself, for here come the Twitter Gurus again. The truth is, I’m afraid, that usually Twitter is used by brands for customer service-related matter, or as an extension of Facebook and Tumblr, or as a hub for links to other destinations and platforms, but it is rarely exploited as an engaging tool per se.
Let’s face it, usually tweets are nothing but “Hi, click here, go there and check that out”.
Look at Rebecca Minkoff: a visually rich and engaging Facebook page, an absolutely inspiring Pinterest, a seriously well-written blog, with lots of interesting content, about music, art, culture, travel, food and other cool stuff. But the Twitter account is dull. No fun. No sparkle. No good. ‘Look of the day (link)’, ‘Loving this (link)’, ‘Here’s a bright idea (link)’, ‘Spotted at Pre-Fall appointments: (link)’, ‘A little #prefall sneak peek! (link)’ and so on and so forth.
I was a bit disappointed. But then, roaming around the Land of the Holy Twitterian, I found, thanks to Ms. Serendipity, one of the best accounts ever. And it’s not Gucci’s, or Obama’s, or The Stones’, or Brett Easton Ellis’. Nope, this is @Mangal2, a Turkish restaurant, in Dalston, north-east London. Here’s a selection of the funniest tweets they came up with, lately:
‘This weather makes me so happy! I could just do something really nice today like give staff a raise or free kebabs to customers. But no.’
‘Ideal #CBB list: 1) a masochist 2) a sadist 3) Nick Griffin 4) Somebody physically imposing and aggressive of an ethnic origin 5) Hasselhoff’
‘Nothing more infuriating than approaching a Turkish customer in Turkish, only for them to reply in broken English ‘I no Turkisch’.’
‘Turkey has been trying to film their own version of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ since 1983. Still can’t find a lead for the ‘good’.’
‘Don’t complain about ‘tiny portions’ when you’ve arrived with that huge belly. In context, everything is small. Trees are small.’
‘Turkey has just entered 1972.’
‘Customer pays, gets up to leave: oh wait, did the bill inc. service? Me: No. Customer: ok, good. *leaves*’
‘Family arrives. They order wine. Two 12 year old kids want a glass. Kids, don’t make me bring my belt out. Be good.’
‘Don’t over-estimate how liked you are. You reserved a table for 25 for your birthday but only 6 of you turned up. Know thyself.’
‘If you manage 10 Turkish men at your job you’re pretty much over-qualified for any position at London Zoo.’
”In my next life I want to come back as a Turkish man’ – nobody.’
‘Being a bouncer in Dalston must be the easiest job in the world. Hipsters don’t fight.’
(On Xmas day) ‘Everyone is tweeting about ‘Turkey in the oven’ and that’s really racist and insulting.’
‘Hipsters originate from Instagramistan. I know this sounds like a war-torn nation, but unfortunately it isn’t.’
What is so good about it, then?
First of all, it is bloody funny.
Secondly, I doubt they hired a hip agency in Shoreditch or a moustached freelance to take care of it. Too many self-proclaimed Gurus or Ninjas will never reach this level of engagement.
Last but not least, they show you can use anything to bring grist to your mill: the environment you work in (restaurant-related tweets), the people around you (customer or hipster-realted jokes), puns (Turkey the country vs Turkey the bird), and so on and so forth.
If a Turkish restaurant can come up with engaging tweets on a daily basis, and define a strong strategy for a powerful presence, why not a fashion brand, with much bigger resources and an army of Gurus at their service?
3 things that still exist in the World 2.0 – feat. Twitter Gurus, self-obsessed luxury brands, and dead Pinterest accounts.
‘Old Hare Krishna got nothing on you
Just keep you crazy with nothing to do
Keep you occupied with pie in the sky
There ain’t no guru who can see through your eyes
I, I found out!
I, I found out!’
John Lennon, “I Found Out”
1. Twitter Gurus, social media Shamanism, and Nigerian scammers
Yes, they still exist. Yes, they still sell impossible dreams for cheap. Yes, thousands still swallow the bait.
Among many other funny Twitter followers, I spotted this one, the other day: ‘Market the best Online Business – I give away FREE money and receive FREE money!’
He gives away FREE money. And he’s got 10k followers.
Here’s the Twitter profile pic.
Email Shamans are pretty popular as well:
‘We build CMS and E-Commerce websites based on ready-made designs and features to keep costs low and give you a nice looking website in just 7 working days for an unbeatable price of $99 only.’ Read More…
“There’s a new kid on the block, and boy, the kid is tough” wrote Jack Prelutsky in 1984.
There’s a new kid on the social media block, and boy, the kid is tough. Its name is Pheed, and it’s based around some strong ideas – but are we sure “strong” is better than “smart”, nowadays?
From Mashable: ‘Is there room for another social network? A new startup, Pheed, certainly hopes so.’
‘Pheed is the ultimate “mashup” of other sites, says Pheed cofounder and CEO O.D. Kobo. Kobo and his team “cherry-picked” what they liked best of their social media predecessors, and left out what bothered them, creating in Kobo’s opinion something both significant and simple.’
‘Pheed’s concept is based on offering premium content. Pheeders have the ability to apply a month subscription fee ($1.99 to $34.99 per month) to their streams or users can charge on a pay-per-view basis ($1.99 to $34.99). Pheed takes 50% the content’s revenue and the user takes the rest.’
Good? Bad? Lol? Will it work? Who knows?
The importance of being specific in social media
In my opinion, the real question is another one: do we really need a new Frankestein-esque social network, sort of hotch-potch of various other platforms?
Or is the world waiting for the opposite, i.e. something specific, with a unique purpose, and/or niche?
Let’s come up with a cheap analysis of what is going on with other popular social media:
Wanna blog? Go for Tumblr.
Easiest way to share your photos in a matter of seconds? Instagram, hands down.
Feeling the urge to complain about the rude waitress? Tweet it!
Fancy creating a mood board on which you pin the things you like? Would you like to come up with a wish list that defines you as a sophisticated devotee of consumerism? Want to sell and buy special and unusual things? Pinterest and Fancy are your new best friends.
The aforementioned platforms somehow have the monopoly of a specific “social media action”, and they achieved it after noticing that Facebook couldn’t handle all these things at the same time, without looking like a headless chicken.
And now it looks like we are going back to that mess, with Pheed.
Brands & social media: time to sell experiences, not “stuff” – feat. VOSS Water, the coolest water in the world.
This is Voss, Hordaland, Norway.
The place is pretty pristine, the air fresh and the water pure; Scandinavians do it better, we know that, and a couple of friends decided, a few years ago, to sell the aforementioned pure water, in über-cool design bottles, with a different concept: sell the experience, not the liquid. Read More…
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