‘What do Nokia and Denny’s have in common? Apple envy’, says an article on The Verge. As usual, when Apple launches a new product, the hype level goes through the roof, and, after what we can call the “Oreo Effect”, brands started to react quickly on social media channels, trying to ride the wave and win the users’ attention.
There you go, then, with Nokia, Motorola, HTC, Windows Phone and the rest of them, trying to come up with a funny response to the Apple event.
Even brands that have nothing to do with technology join the Conga line. Here you can see McDonald’s and Kit Kat’s version.
And here’s one of Kit Kat’s recent tweets, showing how Twitter is becoming the wittiest, fastest and – maybe – smartest social network around.
Even when good taste is kind of lacking, somehow.
Examples? Charmin, always talking about, well…things with a bathroom-related twist, like they did for the birth of little Prince George.
And, last but not least, yesterday’s Masterpiece. Raikkonen leaves Lotus for Ferrari, and, as Metro reports, ‘Following the announcement, the British-based outfit tweeted a picture of two bunnies getting busy (we’ve decided not to show you the rampant rabbits…use your imagination if you really want to), accompanied by the message: ‘So Kimi is off to Ferrari for 2014; it hurts a little bit… #F1 #Raikkonen’
We decide to show the bunnies, by the way.
What do you think?
Photo sources: Twitter, Kit Kat (http://www.kitkat.com/#/home)
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?
What is Myspace Tom doing nowadays? Nothing! He’s still better than Mark “Insipid” Zuckerberg, though.
This is Tom Anderson. You probably remember him from back in the day, when he was everybody’s friend on MySpace. They used to call him “Tom from Myspace”, or “Myspace Tom”.
What happened to him? Not much. He sold Myspace to News Corp. for $580 million, and after that, the Dolce Vita began. Tom travels, Tom has a laugh, Tom takes a gazillion photos a day, Tom tweets, Instagrams, Google+es, and even Facebooks. The End. Haterz gona hate, as usual, so sometimes people get mad and say bad things about good ol’ Myspace Tom. He fires back.
More insults coming in 3…2…1, there you go: Sam from Gizmodo says: ‘MySpace Tom Is a Prick’
The post is quite interesting, and Sam sounds very excited about the issue: ‘Remember MySpace? No, not the new one, but the old, horrible one, the acne of the Internet, the one with Tom’s dumb face plastered across it? Ever wonder what happened to him? He makes fun of regular people on Twitter.’
More bad words about Tom, and then the friendly advice: ‘Listen Tom: it’s cool that you spray painted a turd to look like gold and sold it to a senile Australian man for half a billion dollars. Good on you. But part of being a lucky, rich guy who is set for life because of ordinary people means not making fun of ordinary people.’
People insult him everywhere, jokes and memes appear overnight, he’s a laughing stock of the Internet. Everywhere.
Even Urban Dictionary features Tom. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/nvsuvgh. One of the article says: ‘Myspace Tom – The guy who made the horror of Myspace. “Hey, I’m Tom, and I ruined millions of lives. THX.”
A few years ago, Tom was everybody’s friend. Now he’s alone.
Jasmine Gardner writes on the Evening Standard: ‘I deleted my (Myspace) account years ago. To be embarrassingly honest, I was more of a Bebo girl. MySpace Tom wasn’t my best mate.’ ‘Although these days he has retired on his millions, is holidaying in Hawaii (according to Twitter, where he is more active) and dabbling in photography, he still has his old profile pic because, as he tweeted: “If I used a new pic it would break the Internet; my pic has been viewed more than the mona lisa bitch.”’
Poor Myspace Tom. Nobody likes him. And he don’t care.
And you know what? I kind of like him, as I will never understand why millionaires still work 27 hours a day, when life is about being happy, seeing places, spending time with the people you love, and trying to be a better man, father, and terrestrian. Moreover, the guy who changed the way people interact through technology shows us how to use social media in order to tell a story and to engage with his followers. Win.
Who else is doing that? David “Boring” Karp, or Mark “Insipid” Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla “Uninteresting” Chan, posting pictures of their monotonous puppy? Come on now, kids.
By the way, check Tom’s Instagram: http://instagram.com/myspacetom
Enjoy some sweet photos on his Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/myspacetom
He even uses Google+! One of their fifteen active users…(https://plus.google.com/+myspacetom/posts)
What do you think?
Is social media good for sales? We don’t really know. But it is good for revolutions, that’s for sure. #OccupyGezi #Turkey
Every time a social media strategist goes to a meeting, she/he will face the scepticism and diffidence of yet another client, who will eventually ask: “Yes, it sounds cool and everything, but how can I make money with it?”
A difficult question, indeed. How do we measure ROI and benefits and impact of social media marketing? There is no infallible tool/Oracle for that, I’m afraid.
So, what it the real purpose of social media? By looking at the Arab Spring, and now at what is going on in Turkey, we could say that social media can indeed have a purpose: to allow people to show their indignation, their anger and frustration, to organise and come together, for a radical change.
Traditional media won’t show the facts on telly? Who cares, for we’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and a few other weapons.
And you know what? Governments can’t control them (at least in full).
So, here’s a random collections of headlines, links, videos and pictures that show how people, once they realise the real power of social media – no, I’m not talking about sharing a can of Coke with your friends and then post a pic on Instagram – can really change the world.
Erdogan vs Social media
From Wired UK: ‘Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called social media “the worst menace to society”, saying that it has been used to spread lies about the current anti-government protests taking place in the country.’
Mashable: ‘Turkey Protesters Take to Twitter as Local Media Turns a Blind Eye’
Al Jazeera: ‘At least 24 people arrested in #Turkey for tweeting “misleading and libellous information”.’
http://turkishpolicebrutality.tumblr.com/ features (often very disturbing) pictures of the unrest.
Other blogs are helping spreading the word and key images; “The woman in red” is already an icon of the unrest.
Bringing it offline
Mashable: ‘Turkish Protesters Crowdfunding Ad in ‘The New York Times. The Istanbul protesters who drew out riot police over the weekend have some overseas admirers, it seems. Inspired by the demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a handful of New York-based supporters are raising money online for a full-page ad, to be placed in either the New York Times or the Washington Post.’
Anonymous helps out
‘Hackers access email accounts of PM Erdogan’s staff’
Banksy helps out, too
‘Entire staff of Turkish Airlines in Guy Fawkes masks, in choreographed protest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x56qCv5AgA&feature=youtu.be … #OccupyGezi #Turkey’
‘Stunning, overwhelming @instagram collage of the #Turkey protests http://nowembed.jit.su/?size=150&event=RRR5xekKrR … via @digitalhoarding #occupygezi’
Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Part 1 / If Damien Hirst turned an art gallery into a pharmacy, why shouldn’t we turn a Facebook page into an arty pharmacy?
“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.”
“Inform and entertain”, recites the social media mantra; whatever you do, follow this simple rule and you will eventually produce something good.
And yes, even if it is not about football or girls or LOLs or cats, your Facebook page / Tumblr / Pinterest can attract a strong community. And yes, even if you are a pharmaceutical company.
How? Here’s the recipe:
Useful links and info + practical advices + healthy recipes and tips for a healthier lifestyle + a forum-like place in which the company and the consumers converse + YOUR PERSONAL TWIST
What about the twist? Think for instance about medicine in art. Even more specific: let’s consider the concept of pharmacy in art.
Here’s a just a few examples:
Readymades of Marcel Duchamp / Pharmacy (Pharmacie) / 1914
‘Gouache on chromolithograph of a scene with bare trees and a winding stream to which he added two dots of watercolor, red and green, like the colored liquids in a pharmacy.’
Joseph Cornell / Pharmacy
Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) Pharmacy typed and dated ‘Joseph Cornell 1943’ (on a paper label affixed to the inside) wood box construction — printed paper, colored sand, colored foil, sulfur, feathers, seashells, butterfly, aluminum foil, fiber, wood shavings, copper wire, fruit pits, water, gold paint, cork, water, dried leaves and found objects 15¼ x 12 x 3 1/8 in. (38.7 x 30.5 x 7.9 cm.) Executed in 1943.’
If you have a spare $4 million in your right pocket, head here to buy it: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/sculptures-statues-figures/joseph-cornell-pharmacy-5147472-details.aspx
Damien Hirst / Pharmacy / 1992
From the Tate’s website: ‘For Hirst medicine, like art, provides a belief system which is both seductive and illusory. He has commented: ‘I can’t understand why some people believe completely in medicine and not in art, without questioning either’ (quoted in Damien Hirst, p.9). By reproducing the area of a pharmacy the public is normally denied access to in a highly aestheticised context, Hirst has created a kind of temple to modern medicine, ironically centred around an agent of death (the insect-o-cutor). Offering endless rows of palliative hopes for a diseased cultural body, Hirst’s Pharmacy could be seen as a representation of the multiple range of philosophies, theories and belief systems available as possible means of structuring and redeeming a life. Like medicine, however, these attempts to think a way around death are eternally doomed to failure.’
WARNING! The following example should be taken as a mere case of pharmacy-themed art, and it shouldn’t be used, for obvious reasons (customers looking for medicines online don’t really want to see posts about drug abuse, addiction and sad stories of troubled pop stars).
Jason Mecier / Pill Portraits
Pharmacy: From Old French farmacie (modern French pharmacie), from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Ancient Greek φαρμακεία (pharmakeia, “the use of drugs”), from φάρμακον (pharmakon, “a drug, charm, enchantment”), from Ancient Greek φαρμακίς (pharmakis, “witch”).
Lots of celebrities have problems with drugs. Everybody knows it. American artist Jason Mecier created a series of interesting celebrity mosaic-portraits using coloured prescription pills.
Stay tuned for Part 2.
Luxury Brands on Pinterest / Battle of the B(r)ands: The Punk (Leighton Koizumi) Vs the Posh Kid (Loewe).
“Be interesting, be enthusiastic… and don’t talk too much.”
Norman Vincent Peale
This smart quote neatly sums up Pinterest: show me something interesting, be enthusiastic, use images to tell a story.
So, Pinterest is a great tool for brands, blah blah blah, lots of users blah blah blah, repin and engage blah blah, and so on and so forth, we all know the story. Still, it looks like the majority of brands still struggle with it, and often use it in a rather unexciting way.
At the end of the day, the secret is in the name: it’s called PINTEREST for a reason, right?
First of all, we would like to remind you that Loewe is a luxury fashion house owned by the LVMH Group, not a Lebanese restaurant on Holloway Road.
Moreover, as we said elsewhere, their marketing moves sound a bit weird, sometimes.
We are now ready to dissect the brand’s Pinterest account; easy, as the whole point is: what is interesting, fascinating, entertaining, enamouring, alluring, catchy, enchanting, in a brand whose boards on Pinterest are called:
Loewe Winter 2013 Looks, Loewe Made To Order Collection 2013, I Loewe Madrid / Barcelona, Loewe ‘Leo’ Bag: 7 Bloggers, 7 Colours, 7 Days, Loewe Spring Summer 2013 Campaign, Loewe Spring Summer 2013, Loewe ‘Paseo’ Bag, Loewe Fragrances, Loewe Heritage, Loewe Leather Expertise, Loewe ‘Amazona’ Bag, Loewe ‘Flamenco’ Bag, Loewe ‘Oro’, Loewe Gift Season 2012, Loewe Fragrances Dreamlike Sensations, Loewe ‘Granada’ Bag, Loewe Autumn Winter 2012 Campaign, Loewe Best Hands of Spain: The Espadrilles.
It sounds like a six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, isn’t it?
Apart from three boards – the one with the nice illustrations, the one called “Loewe ‘Leo’ Bag: 7 Bloggers, 7 Colours, 7 Days” and the rather cool one featuring photos of real people making real things with real hands – the rest is frankly dull, boring, soulless and rather abnormally self-centred.
Leighton Koizumi: GOOD
This is for the ones who said Pinterest is for yummy mummies with too much time on their hands.
Who’s Leighton Koizumi? He’s a legend, the Pope of garage rock, the Emperor of dirty punk, the Diego Velázquez of Easy Listening For The Underachiever.
More info here, anyway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Morlocks
Here’s a picture of the Man himself. Not quite the pinner you’d expect, right?
Well, the guy’s account is simply great: inspiring, cool, and, more importantly, he knows how to build narrative through images. Koizumi’s Pinterest is telling a story whose main characters are a crying Nina Simone, a Skipper Alan Hale in a Roman Orgy, Iggy Pop becoming Iggy Pope, The Primates, Bela Lugosi, Orson Welles, vintage Playmates, William Seward Burroughs II, The smallest man in the world dancing with his cat, MIERDA, freaks that come out at night, Batman riding an elephant, politically incorrect and armed monks, a mythological creature half-Mickey Mouse half-Lenin, Kate Moss and Sophia Loren.
A few boards, with a clear name; you choose where you want to get lost, you open the board, and, hey presto, you are floating in space, surfing the waves of Nuestra Señora de la Psychedelia.
What do you think?
“There’s only two people in your life you should lie to… the police and your girlfriend.”
There are two simple rules brands must follow when a customer asks a question on any social network:
– be honest
– don’t be dishonest
Easy. But let’s start with a Freudian analysis.
Young children ask an average 4,566 questions a day. “Why this?”, “Why that?” and so on. Now, unless you are a heartless loveless and soulless being, you will try to answer at least to half of the questions. In this phase, two types of parents can be seen: the ones who try to come up with the right answer, and the ones who just come up with something – a half-truth, a lie, a who-cares-she-is-gonna-forget-about-this-anyway, a complicated half-lie which doesn’t really help and makes things look even more intricate, a whole plain big load of bulls**t and other countless ways to avoid that sad “Daddy doesn’t know (and doesn’t have an Internet connection), sweetheart…”
If you do it in the privacy of your own home, you’ll have to justify your behavior to your wife and kids, but if you are a brand on social media, your lies are likely to be exposed to millions, and eventually collect comments and reactions that won’t help your reputation.
Case 1 / Sky Movies HD
I believe trolling can be a useful and interesting activity, from a sociological point of you. Provoke someone, and see what happens. Action / reaction. Some brands are good dealing with that, some are bad, some are honest.
Some time ago I was listening to some music on Spotify. As I am a cheap person, I still use the free account, which means you have a limited amount of features, and every three songs there is someone trying to sell you something, with a cheesy ad.
So I decided to complain on Sky Movies HD’s Facebook page.
Here’s the reply. I quite like it.
Case 2 / Campari
The guys at Campari describe themselves as the skippers of “uniqueness”. It doesn’t seem so in the following post, in which a young lady pointed out the image is surprisingly similar to another brand’s JPEG.
Here’s the original, from Molinari Sambuca Italia:
And here’s the rip-off:
What do they do after she left the comment? They hide it from the page.
She finds out, and tell the guys “You hid my comment?? double #faillllllllllllll”. After a little while, the comment magically reappeared, with this reply: “Hi ____, our apologies, for some reason your link triggered our spam filter and hid your comment automatically. In response to your comment: we did not intentionally create a similar post, what can we say? Great minds think alike! J”
Now, if that is not a big, fat, shameless, impudent, cheap, insolent, brazen, blatant lie, then I am Diego Armando Maradona.
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?
Elsewhere, I wrote ‘Branded content is important, but is not everything: according to a recent study led by Penn Schoen Berland for The Hollywood Reporter, social media sites including Facebook were considered entertainment by 88% of the interviewees. That means your audience is not there primarily to buy stuff or get spammed by companies, brands, individuals who offer ultra-paid jobs from home, and so on.’
I am still a big fan of “quiet technology”, and laid-back brands looks way cooler to me than the ones going ‘HEY, LOOK HERE MATE, THERE’S NO OTHER ______ LIKE THE ONE I SELL, COME OVER HERE, GIVE US A LIKE, LEAVE A COMMENT, SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS, BUY SOMETHING, COME ON, CHRISTMAS IS HERE, ISN’T IT?’, but sometimes I have the impression that the presence of the logo – in a small, humble, discreet size – helps the customer remember what we are talking about.
It may sound weird and paradoxical, but the absence of logo is seen as something confusing by the majority of customers. True story.
Now, if you are going for the heavy artillery and a hardcore branded content-based social media strategy, remember three key concepts:
- Storytelling is crucial. No story, no good.
- Inform and entertain. If your posts are dull and/or boring, you are doing it wrong. It’s like your grandma giving you a scratchy woolly pajamas as a gift EVERY Christmas. I don’t need more than one, and I don’t like it anyway. Got it?
- Be visual. Engaging and cool images are way stronger than words. With the right twist and copy, you can turn any image into something related to your brand/story.
So, looking at Facebook pages with this set of characteristics, I’ve found Jesus Daily.
It’s great. Don’t focus on what they sell/promote, just look at the quality and the consistency of the strategy.
And it’s working fine: look at mere numbers, such as “likes”, shares, amount of comments and so on.
What do you think?
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