Useful resources for getting unstuck on your social media campaigns

It always amazes me the that people working in marketing and communications industries have such a blind spot about asking the technology vendors how to best use their products. I was working on an FMCG Facebook campaign for an agency in Sydney the other day and we weren’t sure about the best way to consolidate pages that had been run by various agencies and marketing teams over the years.

We got a bit stuck about what you could and couldn’t do so I asked for their Facebook account manager’s contact to get an answer. 

“Um. We don’t have one. There was this guy that called once but…why would you call Facebook?”

“Can you call Facebook? It’s just a sales office I don’t think they help you”

In Australia and New Zealand we have got very used to being self sufficient and not having any product support but remember that things have changed and many companies have had their hands forced into putting boots on the ground in market including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Often the resource is targeted at accounts over a certain spend or certain verticals they’re targeting but in the least, you should be going for their resources and guides to get you unstuck as a first point of call. 

Sometimes it’s just to get a download of the latest resources and examples. I find 20 minutes with an account manager can give me an idea of what campaigns they are benchmarking off, what their latest tools are and any metrics we might want to pay more attention to. 

Use their resources and guides as much as possible and don’t be weird about ‘they just try and sell us ads’. Of course they do, and aren’t you in business too? Learn from them, get some logins for their client resources, ask about latest tools and best practices -it’s their product and it beats everyone sitting around stuck. 

Useful resources
Facebook Media

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Twitter for Business

Google mobile playbook

Social media campaign benchmarking by country

YouTube advertising guide

New Zealand retail transactions hit new records for 2013

The electronic payments systems don't lie and today, Paymark has released data showing New Zealand retail looking strong with spend up on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day versus last year. 

No surprises that the supermarkets dominated on Christmas Eve (Christmas Day is a closed for trading) with food / liquor retailers (+28%) and department stores (+23.2%) also amongst the biggest winners.

In keeping with US Cyber Monday trends, apparel was strong for Boxing Day. Deals at clothing and jewellery stores (+16.5%), appliance and whiteware stores (+16.6%), electronics retailers (+12%), and floor covering and furniture stores (+17.5%) also kept the plastic swiping. 

Sporting and camping equipment stores had particularly big days, both on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, up 20.2 per cent and 31.8 per cent respectively.

PAYMARK POS Data 24th December 2013 versus 2012 


Value of spending ($millions)



Last Year

Current Year

 Value Difference

New Zealand 




PAYMARK POS Data 26th December 2013 versus 2012


Value of spending ($millions)



Last Year

Current Year

 Value Difference

New Zealand 




Data: Paymark

Image: Allie Brosh. Quite possibly the greatest blog post in the history of the internet

Bishop Mariu blessing 2013

Here are some photos from a blessing I went to yesterday for the memory of Bishop Mariu, the world’s first Māori Catholic Bishop and a respected leader in Māoridom. 

Bishop Max as he was affectionately known, was ordained at the church of Saint Werenfried’s in 1977 in a small Ngāti Tūwharetoa settlement at Little Waihi, on the shore of southern Lake Taupo. He died at age 53 and was buried on 16 December 2005 in the urupa at his family kainga (settlement), Otukou, on the shores of Lake Rotoaira

Around 25 people still live* in the village so it was nice to be invited to their home church and marae for a service and some pretty amazing food in the wharekai. Bishop Denis Browne lead the blessing that was made extra awesome by a booming thunderclap and a rainbow over the lake right on cue. 

*Little Waihi village is private land and not accessible to the public because people live there and they don’t want to be a tourist attraction- which is fair enough.

How to fix your wet iPhone after climbing Mount Doom

I went for a trek up a mountain and into a volcano. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing goes across some of the places where Sir Peter Jackson filmed Mount Doom scenes for Lord of the Rings-Mount Tongariro, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe. 

Lone Hobbit. Green means go. 

The weather was a bit dicey and nature threw some gale force winds and snow at us which made for an epic Edmund Hillary adventure. Three groups in front of us turned back due to the wind and limited visibility over the ridge.

Laughing at the people in front of us carrying an icepick in their pack.

No longer laughing. Snow to 500 metres. The guy with the icepick turned back on the ridge.Worried face. 

Fast forward 17 kilometres and we made it back to the carpark freezing and happy to not be sacrificed to the volcano.  The only injury was my iPhone that didn’t appreciate me rubbing water off the camera lens into the back of it with my frozen claw hand. It gave me this screen about cooling down which seemed very strange considering we had just been in snow with minus seven degree celcius wind chill factor? 

A quick Google and it seems I had water on the sensor. This is bad. I could see water in the back of the camera. Also bad. 

I put it in a hot water cupboard overnight using the skills I had developed as a child with non-waterproof wrist watches and swimming pools. It sort of worked and the phone booted up but then it started glitching and giving the temperature warning again. 

So back to the Apple forums and I found people talking about the ‘rice’ thing.  You put your whole, unopened phone in a sealed container of uncooked rice for 24-48 hours and the rice will absorb the moisture slowly without damaging any electrical parts. Sounded too good to be true. 

Uncooked rice in sealed container

I followed the instructions and left the phone switched off and sealed in the rice container for 24 hours. It booted and loaded the home screen and then died again when I tried to sync it. I left it for another 24 hours and it magically came back to life. I had to do a full erase and restore to help it deal with the trauma but it seems fine now. Hooray. Precious rice. 

Things I learned in my water logged phone research:

-Don’t use a heater or a hair dryer as this will damage electrical things

-Keep it unplugged and powered off if possible

-Submerge the phone flat in the uncooked rice and in a sealed container. Most of the moisture will come out of the speaker part down the bottom and the headphone jack at the top so make sure they are under the rice. 

-Be patient and try again if you don't get all moisture out the first time. 

What does the Twitter IPO mean for Australia and New Zealand media?

Twitter key advertising products compared to monthly active user (MAU) growth 

Twitter continues to gear up for its IPO with an announcement on its official account this morning. 
Twitter has a real opportunity to revolutionise real-time brand communications if it can build products that make sense to client-side marketers. Ad agencies in Australia and New Zealand are still testing Facebook paid products, and Twitter paid is a hard sell for larger client media plans because their marketing teams aren't resourced and structured properly to manage true real-time. Compound that with a 'why would I pay for a tweet?' mindset and you're looking at the need for more education, analytics and enablement to manage quality content that can be monetized.  Hopefully, more money will give them some more time to build innovative ad solutions (especially for mobile) so that the wonderful thing that is Twitter can grow into a media giant. That would be cool. 

Image via Social Fresh

A personal conversation about personal branding

"Australians and New Zealanders don't like personal branding- they find it distasteful."

I was having lunch the other day with someone from one of the big US social media companies.  He stopped eating and stared and me blankly. 

"What do you mean?" he said. "That's how social works."

"I know," I said "but I'm in the minority. People will sit in meetings and agree in theory but when you start putting real people's faces on conferences, blog posts and videos, the feelings start to kick in- it's seen as self promotion and not being a team player."

Mr social media company guy looked even more confused.

"That's the complete opposite of what our company does and how we advise other companies. If you are the Lego guy you be the Lego guy. If you are the Android girl you be the Android girl. We do everything to support people in personal branding. It builds our brand, it expands our reach into their networks. Why would you not do that?" he said in his overly dramatic SoCal way. 

"People are still working off an old paradigm where the Big Eagle gets featured on the glossy business magazine cover and everyone else should perch silently behind the brand. Try to feature a call-centre person in an article and all you'll get is a long list of reasons why that's not possible and why only certain brass get to comment. It's frustrating but it's a cultural thing and I don't think you'll shift it any time soon," I said. 

"So much time is wasted worrying about curbing someone else's profile when people should be building their own. It's a very pessimistic view. What if they leave? What about people that aren't comfortable being on Youtube? It doesn't reward people who have developed those skills and put in the time. It's a cultural thing. We think it's 'showy' or something."

"Wow. That makes no sense at all," said mr social media guy. "What if they stay! They'll own that topic and it builds the brand at the same time. That thinking massively disadvantages Aussie and Kiwi companies in social, and marketing in general. It limits the conversations they are a part of. They really need to get over that thinking- I just can't believe that," said mr social media guy shaking his head. 

Yes indeed. 




Brave New World: Social Media Takes Down Egypt

I love this first image showing a lone, stone-throwing protester going up against an armored vehicle. 

An anti-government protester throws objects at a riot police vehicle in the port city of Suez, about 134 km (83 miles) east of Cairo, January 27, 2011. Police fired rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas at hundreds of demonstrators in Suez on a third day of protests calling for an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-old rule. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany. 


I've gone through and grabbed a couple of screens I saw throughout the night as the overthrow continues. 

Traditional news sources use a live Tweetdeck screen and Trendsmap to show citizen journalists reporting live and to track sentiment from people on the ground. 

The Egyptian government cuts internet and mobile phone access yet Al-Jazeera is determined to keep Tweeting; broadcasting through landline conveyed messages until their satellite is restored. 

Someone offers medical assistance via Skype and users share screens so that locals can see international, non State-controlled media via the web. 

Egyptians organise around Facebook groups and the world supports their profiles with messages of solidarity. 

User mock the Eqyptian regime and work to restore communications and send out information. 

Welcome to the brave new world of social media. 

User Generated Content: The Unicorn Poop of Social Media



Nothing you could ever possibly create inside your company is as important as something your users create. Everrrrr.


User generated content is the holy grail of social conversations and I’m always shocked to see page admins dismissing photos, videos, comments and interactions that their users take the time to capture and upload.


It’s as rare as unicorn poop so embrace it and thank the social media powers for gifting you with such an amazing blessing from above.


Interactions on your pages should have you climbing out over the firewall and pashing your users- with your tongue.


Most recently I heard the story of customer Jane Username who experienced a product for the first time (no it’s not me).  Ms Username had a positive service experience, took a photo, edited it in Photoshop, uploaded it to Flickr and shared it with the company on Facebook and Twitter.


Page admin (let’s call him Senor Droppedonhead) responded by saying ‘that’s nice but ours are better’ and sending Ms Username a link to commercially shot catalogue imagery on his employer’s website.  What a dumbass. 


Ms Username got sniffy, pulled down her images and vented at people like me about how stupid Senor Droppedonhead and his stupid company was. I think we can call that a fail and a massive ‘missing of the point’.


Thank your users, encourage them and the unicorns will flourish and spread their germinating dung of awesome on your company lawn.

Oprah Drives By In Melbourne (VID) And Has A Beer

A friend of a friend just sent this to me: Oprah drives by her in Melbourne - you can’t hear it in the video, but apparently she yelled “I’m in MELBOOOOUUURRNNEEE” as she sped off. MWHAHAHA AMAZINGGGG.

Thanks Marshall Lorenzo ;)