Monday, July 26, 2010

The 4 Cs of Social Media

Social Media, Auckland, New Zealand. Social Media NZ, Social Media Club
Be it New York or New Zealand, digital or direct, hand-held or ambient, traditional or social... primarily, all media are means of communication.

What's different about social media is owing to its speed & size, it's not as easy to define its basic framework. To understand SM at a glance, I've drawn a simple sketch to illustrate what lies at its core.

4 Cs of Social Media - the basic framework


Collaboration is the spirit of social media. Call it participation, sharing or engagement, it's what puts the "social" in social media. Without sounding too psycho-babble, it's the behavioural glue that builds & binds online networks. It actually works on the oldest of truisms - Man is a social animal... and modern man, an attention-loving beast!


Content is King. And quality content is organic ranking (even without those SEOs!) Clearly, we're living in an Information Age, where everything is media and everyone is a media channel. As a result, user-generated content is popping up everywhere at never-before rates - created by people like you & me. Consume it. Create it. Share it. Love it. Hate it. Enjoy it. Just don't try keeping pace with it.

Sample this UGC nugget - 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds - that's 1 day of content for every 1 minute!

Conversation is social media in action. Without it, social media wouldn't be. Content (good or bad) leads to an opinion and when two or more opinions concur (or collide), it strikes (or sparks) a conversation.

What's more, opinions are like arseholes. Everyone's got at least one:) (anyway, back to work!) Feeds, updates, tweets, retweets, comments, likes, share bars, embed codes, reviews, ratings, links - are the lifeblood of conversation.

And the truth is, people share things they like with their family, friends,  fans, followers - at different places, at different times, in different ways. The true test of good content lies in its talkability = the ability to generate WOM by jumping across social networks and even, media platforms. That in a nutshell, is how content goes viral and it's truly social art when it does.


Community creation is the whole point of social media. A direct consequence of collaboration, communities form when people with a common point of interest come together on social networks. It is the interaction within & across communities that creates connections, and it is here the SM strategy comes into effect.

The Quality of the Connection is where it's at.

The end goal of all business is profit creation via customer generation.

For most companies, CRM, corporate communications/ PR, advertising & marketing and direct sales is where social media comes in. SM allows a forum to connect with existing customers (and reach out to potential ones) - closer, faster and easier than ever before.

Marketers considering social media in the mix may ask "What separates one SM initiative from the other?" Answer: The quality of the connection with the community = volume, frequency and depth of interaction. Before setting up a corporate feed, decision-makers and stakeholders need to devise a carefully thought out SM strategy factoring in things like:
  • Could it result in better customer service?
  • Could it result in better brand equity?
  • Could it lead to a better end experience for the consumer?
  • Could it increase customer satisfaction?
  • How open and transparent should we be?
  • What's our contingency plan in case shit hits the fan?
  • Who looks after SM - who takes the calls & who mans the decks? 
  • Which are the right SM tools for our business?
  • Do we have the systems to channel feedback into the product?
  • What other media should we integrate with for best results?
  • How do we measure ROI?

Social Media is for doers. It is on-going.

The trick is to never stop asking questions and the answers can only be found by doing. While Just Do It, Listen & Learn, Keep it Real, Explore & Experiment, Measure & Monitor, Filter and Integrate are handy mantras, here are 3 things to remember:
  1. You don't control the conversation, you facilitate it
  2. Your community is your brand (and key business driver)
  3. On-going community management is the way to success

Social Media's star on the rise in NZ

A recent study of Kiwis participating in social networks drew up encouraging statistics. Here's a snapshot of Nielsen's 2010 Social Media Report.

With Facebook crossing the 500 million user milestone (that's one in 14 humans) last week, SM has only just begun. Might as well get social with it.
Social Media, Auckland, New Zealand. Social Media NZ, Social Media Club

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#SMCakl 6... they're still talking about it!

Social Media Club Auckland NZ #SMCakl Social Media New Zealand
Social Media Club Auckland (13Jul10) what a night - one to remember!

Social Media Club Auckland (#SMCakl 6) was a hoot with over 150 SMperor penguins huddled inside the Saatchi atrium braving the chill.

With a topic like ‘Social Media for Social Good’ we knew we were onto a good one. But the zealous response it fetched was unforeseen. And boy, did things heat up during the Q&A!

Featuring prominent names from NZ’s leading charities and NGOs, the speakers treated the audience to insightful presentations and shared how they leverage social media for ROI, sustenance and growth.

L-R: Me, Stuart Young, Lee Hales, Suzanne Kendrick, Nick Young
L-R: Me, Stuart Young, Lee Hales, Suzanne Kendrick, Nick Young

Kick-off... with both feet-in-the-mouth!

Our Keynote Speakers for the evening

Suzanne Kendrick
Online Marketing and Community Management, Grey Lynn 2030

Simon Coley

Lee Hales
Marketing Manager, Give a Little NZ

Stuart Young
Online Communications Manager, Oxfam NZ

Nick Young

The heated Q&A session... the conversation is still going on!


#SMCakl6 was a night to remember not only because it featured many firsts, but because it created quite a stir at the event and unprecedented buzz afterwards. The event led to a barrage of blog posts (incl this one!) and triggered a deluge of conversations. In particular:
Also, here's a good article on the local social media scene by Kelly Gregor (of NZ Herald) featuring quite a few SMCakl speakers.

SM Whiz Quiz Prizes - Rebecca Smith draws the winners...
And the lucky winners are... on the comments wall (login required to view)

Prizes Galore

For the first time, SMCakl had an SM Whiz Quiz where lucky winners took home a Motorola Milestone & T-sticks from Telecom NZ; T-shirts from Oxfam, All Good Bananas & Greenpeace; Tickets from WordCamp NZ.

The twitterrific #SMCakl tweetwall - thank God it didn't break Twitter:)

tweet as

Another cool first at #SMCakl was the live Tweetwall (set up by Peter Mangin, CIO, Saatchi & Saatchi NZ) which displayed all tweets with the hashtag #SMCakl as a real-time feed on a jellyscreen - a ‘tweet as’ success. End result - #SMCakl became a top trending topic in Auckland.

AdMedia & Fastline gave prizes to the top 3 Qs at the Q&A, and top 3 tweets. Check out the Events page to see all the winners, prizes...

Vote of Thanks

Organising events is not easy - esp. with audience numbers of 150+. #SMCakl 6 was a resonating success thanks to our Speakers, Sponsors & Supporters: Peter Mangin, Chris Macdonald, Nicholas O’Flaherty, Alex Erasmus, Vaughn Davis, Simon Young, Justin Flitter, Julian Waters, Rebecca Smith, Tara Sutherland (Telecom NZ), David Gapes, Jason Kemp (WordCampNZ), Marty (Milk Cafe) and all those who participated in it - online and offline.

I ate that banana right after that talk. Suddenly, I felt all good!
That's me (hashtag #makingahashofitall:)
The famous S&S logo on lift, me, the tweetwall & the latest handbags:)
My tee was eyeballed (in a good way) by many. Idea courtesy amysticgirl

Might as well add, it was my honour to organise the event, MC the evening, host the Q&A and quiz-master the SM Whiz Quiz. A great experience, both a pleasure and a privilege indeed.

All in all, a great networking event with Monteith’s beer + cider flowing all night, nibbles from Milk Cafe and fair trade bananas for everyone.

Next meet on Tuesday 10 August. Topic: SM Analytics & Listening. Add yourself on Social Media Club Auckland's Facebook profile to keep up with the latest updates. See you all soon.

 Till then, keep the madness alive and get social with it.

Mr. Social would like to thank amysticgirl for the photos & videos.

On a lighter note, here's a Supercop gone All Good Bananas - full story in pictures!