New address for Beyond Digital Media blog

This blog has moved address to http://www.beyonddigitalmedia.com/blog to become part of the new website for BeyondDigitalMedia.com – a digital strategy and marketing agency.

We look forward to seeing you over on our new site, at our new blog with new comments!

Thanks,

Chris Bishops

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New Year brings social media hoaxes

Happy New Year and welcome back to BDM for 2009. The advertising world has certainly hit the social media space in Australia with a quick one-two  that has everyone talking about how faking it can damage your brand, and can certainly damage the reputation of social media as a channel for those only mildly acquainted with it.

Tourism Queensland had one of their agency people pretend to get a tattoo and do a YouTube video, pitching to be a young hopeful competing for the ‘job of a lifetime’, while Naked hired an actor (now come on guys wasn’t that obvious) to pretend to be an inverse Cinderella looking for the owner of a lost jacket.

Claims by Tourism Queensland that the whole scam was about demonstrating ideas for the type of entries they wanted is a poor excuse for deception and I’m sure the team is now thinking the midnight six-hat session might have gone a bit too far. Best left on the white board, really. For an excellent backgrounder on tattooed Tourism and bitter fallout have a look at Tim Burrowes stories at mUmBRELLA here and here.

As for Naked and The Jacket Fiasco, I sat down to my cereal in front of Sunrise (OK, so there’s an admission) on Monday morning to see the YouTube video complete with comments by Mel and her gang about how it seemed like a set up. Was getting it onto Sunrise and making us watch it the set up? Were the Sunrise team saying it was a set up so they didn’t look stupid when it all came out that it was a set up? As they say in the classics, advertising a bad idea will just make everyone know about it faster. Put on some sunglasses before you hit play…

Perhaps the Naked strategy team could have called on the expertise of Julian Cole from sister agency, The Population, who has repeatedly warned against faking social media messages and advises full disclosure. Last time I looked, Naked’s CEO Matt Baxter was a non-executive director of The Population. Creating a fictional space and story which the viewer enjoys and the agency can extend the brand into is often dangerously close to just faking information that irritates your customers – that’s why there is a new skill set developing around social media marketing.

On that note, congratulations to social media consultant Stephen Collins of Acid Labs for his blog rocketing to No. 4 on the Top 129 Marketing Blogs. Servant of Chaos stays at No. 2 and Adspace-Pioneers, custodian of the list, has moved to No. 7. Beyond Digital Media has moved up a few spots to No. 68. Top of the list is creative site Bannerblog.

What else does 2009 have in store for us? As marketing budgets contract and social media starts to look like a cheap alternative to traditional advertising, exponents need to remember mistakes have already been made in this field – plenty. Lots of lessons have already been learnt.

[Update on post]

Updates are almost posts, aren’t they?

I’ve been updating a few posts recently, so I thought I’d summarise my efforts here:

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Jeremiah Owyang’s recommended web strategy reading

I get a great deal of value out of reading Jeremiah Owyang’s blog and tweets. Here is an extract from a recent post where he has summarised some of his best and finest for everyone’s benefit. Shel Israel’s theory of “Lethal Generosity” (link from Jeremiah) is also worth a read.

Here is an extract from Jeremiah’s recent post:

In the spirit of sharing, over the past few weeks in client calls, I’ve referenced these posts several times, one of the challenges of my blog layout is that it’s difficult to find the most visited or commented posts, here’s some I think you’d enjoy.

The Many forms of Web Marketing for 2008 (translated into 5 languages): A large index, be aware of the toolset before you begin crafting a strategy. I’ll be updating this for 09, so please leave a comment, I’ll credit you.

The Irrelevant Corporate Website (translated into 10 languages): “Blasphemy!” A marcom manager told me yesterday.

The Many Forms of Web Monetization: an important post for startups in today’s economic times.

A Chronology of Brands that Got Punk’d by Social Media: This is the list you want to stay off of.

List of Social Media Strategists and Community Managers in enterprise corporations: Unlike a wiki, I vett each submission and check their profiles to the best of my ability.

Impacts of Social Media on Customer Reference Programs: If your company harvests positive brand mentions and make case studies and toss the negative ones, they need to read this.

Social Media by Industry: Auto, Finance, and Insurance. Need to find examples for your boss or client? These lists can help.

List of Communities, Virtual Worlds, and Social Networks for Youth, Boomers, Retired, and Beyond: Need to reach a specific demographic, this list is a start.

Applying Social Computing to the Entire Product Life Cycle: If you’re thinking about social media for marketing only, you’ll need to expand further.

How to Successfully Moderate a Conference Panel, A Comprehensive Guide: I’ve been moderating quite a few panels, and have found some patterns that work for me. I still need to self-check to make sure I live up to my benchmark.

How I use Twitter: I often tell people I don’t mind if they unfollow from on Twitter as I’m very high volume, but there is a method to how and why I use the tool.

For the rest of the post click through to Recommended Web Strategy Reading


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Social media star killed the banking experiment

I wanted to put this post up quickly to record the progress / collapse of this finance industry social media project from NAB and to continue my commentary on this important SMM watershed. Charis Palmer at The Better Banking Blog has tried to explain the challenges of the NAB UBank MyFutureBank experiment from a bankers’ perspective. The commentary and discussion from social media experts Gavin Heaton and Stephen Collins that follows the post are interesting reading. Here is the first paragraph, click for the rest of the post.

Why bankers are wary of social media – By Charis Palmer, The Better Banking Blog

Here’s a scenario for you. You’re a consultant, blogger and social media “guru” (there seems to be more and more of them popping up these days). Your business involves advising banks and the otherwise less informed on how to cut it in the big bad world of the Interweb. You have plenty of good arguments to convince your corporate clients why they should be embracing all things Web 2.0, so you’re a little bit irked that they don’t immediately ‘get it’. Still, they pay well, so you persist. After all, for as long as they don’t get it, you have a business.

Click here to read Why bankers are wary of social media

(Update: Here are two posts on this topic by Crikey Blogger Trevor Cook. One with his opinion about the fallout and another with several other post-mortems.)


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NAB UBank social media saga continues

As the “media shitstorm” – as Cheryl Gledhill calls it – continues, her company has decided to take down the original blog post that kicked off much of the controversy about the NAB UBank social media experiment, www.myfuturebank.org (Update: MyFutureBank has been closed, according to reports from The Better Banking Blog – see my next post. Thanks to the Servant of Chaos for the tip-off). The following article by Kathryn Small from iTnews summarises the issues:

_______________________________

NAB accused of dishonesty by social media commentators

NAB’s latest social media experiment has been slammed by commentators and customers as ‘dishonest and not-very clever’ behaviour.

The bank is accused of using anonymous accounts to criticise readers of its new website, UBank, and to post comments on a commentator’s blog.

UBank launched last week with a website for customers to provide feedback about banking in Australia.

The website reads in part: “We need your help. Please share with us and our visitors what frustrates you about your bank, and more importantly, what you would do differently to improve your banking experience.

“Regardless of the issue: rates, fees & charges, customer service, transparency & integrity or touch points (e.g. ATMs, branches, phone or internet banking), we want to hear from you!”

Users initially made comments like ‘plenty of ATM’s, and good customer service would be good’ and ‘I hate it that banks don’t pass on the full interest rate cuts’.

UBank’s head of online services, Monty Hamilton, wrote in reply: “It’s great to see some positive contributions – of course we can all post negative content, and that would be funny for a bit, but let’s keep it positive.”

One reader responded: “The instructions to the left say ‘Please share with us and our visitors what frustrates you about your bank’ – so I don’t know why you are suddenly turning around and saying ‘let’s keep it positive.'”

This was met by an anonymous commentator, who accused the reader of being “an agitated [sic] employee from a competitor bank”.

Social media commentator Cheryl Gledhill said in a blog post that the anonymous comment, and some others, appeared to be written by an incognito UBank staff member.

– Read the rest of this article at

NAB accused of dishonesty by social media commentators – Business – iTnews Australia


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Don’t Vote: viral marketing election campaign 2008

Thanks to Zac Martin for his I Like to Sneeze blog about viral marketing. Another excellent product from the young marketing student who also writes Pigs Don’t Fly. In his latest viral post, Zac shows Don’t Vote which is a video specifically designed to go viral by asking viewers to send it on to five friends. However, the video is also compelling and very watchable, grabbing your attention for nearly five minutes. As Zac says:

Featuring a number of Hollywood celebrities discussing the upcoming 2008 United States Presidential Election the clips runs at 4 minutes and 45 seconds. This is a long time to keep the viewer engaged, but the content is that good it works.

But that’s not the only key to this campaign’s success. As I mentioned above, it holds a number of different places in today’s top viewed videos. This is only possible if the video exists in a number of different places.

In this case, four on YouTube and one on MySpace Video. Only two are official (interestingly both on the same account) with the other three appearing unofficial. The people behind this campaign have realised the importance of letting complete control of the message go and allowing consumers to upload it.

The Don’t Vote video has fallen back now on the Video Viral Charts, however, it was obviously a well structured and managed viral campaign. As Zac identifies in many of his posts, developing an online Viral strategy is about far more than just creating compelling content and hoping people will pass it on. It’s about identifying where to host the content for maximum impact, who to target with sends, how to follow it up with PR, and a myriad of other online and offline marketing manoeuvres to kick it along.

UPDATE: And then there was the sequel to Don’t Vote which I wanted to put here for the record.

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