Social Media Junction wrap-up #smj

May 19th, 2010
Simon's iPhone alarm goes off on stage, while Alistair Helms laughs

Simon's iPhone alarm goes off on stage, while Alistair Helms laughs

Didn’t make it to Social Media Junction? Missing a conference is never the same in the age of Twitter.

There’s photos, videos, and tweets. There’s a pretty darn thorough writeup in StopPress.

I got asked what I got out of it (see my comments and others’), especially considering I probably know a lot of the stuff already. Admittedly, I didn’t get a whole lot of new knowledge. But that’s not why people go to conferences.

Conferences are about making personal connections, meeting the “imaginary friends” you already know online (and making sure they’re real!).

Conferences are often about getting inspired to do what you already know you should do. Never underestimate inspiration.

I had a huge dose of inspiration from Julien Smith, one of the keynote speakers, who was also an “imaginary friend” I listen to on the Media Hacks podcast. Julien’s also co-author with Chris Brogan of the book Trust Agents.

Julien’s presentation, which kicked off the day, went to the heart of adopting social media – the need to be courageous and choose innovation. Here’s a taste of what he said.

It was great to speak to Julien before and after the conference (video coming soon), and to be challenged by this NYT bestselling author to do what I do (reasonably) well – write.

So watch this space. And it won’t be a book about social media, it’ll be about leadership, because that’s what social media will require of you. I’d better hurry up, the topic is on the radar already.

Other highlights:

  • The irrepressible Aisha Hilary’s case study of how SBS is using social media to connect with its TV audiences (yes, audiences, they have 4 main segments who are very diverse)
  • The practical (and full-of-local-examples) practitioner’s panel, chaired by Vincent Heeringa.
  • Mike Hickinbotham’s in-depth case study of culture change and social media adoption at Telstra.
  • The very entertaining Andy Beal’s very detailed and practical session on social media monitoring. Full marks for some great local examples – and pronouncing nz as en zed! :)
  • Justin Flitter gets what social media is all about – the opportunity to create a customer-centric organisation.
  • Our former neighbour Paul Reynolds (the incumbent, not the Telecom CEO) had some inspiring case studies of social media in the cultural sector.

Heard from the floor

I caught up with marketing veteran Steve Bridges, who at 69 years old has just bought an iPhone. He was loving the conference, enjoying the new information while also reassured that good marketing is what it always has been – creating a customer-centric organisation.

While Social Media Junction had good representation from telcos – with Telstra from Australia and Vodafone, Orcon and 2degrees from New Zealand – it was a bit of a mystery why Telecom weren’t part of the practitioners panel. It was a mystery to Rebecca from Telecom, too, who nevertheless was an enthusiastic live tweeter during the conference.

Fortunately, Rebecca gave a great presentation at last week’s Social Media Club Auckland. Video coming soon…

My top tips

I had the privilege of chairing a bloggers’ panel made up of some veteran bloggers (and one newcomer): Bernard Hickey, Mauricio Freitas, Russell Brown, Alistair Helm and Greer McDonald.

Themes from the panel, in no particular order:

  • Have an opinion. Bernard Hickey put it this way: the best bars have the best bar fights. Be controversial.
  • Promote your competition. Another one from Bernard, strongly echoed by Alistair. The main aim is to provide interesting stuff for your audience, whether or not it comes from you.
  • Adapt to your audience. Greer expected her audience to be people like her – penniless generation Y women. Instead, it’s “old fat rich white men” … although perhaps that’s not too surprising!
  • It’s an ongoing campaign. Mauricio runs the metrics on his blog like a perpetual campaign. He sets regular goals and keeps track of them.
  • Do it yourself. Alistair’s first post was by a PR company and he didn’t like it at all. The best content comes from inside the company.
  • Use the whole ecosystem. As other social media platforms have arisen, they’ve been very powerful as blog distribution mechanisms. I mentioned a Korean study that showed how Twitter is a broadcast medium, with the ability for dialogue when needed.

And finally, here are my top 5 tips for compelling content:

5 top tips for compelling, relevant blog content

What was your favourite part of Social Media Junction?

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How to (not) waste time on social media

May 11th, 2010

One of the most common concerns people have when approaching social media is time. Most of the people we speak with are in their 30s and 40s, in a relationship, often with kids, and in very busy jobs. (And we have one very busy 72-year-old!)

How do you embrace social media without it becoming a huge time suck? Here are some things we’ve found helpful.

  • Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is a myth. You feel like you’re multitasking, you’re really just shredding your attention between several tasks. Whatever you’re doing, do that.
  • Schedule interruptions. Social media – as well as that most perniciously interruptive technology, the telephone – can interrupt. Show it who’s boss. Schedule your interruptions. Have a phone-free hour in your day, and answer your messages all at once. Manually check your email three times a day (and no more). Have a half hour (or even just 10 minutes) of focused Facebook and Twitter time, where you can have fun and not be worried that you shouldn’t be there.
  • Chunk similar activities together. You need to be in a different headspace for meetings and phone calls than you do for thinking and writing. Group those activities together. I took a leaf out of Ben Young’s book and started shifting all meetings to Friday (of course there are exceptions, but generally it’s working really well!). It also helps to know if you’re a maker or a manager, and plan accordingly.
  • Switch off. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice I don’t tweet much on the weekend. That time is for unplugging and spending either “me” time, or time with family. It helps me to come back to my social networks refreshed. And I’ve never had anyone complain that they couldn’t reach me on the weekend.
  • Develop rituals and habits. According to the Jolt Challenge, we are at our healthiest when we sleep and wake up at the same time every day (weekends included). Psychologically, it makes sense to have routines. It’s one less thing for our brains to think of. It used to be a hassle for me to check on my social media stats, until I made it something I did every week at a certain time.

If you’re interested in this topic, I recommend you check out:

How do you make social media (and technology in general) work for you? Or are you still struggling, and if so, with what? Would love to hear your comments below.

(Thanks to Mike for the photo!)

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30 seconds to Mars – an experiment (and a clue!)

May 7th, 2010

We love to use this blog to report on how people are experimenting with social media for marketing. It’s great to be part of one of those experiments, and that’s what we’re doing!

The band 30 Seconds to Mars is coming to New Zealand for the first time ever in August for an all ages concert in Auckland. Tickets here.

EMI Music NZ have developed an online scavenger hunt for fans who want… let me see, this is a long list:

  • free concert tickets
  • a meet and greet with the band for the winner and a friend
  • a Masi speciale fixed gear bike (courtesy of Masi and T.White’s Bikes – apparently just like the bikes from the ‘Kings and Queens’ video) signed by the band

Three runners up will also get free concert tickets and the chance to catch up with 30 Seconds to Mars.

How the scavenger hunt works

Every weekday at 4:30, a new clue has been released on a different blog.

Collect all five clues each week to find ten jigsaw puzzles hidden online. Once you’ve got all ten jigsaw pieces, you will have a ticket. (And you will have earned that ticket!)

Once you collect all the clues and all the jigsaw pieces to form a ticket, email it and your phone number to as soon as humanly possible!

The first person to email in their correctly solved jigsaw puzzle ticket wins themselves the grand prize, and the next three people who email in will win runner-up prizes.

Every other correct entry also goes into the draw to fight it out in two separate 30 Seconds to Mars trivia quizzes. The winner of each quiz gets the two final runner-up placings in the treasure hunt.

As if that weren’t enough, there are spot prizes.

Here’s what to do if you want to enter:


  • Follow EMI Music NZ on Twitter at
  • Hunt out each new clue, every weekday at 4:30PM.
  • Solve all five clues in a hunt-week. Each clue will give you one letter or character.
  • Make sure to keep all the letters/characters that you solve within a hunt-week, in order!
  • With all the letters/characters in order, insert them straight into the end of this web-address:
  • If you solved all the weeks clues correctly, you will be taken to a web-page which will contain a picture file of a jigsaw puzzle piece. Save it to your computer!
  • The final clue of the final hunt-week will be released at 4:30PM on Wednesday, the 16th of June. As soon as you have found the final jigsaw puzzle piece, you will need to put together the jigsaw using all ten pieces to create a ticket.
  • As soon as you have managed to put together the ticket, e-mail it as a .JPG file with your full name and contact phone number to:
  • If you are not one the first two to e-mail a correctly solved ticket, you will have one final chance at being drawn at random to take part in a 30 Seconds To Mars trivia competition on Thursday June 17th to win one of the final runners-up placings in the treasure hunt.

And now… the clue itself (the 22nd clue ever!)

Today’s clue

‘This Is War’ Clue #22. “There will be no help against evil” said Hesiod… What number age of mankind, is he referring to?

If you’re really keen you could read the terms and conditions and FAQ.

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More book reviews…

May 6th, 2010

…are coming soon.

Meantime, check out some of previous reviews.

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iJumpTV 83: Stephen Johnson (interrupted!) on cause marketing

May 4th, 2010
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Can a for-profit company have a compelling cause? How can organisations of all kind grasp the potential of social media, not just for marketing, but for really making a difference? Stephen Johnson from ArcaneLogik gives his thoughts – and we want to hear yours too!

Stephen’s been on iJumpTV once before, when he spoke at the first Marketing Now (the conference that evolved into Connect Now).

Find out more about Stephen, including his recent work for World Malaria Day, at ArcaneLogik.

And please … let us know what you think in the comments below!

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What’s happening with Facebook? A summary

May 3rd, 2010

In the last two weeks Facebook have made some pretty sweeping changes to their service. These changes affect not only Facebook, but the whole internet.

Here’s what’s new, in a nutshell:

  1. The Like Button. People no longer “become a fan” of your business; instead they “like” it. Apart from that, the functionality of a business page (used to be called “fan page”) is much the same.
  2. Facebook for websites. You can now put a “Like” button on any website. Highly techie explanation here, but in short, when someone likes your website, it’ll show up on their Facebook profile, and they’ll continue to get updates from you in their Facebook news feed.  (If you have a Posterous blog, it’s already built-in to every post).
  3. Community pages. Sometimes pages have been created for non-organisations (e.g. baseball). Facebook is turning these into Community Pages. For the moment, Community Pages look and behave exactly like Business Pages, but the plan is to make pages Wikipedia-like as more and more people like the page. Speaking of Wikipedia, they’re working with Facebook on this one. More info on Community pages, and the Wikipedia connection.
  4. Big privacy changes. Your Facebook profile information is now more accessible in more places around the web, unless you specifically adjust your privacy settings. Some find these changes quite disturbing. There’s a pretty exhaustive collection of links here. Update: The NZ Privacy Commission has launched the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (and that’s the first time I’ve heard of sweet innocent internet companies being referred to as “multinationals” – have we turned a corner?) … also some good coverage from our friend Courtney Lambert.

Implications for marketers:

  1. Start using “like” instead of “become a fan” in your promotional material.
  2. Install (or get your web developer to install) Facebook for websites.
  3. Stay tuned on Community Pages. It’s all a bit hazy at the moment, but will likely come clear soon.
  4. Ensure you and your family are diligent and informed about your personal privacy options (from the Facebook home page, go to Accounts-> Privacy Settings). If in doubt, don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to see.

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