Social media cocktail party

The art of working the room: The social media cocktail party

Being a brand on social media is a lot like being at a cocktail party where you get to hobnob with people from various walks of life, admire photos and comment on the latest articles.

There are some very influential people in the room – CEOs, academics, NGOs, government representatives and media personalities – as well as average Joes.

You can listen to the conversations that appeal to you, and you can repeat what other people are saying, but to be heard above the hubbub you need be sharp and worth listening to.

So here’s the million dollar question: who do you want to be at that party? The person with the corny jokes, a retiring wallflower, or someone who knows how to work the room? Someone informed, accessible and perceptive – the person people look to for comment and insights who steers the conversation?

I think you get my point: go forth and be George Clooney.

[Image source]

Instagram: Five reasons why you should join the party

Because there are so many social media platforms out there, picking the right ones for your business/brand can be overwhelming.

Instagram is definitely one worth considering – here are five reasons why.

1)    It is the third fastest growing app in the world

According to Mashable, the user growth of Instagram grew by 130% between the first and third quarters of 2013. With such impressive growth rates, chances are that your target audience is amongst the Instagram users.

2)    Visual appeal

The online audience is hungry for visually-rich material – it’s all about images and video. How do we know this for sure? The top three fastest growing apps in 2013 all focus on sharing video and images online: Vine, Flickr and Instagram.

3)    Feel like a pro

With the array of filters to choose from, even the most novice photographers can get a kick out of creating beautiful images. Seriously – Instagram is so much fun.

4)    Be accessible

Being on social media platforms show your target audience that you are accessible and that you want to engage with them. Send them the right signals on Instagram by asking questions and encouraging engagement in your captions. If people do respond, don’t make the mistake of ignoring them. It’s the fastest way to lose followers.

5)    Indulge the voyeuristic

Whether we admit it or not, there is a bit of the voyeur in all of us. Why do people follow celebrities on social media? For a glimpse into their lives. Giving people a window into the behind-the-scenes of a brand is a similar principle (although, admittedly somewhat less sexy). Still – people love a little behind-the-scenes. And social media is all about giving people what they want.

Follow Pomegranite on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the business. Only a few pics of what we have for lunch – promise.

Pomegranite Instagram

Liz at Chandler House on Church Street

Content marketing (part 2): Property and publishing

So, you’re familiar with the subject after our introduction to content marketing. Now we’re going to look at how the approach is affecting traditional advertising and how it’s being used to impressive effect in the property development industry.

Eprop, a local property website announced that, going into 2013, “content marketing will replace traditional advertising”. They go on to explain that “marketing’s new mantra of ‘brands must now acts as publishers’ has arrived in part because of social media and its potential to engage in meaningful conversations with their loyal fan base and potential clients alike.”

One example stands out above the rest: Chinese property development company, Soho, has become a desirable brand because of its chairman Pan Shiyi’s remarkable flair on his blog and social media. His online presence has translated into a community that has bought into Soho’s brand.

soho logo

“If you become a public figure, you communicate on your blog, you make some comments on the market, and you make yourself famous, people will not be just buying your units. They are buying your brand,” says Margaret Ng, the director of research at E-Commercial China in an interview about the property magnate. This rapport it noteworthy enough for Forbes magazine to have dedicated series of articles to it.

While Soho exemplifies the huge potential of content marketing, Eprop emphasises how economical online marketing is compared to traditional advertising and the risk you run in ignoring your online presence. They reckon that:
“[Y]our SEO efforts will be affected if you ‘opt out’ of being a producer. Google is now weighing current content, social proof and author scores in their results ranking. Simply put, you need to create and share content, while being of interest to lots of people to even be a player going forward.”

Five things you didn’t know about Mxit

If you think it’s just a place where people’s spelling and grammar abilities go to die, you’re wrong. Here are five things you didn’t know about Mxit.

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1.    It’s a solution to a gaming problem.

Mxit originated in Stellenbosch when Swist Group Technologies was developing a massive multiplayer mobile game named Alaya, which was a flop because it was sms-based and too expensive for the user. They reassessed and released the game and MXit in 2003.

2.    It’s not just for teenagers.

Mxit is now Africa’s largest mobile social network, boasting 750 million messages sent per day and 10 million active subscribers.

 3.    It’s helping money move safely.

teenager on phone

You can send money to people, buy airtime and electricity, deposit and withdraw from your bank account. Check it out here.

4.    It gives free access to counselling and educational material.

Mxit offers counselling to youth via text by partnering with LoveLife (which focuses on HIV and AIDS), Childline (which focuses on abuse) and Angel (which focuses on gang members and substance abuse). Learners can also access Maths and Science textbooks made available by publisher, Siyavula.

 5.    It’s proving to be a serious marketing tool.

Kimberly Clark has used Mxit to launch a global Kotex campaign. If this sounds familiar, it’s because we featured Kotex’s Pinterest campaign on the blog just last week.

This Mxit campaign targets young females aged 13 to 35 with brand splash screens (full screen ads that display each time a user launches the site), leading users to a customised and branded app where it’s reported that users hung around for as long as 14.7 minutes.

Through the app, users were offered a gateway to the exchange of product information, polls around sensitive feminine topics, prizes and coupons, and they could engage in one-on-one sessions with a trusted gynaecologist, offering a free, private, safe and anonymous resource for advice and information.

kotex Mxit campaign

Winning pinning: Three great Pinterest campaigns

Pinterest. It took a while for people to catch on to this social media platform in South Africa (and to be able to pronounce the name – “pin-interest”? Awkies.), but it’s growing rapidly. There are currently just under 50 million users worldwide. My mom is one of them. Just saying. Yip – best you get on that, if you’re not already.

Because it’s such a visually-rich platform – Pinterest is like a big digital pinboard that allows users to create and curate theme-based image collections, in case you weren’t sure – it has been used very creatively by brands in some nifty campaigns.

There are loads of examples of great uses of Pinterest floating around the internet. These three are of our favourites:

UNICEF ‘S Ami Musa

UNICEF Pinterest

The whole attraction of Pinterest for many people is that it is a platform of aspiration. It allows them to pin pictures of items that, in a perfect world, they would love to have: a dream wardrobe here, an ideal home there, places they’d love to travel to – the list goes on. And then UNICEF showed up and turned the whole concept upside down. They created a fictional character, Ami Musa, a 13-year-old girl from Sierra Leone. She has one board. It is called: “Really want these”. “These” are running water, soap, basic food, shoes, an education – things that we take for granted.

6 pins. 1550 followers – all left with something to think about.

Kotex pop-up store

So this is pretty clever. Kotex and Tel Aviv marketing agency Smoyz got together and created the first ever pop-up Pinterest store. Intrigued? I was too. The store was designed to look like a Pinterest board, and local women lined up for a chance to “pin and win” whatever was inside the mystery gift boxes. Each box had a sentence on it, and ladies had to pick a sentence that inspired them and pin that sentence to their Pinterest board in order to win the contents of the box.

Free stuff + Pinterest – what’s not to love, right? The store attracted a decent amount of attention pretty quickly. Never underestimate the power of an excited woman and a smartphone. Marketing mileage for days on social media.

Clever Kotex, clever.

GIRLS fan art

GIRLS fan art

There are a lot of great series out there that get under people’s skin and crawl into their hearts. Most of these series inspire awesome fan art – but HBO’s GIRLS actually showcases it on their fanGIRLS board. Great use of Pinterest, girls.

P.S. Watch this show. If you haven’t – where have you been?

GIRLS fan art

 

P.P.S. Follow Pomegranite on Pinterest and check our our boards of things that inspire usbeautiful office spaces, useful infographicssocial media laughs, ALL the pomegranates, and all things proudly Cape Town.

Should you be on Twitter?

As far as social media platforms go in South Africa, Twitter is way up there. In fact – it’s third, with 5.5 million users, as of 2013. (In case you were wondering, Facebook is tops with 9.4 million users, and Mxit is first princess in the pageant with 7.4 million users).

The growth rates of active Twitter users in South Africa are phenomenal, jumping from 2.4 million in 2012 to 5.5 million in 2013. Saffas post 54 million tweets a month. I’ll give you a minute to get your mind around that figure.

Impressive stats aside, if you aren’t already on Twitter – in a personal or professional capacity – the big question you need to ask yourself is: Should I be?

To make your life easy, here is a flow chart to help you solve the conundrum. Because we’re nice like that.

If your answer is ‘yes’, and it terrifies you – give us a call. We’re happy to help you as much as you need, whether it’s with a few tips and a kick-start, or taking the whole thing off your hands entirely.

Twitter infographic

The future of South Africa’s social nation

Last week saw the South African social media briefing in Jozi, a platform for WorldWideWorx and Fuseware to release their latest figures on social media adoption in South Africa and a discussion with industry leaders. What emerged was an inspiring sense of momentum and a drive to understand how things are working now and, more importantly, how things are going to work in the future.

These figures show that things are shifting. Take a moment to wrap your head around these important statistics:

The number of Facebook users has toppled previous kingpin, South African platform, MXit, which has experienced a drop from last year. However, MXit’s active users spend an average of 95minutes on this platform every day. Yes, over an hour an a half.

South African active Twitter users grew from 2.4 million in 2012 to 5.5 million in 2013. We post 54 million tweets a month – 85% of those tweets are from mobile devices.

There are double the number of South African users on Instagram as there are on Pinterest.

This infographic whipped up on the day by @SheBeeGee gives a sense of the current social landscape:

Social SA infograpgic

For a sense of the briefing, search #socialSA on Twitter and for a great breakdown of all the statistics, check out this article over at Memeburn.

The world welcomes the #RoyalBaby – thanks to social media

Royal baby image

It amazes me that some brands/businesses are still reluctant to establish a presence on social media. In this day and age? Even the queen is doing it.

Earlier this week, the world was abuzz with the news of the impending birth of the #royalbaby – and no more so than on social networks. As Stephen Fry quipped on Twitter, “Labour has never been so popular,” adding dryly, “My guess is that it will be a baby.”

While the traditional easel was set out at Buckingham Palace announcing the birth of the newest heir to the throne (“Ta da!”), the royal family demonstrated that they are “hip with the times, yo” by posting the news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Did you even know that the British Monarchy have a Facebook page? Me neither! How thoroughly modern of them.

The image and announcement of the baby’s name, George Alexander Louis, as of 16 hours ago, has been shared 34 116 times, commented on 4366 times, and liked by 95 614 people. I know, right? And that’s just one image on the official British Monarchy page.

Twitter went into overdrive about the birth, with more than 500 000 tweets about the baby being sent before he was even born. Tweets announcing that the Duchess of Cambridge had gone into labour were viewed by 487 million Twitter users – again, before the birth.

I could go on and on with stats like these demonstrating just how great an influence social media platforms have in 2013, but you get the picture. Social media = powerful. If the British Monarchy are talking about labour on Twitter, I guess that tells you all you need to know, really.

Join the party.

Original blog: Embarrassing get-ups, 27 June 2013 (Liz)

So Pomegranite’s social media has taken a dive of late because well, I’ve been working don’t you know! Realizing how time has flown and the gnawing feeling of being left behind is a big shock, especially when I’m supposed to be good at this sort of stuff! But it has given me real insight and shown me exactly how to motivate our offering to potential clients.

Most people either don’t have the expertise or the time to run their social media properly. Like anything worthwhile in life, it takes planning and work.You can tell when something is posted on a Facebook account in a panic or when someone tweets because they feel they ought to say something.

Without focus, efforts come across hollow and unexciting and social media platforms are no place for a brand to wither and die.

Another big shock is going to your own website and realizing how far it is from reality. It’s tough because a website is generally a pretty static platform. You give it a lot of attention when you build it but, before you know it, you, your business, your brand have evolved and what’s on the website is not quite you.

Keeping a website up-to-date can be costly and time consuming but social media provides a bridge to maintain momentum between make-overs.

So neglecting online presence leads to a pretty awkward state of affairs. It’s like only having your childhood wardrobe at your disposal to go to a swanky party (that’s a genuine dream I’ve had): they don’t fit, they don’t suit you anymore and you’re acutely aware that what people see is you but also definitely not, not anymore.

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I’m the one with open eyes

Ja, ja laugh it up. While I loved my sunflower aliceband, strutted myself in an over-sized surf t-shirt and wouldn’t be caught dead without my denim bomber jacked (sported here in a nonchalant waist-tie), I’m not that person anymore. What we wear is by no means the sum of what we are. I could still be myself in this ridiculous outfit. But I’d rather not. We take care of how the world sees us in real life. It works the same way online. So throw out your embarrassing wardrobe and get your sexy on!