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New Monthly Feature Coming Soon

We all remember that primary school classic “show & tell”. As much as I loved my moment in the spotlight, I also genuinely enjoyed hearing about other’s newest acquisitions. But at some point growing up we start to shy away from “show & tell”, maybe it’s because we don’t want to brag, become self-conscious or prefer to keep our formula for success under wraps.

What I enjoy the most about social media is that it’s built on the concept of “show & tell” – some of the most helpful people I know are in my Twitter feed. Being social is about creating, sharing and exchanging information. It’s about listening more than talking, showing rather than selling. It’s bi-directional, not one way. Those who excel tend to embrace “show & tell” rather than shying away. Like with open source software this approach improves the industry as whole as we can learn other’s successes and failures.

I wrote the last Social Media NZ “Best Use Awards” article way back in June 2012. Working with Whittaker’s reinforced my belief that marketers need to be constantly learning and the best way to do this is by talking to others and sharing openly. This view is shared by Social Media NZ and I’m excited to be joining the team to run the “Best Use Awards” as a regular monthly feature.

Thinking about what we’d like this feature to cover we quickly realised that the name didn’t really fit. An award suggests a set criteria for judging and a decision to choose one above others. There’s growing wariness of social media case studies (well summed up by Cate Owen) so we are responsible for providing a reliable source of knowledge. An insight to how others are using social media to encourage debate and ideally improve the quality of social media in New Zealand. Each month we will highlight best practices for social media, tips for measuring success and sharing what works (and what doesn’t). As such a rebrand was in order, the Social Media NZ “Best Use Award” will now become a monthly “Social Media Spotlight” feature.

Our guidelines for the monthly “Social Media Spotlight” will be:

  1. Straight from the “Horse’s Mouth” – the best way to learn is by going direct to the source rather than making assumptions about what has worked. When I profiled Whittaker’s I was lucky to spend time with brand manager Jasmine Currie (nee Griffin). This was invaluable to the process and shaped the direction with first-hand insights. Without this interview it simply would have been assumptions – and all as the age old saying goes when you assume it can make an ass of u and me!
  2. Don’t have tunnel vision – it’s tempting to focus on large corporates with huge budgets as they tend to have the sexy, high profile campaigns but we can equally learn from SMEs, charities and individuals. I’m a great believer that the less money you have the more creative you need to be. Plus social media is a greater equaliser, with the right content and strategy there’s no reason a charity can be more successful than a global corporate.
  3. Kiwi focus – Social Media NZ is a hub for information about the New Zealand social media landscape so it makes sense that the monthly spotlight will be shined on New Zealand examples.
  4. Interrogate how social media success is measured – a recent Ubiquity survey of marketers showed that 10% didn’t measure the value of social media and those who do measure remain vague on how to approach this. It’s important to establish best practices for measuring success without losing sight of the fact that it will always depend on your personal goals and situation.

The first “Social Media Spotlight” will be released next week and it’s shaping up to be a goodie! We’re talking to a large corporate who does a great job at acting small and communicating on an individual basis with their fans. But right now it’s your chance to have a say on what this new feature should cover. Let us know the brands/people you’d like to see interviewed and what guidelines you think should be in place. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!