Stop Being Crap Online: Is your business really ready for social media?


The social media forays of too many New Zealand business lie abandoned. This week Hannah looks at how they should have done the homework before jumping in.


When I moved back to New Zealand after three years abroad working in the internet technology sector, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Had online Aotearoa caught up with the rest of the world in my absence?

When I left, I didn’t have a Facebook account (let alone Twitter, YouTube etc etc), I had never made an online purchase, Internet marketing had barely entered my periphery (despite my advertising background), my home Internet connection was so slow and ‘surfing’ the web sounded like a slow and torturous death. That was pretty much the norm for the average Kiwi.

But a whole new world lay before me when I flew the coop, the whole world wide web, actually. It was all there, suddenly available, attainable, and filled with opportunity. It was a marketer’s dream and I couldn’t wait to see the impact this thing could have; with speed (finally) and a large, open-minded populace on its side.

Well, let me tell you. I’ve seen some things.

In my time away, my life and career had become one with the Internet, technology sinking its claws into every part of my existence. So omnipotent was its presence that I only realised how I took it, and its endless possibilities, for granted once it was gone.

In other words: once I moved back to New Zealand.

That is not to say that the country hasn’t progressed markedly since I left, which is amazing, considering the size of us. I was overjoyed to see the huge increase in things like ecommerce and online publishing. But it is hard to get used to checking into an entire town on Foursquare and finding other Kiwis on YouTube is still disproportionately exciting.

But I see we have all been busy with our social media, haven’t we?

While I’ve seen some awesome use cases of social media as a marketing tool for New Zealand businesses, I’ve seen some absolute shockers – to the point where I’d question what the hell they were thinking getting on there in the first place.

Social media seems like an opportunity too good to miss. We’ve all seen everyone else jumping on the bandwagon, getting amazing results, and naturally, we want a piece of the pie.

But I’m starting to wonder if the average small business owner in New Zealand thinks that all they have to do is claim a Twitter handle, and watch the fans (cash) roll in.

I’ve seen too many Twitter accounts lying dormant with no more than five tweets to their names, Facebook fan pages with a meager collection of status updates from mid-2011 and even company blogs showcasing the ruins of a social media strategy that ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’.

It is just a bit crap really. If you’re thinking about using social media to market your business in New Zealand, or you tried already and have since given up hope, check out the video below:

What’s your opinion? Do you think businesses should jump right in, or bide their time when it comes to social media?

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...

One Comment

  1. Mal Kuper Reply

    It’s about marketing strategy pure and simple.  If you want to be on fb, you need to know why. What are your objectives and what will being on facebook really achieve for you? Is it about reach? Is it about Engagement? Consideration? Or is it advocacy? 
    Once this is figured out then you really need to identify some KPIs that that you will use as the basis for your content calender! 
    This is all pretty basic if you ask me, and once you get past the KPIs and first content calendar, i believe where brands fall over is in the resourcing department.  You need a dedicated social media content manager as identifying and generating future content takes time and planning!

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