All posts in Social media

NZ Transport Agency leads the way in using Snapchat as a campaign platform

“What should we do about our social strategy?” “Do we need to do more than Facebook?” “How can we keep up?”

“Everything is changing so fast.” “We can’t do it all.”

If you’re asking these questions or feeling these emotions, you certainly aren’t alone. I hear these phrases on a pretty regular basis.

But fear not—while online communication and social media platforms have multiplied like rabbits over the past decade or so, the rules of the game have ultimately stayed the same. Marketing is and always has been about knowing your customers, understanding where they are and what they want, and creating meaningful dialogues and experiences with them in order to foster a relationship of trust.

This message will self destructOne platform that has been gaining ground especially with millenials over the past few years is Snapchat. If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, think of it as Vine meets Instant Messenger meets Mr. Quimby’s self-destructing messages for Inspector Gadget. As of August 2014, it had a user base of over 100 million users, 70% of whom were <25 years old.

Like most social platforms, Snapchat started out as a way for people to keep in touch. Until now it has been largely free of ads, marketers and all the noise—pure in content—if not by moral standards, at least from a marketing vs. native conversation standpont. But like with any fast-growing communication platform, these things never last very long.

In August NZ Transport launched a drug-driving campaign aimed at marijuana users and leveraged Snapchat to do it. Only a handful of other marketers have dipped their toes into Snapchat so far, but NZTA’s work is a great example of smart targeting a storytelling strategy fit for the medium. They started by creating a series of videos by a likeable, entertaining group of pot smoking guys under a user the organization dubbed “tinnyvision” and published the videos to Snapchat followers. After having sent a number of playful and goofy videos, they hit followers with one that graphically demonstrates the consequences of reduced reaction times when driving under the influence of marijuana. Immediately after, followers receive a simple message from NZTA, “Stoned drivers are slower to react.” Check it out here:

On a related note, yesterday SnapChat confirmed that the platform will be introducing its first ad product imminently. Find out more about CEO Evan Spiegel’s announcement yesterday on Mashable.

Is your organization using Snapchat? Seen any other cool campaigns on Snapchat lately? Share your comments below.

Social networking for job seekers

StopPress' Movings/ShakingsIt seems like something’s in the air on the job front this time of year. Maybe it’s the approaching holidays, and the perceived ticking time clock on seizing that new opportunity before New Zealand’s annual Christmas exodus and subsequent doldrums. The Movings/Shakings column in StopPress is full as ever, and even I’m tempted to jump on the bandwagon, if only to avoid the creeping sense of FOMO I’m getting from all the news.

Several of the people in my circles who’ve been thinking about making the leap are choosing November to jump ship, and with this has come a barrage of LinkedIn alerts.

Former direct reports, bosses and colleagues are shining up their LinkedIn profiles. I’ve received a total of 7 requests in the past two months, some of which I was glad to attach my name to, and others that…well…others I haven’t…erhm…well, others I’d rather not address at all.

This got me thinking about the etiquette (and basic, screamingly obvious logic) of making reference requests. So for the punters, here they are.

Five rules of social networking for job seekers

  1. If someone fired you, they probably aren’t the best person to write you a recommendation about your skills as a [insert job you were doing when I, oops…they…fired you].
  2. If, upon your departure from a company, you chose to use the company Christmas party as your opportunity to publicly deliver to every colleague who ever worked closely with you a special, drunken holiday message containing personalized messages like, “your partner is way too old for you,” “you think you’re so awesome at everything, but really, you know nothing,” or “your shaved chest makes people think you’re gay,” it’s probably NOT a good idea to ask ANY of them to connect on LinkedIn, let alone ask for a recommendation.
  3. When asking for a recommendation, if it’s been awhile since you worked with the person, say 2 or 3 years, it helps to catch up a bit and fill them in on what you’re doing these days, lest they describe you as the raw and inexperienced talent you once were, instead of the polished and accomplished professional you are today.
  4. If you worked with someone and they really were good, like REALLY good, tell them that. Do them a solid and tell the world that. If you can, do it before they ever even ask. Good people are hard to come by, and while it’s not always easy to get a glowing written recommendation, there’s very little that’s as powerful as one from someone who is worth their salt, and knows you’re worth yours. Help foster your own network of great talent by cultivating connections between other great talent.
  5. The whole of your public online identity exists on the web for everyone to see. I know we’ve heard this a million times before, but if you aren’t fond of using the privacy settings on your social media profile, and your soon-to-be-boss is subjected to drunken photos of a triple-kiss between you and your two besties at Ultra, you deserve what you get—whether that’s a sad, skinny rejection letter or an offer of employment by the shadiest boss ever for a way fatter salary than you know you’re worth.

This blog is relatively new, so I won’t pretend I’m expecting lots of comments yet, but for future readers (I know I’ll grab you one day), what experiences have you had with social networking while you or a former colleague were hunting for a new job? Do you have any good ones to add to this list?

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