In the beginning there was nothing.. And then there were Hashtags

  You make them, you see them, you look for them, you avoid them, you love them and you hate them. But mobile marketing surely wouldn’t have been the same without them: The Hashtags.
Hashtag-ComicIt’s Started From the Fire
   Contrary to popular belief, the idea of hashtag usage was not created by Twitter. Chris Messina, a former google designer, was the first twitter user that kicked off the idea of using the # (pound) character to organized conversations back in 2007.

chris-messina-first-twitter-hashtag San-Diego-Fire
  Not long after that, Nate Ritter, one of Chris’s friends, use the hashtag #sandiegofire to report a fire incident. And the rest is history.
Today even Facebook has embraced the usage of hashtags in its post. People now use it to talk about various things from Game of Thrones to Ahmed Mohamed.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and Recorded
   A hashtag can give the posts a unique theme. The theme can be as general as your brand (#HaveABreak by Kit Kat), or as specific as a campaign name (#mealforameal by OZ Harvest).
Any content that has been “signed” with a hashtag can easily be found by using simple search column on Twitter/Instagram. Hashtags usage also allows a measurement that can be used to evaluate particular campaigns with tools like Keyhole or Hashtracking.
Hashtrack

Hashtrack and Keyhole

Hashtrack and Keyhole

How They Use It
 Alex Kaplan has came up with the helpful tool to design mobile campaign

The 4 I's

The 4 I’s

  Hashtags can serve as an ideal platform to execute the 4 I’s.

RedbullcanRedbullcan4Redbullcan3Redbullcan2

  Red Bull and their #PutACanOnIt has shown how they Individualize the campaign and Integrate it to the customers life as well as Initiate them to create user-generated contents and at the same time be Involved in their conversations. The customers loved to snap a picture with their phones on their daily activities added by a can of Red Bull, and voila! you got some funny contents generated by the users.

Like to grab your mobile and take a picture of your food? OZ Harvest and Virgin Mobile have come out with the #mealforameal campaign that can make that habit an actual charity and raising the awareness of food wastage.
mealforameal3 mealforameal

  Hashtag, like any other advertising media, is just a tool. But some brands like Red Bull showed that hashtag can be the easiest (and cheapest) tool to commence a mobile campaign. With its convenience feature and measurable nature, it might be wise to put hashtag in your mobile campaign consideration.

Tell me what you think.

The Sad Saga of Google+

GooglePlus_AmritaMathur_techkik

  With its massive users, you might have guessed that Google is the best player that can spread any new ideas. Sadly that is not the case for Google+.

  In 2010, when Facebook fever really showed its viral nature, Vic Gundotra the then senior vice president of Google, convinced the company that Google should join the social media playground hence Google+ was born. A move from a “giant” company as a respond to a growth of a promising “rookie” company.

 Millions of users joined Google+. In 2012 the number reached 90 millions. Millions of people that signed themselves up on Google+ to  then do…. nothing.
The lack of engagement and activity on the social media site  resulted in some people to refer Google+ as a virtual ghost town.

  The social media faced an even harsher criticism when Google mandated a sign up of Google+ account to fully utilize other Google products such as Youtube. Users saw it as a relentless “pushing” tactic to shove Google+ on everyone.
Papa-why-do-they-not-love-me

  Today, Vic Gundotra has left the company, the criticized Google+ mandatory has been cancelled and Google recently announced a new strategy for Google+ in a sense that will hopefully differ the site from an image of “just another Facebook”

  A former Google insider commented on the factors that lead to the failure of Google+ from the lack of user value to the ill effort to make the site too much like Facebook.
googleplus  As Seth Godin has mentioned, if all cows were purple then you would soon not notice a purple cow. Product users wouldn’t want to spend time and energy on a new product that they deemed overly similiar to an existing product (in this case Google+ and Facebook). With the massive flow of information and choices, the rational thing to do is to just notice what’s worth to be noticed, what’s standout, remarkable, and bring a relevant practical value.

  Google has learned about this in a hard way, hopefully the lessons will bring a better ending for Google+.

Tell me what you think

It Starts With One: How Linkin Park harnessed the strength of online community

  This is not a story about a brand community that is nurtured by the company. Instead, this is a story about a company that was powered by their community at the beginning.

From Community..
Machine_Shop_Records 2550913-4650940812-linki

  Enter Machine Shop, a record company that was founded by two members of the band Linkin Park, Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson.

  Long before the social media trends exploded, the band had tried to use the internet as a powerful tool. They nurtured their fanbase, created buzz about themselves on online chatroom, and approaching potential fans that will be sent free CDs & merchandise.

  Jessica Sklar, the now Machine Shop’s Chief Strategy officer, was the person that responsible to manage and evolve the online discussion into meet ups and event concerts, this guerrilla action eventually lead to the birth of the name “Linkin Park Underground” for the fanbase (that name will eventually be used by the band to release their EP albums).

photo 1 photo 2

  Linkin Park has practiced the attitude that is mentioned in a Forbes article on engaging customers, the band treated the internet page as more than a mere platform but an engaging tool, and it was years ago. Nowadays the band is arguably the biggest band in social media with 63 millions Facebook fans and 5 millions Youtube subscribers.

However since the music industry and business world change, Machine Shop will also take a new direction.

..To Corporation

Linkin X Harvard

Linkin X Harvard

  Recently the band has launched a venture investment company by the name of Machine Shop Ventures and even partnering with Harvard Business School in developing it.

  Machine Shop Ventures will focused in investing on techno start up such as Lyft and Shyp. And interestingly Mike Shinoda stated that they wouldn’t be so keen on investing on music industry, but it is because the standard has to be high.
logo_mighty_pink SHYP logo 2

    Linkin Park has gone a long way from sending free CDs to fans they met online. If its common to see corporation tries to give birth on a brand community, than in this case the community has instead given birth to a corporation.

  Their early journey has given a perfect example of how strong an online community engagement can be. Sure it will take more effort for a small brand, buzz should be created, events should be managed and incentives should be given.
But in the end, it doesn’t even matter.

Tell me what you think

Uber: Progress and Protest

Ever feel hesitant to buying your clothes online?
Ever feel worried that they might not be delivered?
That the size is not right?
That the color is not like what you saw?
Or maybe that the actual product look different than the pictures?

Errr,, Close enough

Errr,, Close enough

  If you answered yes on one of those questions, if you ever felt unsure about purchasing a goods from an online-only vendor, would you also feel unsure about taking a car ride from an online-only vendor?

  Uber is a company established in San Francisco 2009 and has now operating in 58 countries. It serves using a sharing principle that utilize an app to connect ride-seekers with car owners.
Many protest are shown from the competitor sides (traditional taxi) in many countries such as USA, Brazil, China, France and other places.

 n-PROTESTO-large570 uber-protest-07152014

  Naturally the traditional taxi drivers feel that the competition was unfair. Taxis are bound by special regulation, license and tax unlike Uber (which uses private cars). Those tax and regulation also make it virtually impossible for them to compete with Uber’s low pricing.

“But why should I care?”  “If no regulations mean cheaper price for me. I might as well enjoy it!”

You might wanna hold that thought.

  No regulations also means that there is no monitoring (at least from the government). And while you can safely assume that generally Uber riding experience are pleasant and secure, several cases have actually happened. From assault, harassment, dangerous driving, and felon drivers.

ankush-pathania
In Delhi Ankush Patania, an Uber customer that experienced a harassment from the driver, posted a complaint on Uber’s Facebook page only to get a reply that Uber has taken action but will not disclose what the action is.

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  Sure unpleasant drivers can also be found on regular taxis just as damaged clothes can also be found on offline clothing store. But will you feel safe to know that the only place you can complain to is basically an “app company“? Especially with the issue of whether the drivers are actually “employee” (Uber still insists that the drivers are not employee). Do you think that it is time this new progressive business model to have tighter regulations (with the risk of losing the cheaper price nature)?

Tell me what you think

Meme & Marketing: Viral Hitchhikers

Jurassic Ford

Jurassic Ford

  From the black-blue (or gold-white?) dress to 1000 people singing Foo Fighters’ song, the internet has given birth to various amusing viral topics. The idea that a simple content can rapidly reach people around the globe is very intriguing that it would make sense that some brands are tempted to gain benefit from this phenomena.

  But most of the viral content that you remember from the past year might not be a commercial one, then how can a business use this nature to its’ advantage?
A recent case that’s reflected this issue is the Ford Raptor tweet.

  If you’re a movie fan than you must be aware of the recently-released “Jurassic World”. This box office record-breaking movie featured a memorable scene where the character Owen (Chris Pratt) is shown taming a pack of vicious Velociraptors.

Down Boy!

Down Boy!

This scene has triggered zookeepers around the world to posted their very own version of “raptor scene”. Soon the internet is filled with these hilarious meme :

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pic01new raptorsquad7-061715

And just when the people are buzzing about this new trend, Ford jumped in with this tweet of its Raptor variant:

Well-played

Well-played

And this is some of the reactions :photo 1

Referring to Kevin Allocas’ idea of viral-triggering factors, it was quite unexpected by the people that a big brand like Ford will join this meme trend, it definitely shows a participation effort of Ford which eventually lead the further participation of the netizens, and while Ford is not necessarily the tastemakers (The zoos are) it certainly blended to the taste atmosphere of the memes.

  Two lessons can be learned from this Fords’ tweets. Firstly, in order to go viral a company might not necessarily need to “create” its own “virality” all the time, a simple jumped-in (with tasteful content of course) might do the trick. Secondly, this tweet shows what an official social media page can & should do: to get involved, social media allows an opportunity for a company page to do more than just a cold, vertical, one-way information pusher. This tweet reflects a wonderful communication era that business are living in now.

Tell me what you think.
Meanwhile, another example of a viral jumped-in

photo