Downton Abbey beginning credits

Downton Abbey uses publicity faux pas for good

Hot off of the heels of a publicity photo blunder, the cast and crew of Downton Abbey did something amazing to promote the efforts of WaterAid.

The blunder:
A photo of the The Earl and Lady Edith was released for the launch of the latest season of Downton Abbey. However, a similar, uncropped version of the photo made its way onto digital platforms and went totally viral. Why? A plastic bottle of water can clearly be seen in the right hand corner of the photo and for those not familiar with Downton Abbey: it’s a period drama. Plastic water bottles weren’t exactly all the rage back in the time of flapper dresses and dress suits. Oops!

Downton Abbey cast and water-bottle-gate

The Earl and Lady Edith, and the water bottle that started it all. Photo credit: Downton Abbey/Facebook

The fix:
The cast and crew of Downton Abbey came up with a genius plan: why not use the publicity faux pas for good? They teamed together to promote the international charity, WaterAid. They can be seen photographed together sporting naughty faces while all holding plastic bottles of water. The picture was released on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag: #WH2Oops. Such a cheeky bunch.

Downton Abbey cast and water-bottle-gate

Aren’t they just grand? Photo credit: Downton Abbey/Facebook

Visit the WaterAid website to find out more about the tongue in cheek approach to charity and to learn how you can help provide clean and safe water to some of the world’s poorest communities.

Robin Williams

What the internet taught us on the day that Robin Williams died

We woke up to the news that comedic legend, Robin Williams, had passed away due to apparent suicide. We were shocked for a while, then we watched a serious amount of YouTube videos and then we stood in silence while trying to process the reality of the situation: depression had most likely claimed another victim.

Social Media and the Internet are both inundated by posts about Robin Williams’ unexpected death. People are baring their souls on digital platforms to let the world know that they are feeling the loss of this hilarious hero. While loving words of support and condolences are being posted, and motivational memes are shared, a reminder of the darkness of depression settles in. Simply click on any of the #depressionawareness hashtags on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll find a digital world where the call to eradicate the stigma against mental illness is not just strong, it’s desperate. The internet today is telling us to take note of the silent battles people are fighting, to open our eyes to the disease that so many of our favourite individuals are suffering from.

Today, we’d like to take the opportunity to share a few important links for those that need to be heard:
South African Depression and Anxiety Group
SA Federation for Mental Health
Mental Health Information Centre: Southern Africa

Our thoughts and condolences go out to not only the Williams family, but also to every one of our followers that has been affected by or lost someone because of mental illness.

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Social media scheduling – how can it help you?

There are few things as difficult as managing our own moods. Bad days happen, but how do we keep ourselves in check and maintain the standard set for our digital portfolios? How do we separate our human vices when we have to be so human on social media platforms?

For example: you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed, then everything went wrong and you arrive at your computer feeling exasperated, exhausted and awful. The last thing you want to do is be positive and inspiring on Facebook or Twitter. But you have to.

We’ve found that keeping a database of motivational posts and/or predetermining the content that goes out on your social media platforms helps a whole lot. That way you don’t have to think about what your audience is seeing and know that you are delivering the content that they originally came to you for. This is where major social media platforms are key: they have scheduling options that can be used to input a post and only release said posts on a future date. As a rule, our team sits around a table once a week to discuss what we’d like to see go up on each of our pages in the near future and we schedule them in as we go. It takes the pressures of dealing with the battle of brand versus human consciousness out of the equation.

We’d like to take this opportunity to tell each and every single social media manager that we get it. You are only human, but you’re a human that speaks to large audiences every single day of your working life and the stresses that are paired with that are daunting at best. We understand. You are not alone.

If you’re on a number of social media platforms that you’d like to schedule similar releases to simultaneously, or that might not have scheduling functionality, you can always look at using useful tools like the free service called Hootsuite or the paid for service, Sprout Social (which comes with its own nifty reporting tools to boot).

If you’d like to speak to us some more about dealing with these services, or you’d simply like to drop us a line to vent, Contact Us! We’ll always try our best to make sure you’re ready for anything.

Virgin Mobile Meal for a Meal

Could social media solve world hunger?

Could social media solve world hunger? We don’t know, but what Virgin Mobile Australia and OzHarvest are doing is definitely a step in the right direction. Watch the video below to see what we’re on about.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwLMW2Ii-G0]

“I’m very proud to be helping launch #mealforameal, a wonderful new initiative from Virgin Mobile Australia’s partnership with OzHarvest. For every food photo you post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the #mealforameal hashtag, we’ll deliver a real meal to someone in need.” – Sir Richard Branson

We can’t help but let our minds run a little wild, though. If this works in Australia, could it be possible that we could form similar partnerships in our own countries? Maybe it’s something that we could’ve looked at for the 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil before it even started? This campaign is so inspirational and has definitely tugged at our heart strings. So much so, in fact, that we’re all participating. Each time we post any food pictures, we’re tagging #mealforameal. It may not be applicable to South Africa as of yet, but if you can feed the hungry by literally taking a few seconds to use the hashtag, why not do it?

Instead of sending you to our Contact Us page, we’d rather send you to the Virgin website where you can learn more about this initiative. Check it out when you click here.

Digital project management

Your digital portfolio

In this day and age, having digital representation can make all of the difference to your business and/or brand. You can opt for social media only or build yourself a nifty website to showcase even more of what your brand is about and pair the two to work together. Your “digital portfolio” is the collection of digital platforms your brand is represented on.

When you start building your “digital portfolio”, consider the following:

  1. How much do you have to say? If your brand is one that needs to keep people up to date on the hour every hour, use Twitter. You can write content on your website which automatically posts to Twitter, which not only saves you time, but keeps your following up to date.
  2. Is your brand image driven? Images get a lot of attention around the web, but over-posting images can result in less clicks to your brand. You can create a happy medium by using Pinterest and Instagram in line with a website that acts as a portfolio. Using platforms like Pinterest to post images and relevant links will keep your following satisfied and help get clicks to your website, whereas using Instagram creates a purely visual experience for your audience.
  3. Is information your only focus? There are brands that use their digital portfolios purely as a means to get information across to their following. These can be larger, traditional businesses. With brands like this, engagement with their following is minimal, because their posts are already informative. In this regard a good use of Facebook, Linked In and Twitter is advisable.
  4. What is your brand’s personality? It is very important to establish your brand’s personality early on in your digital portfolio. Treating your brand like an individual makes it easier for your audience to relate, so decide whether you want your brand to be seen as inspirational, hilarious, serious, purely professional or sociable. This can determine which social media platforms to be particularly active on. For example: Facebook and Twitter can be for all brand personalities, Linked In is purely professional, and Instagram and Pinterest can be seen as a social media platforms that inspire.

The wonderful thing about building your “digital portfolio” is that you don’t have to decide which platforms you want to be on right at the very beginning. Start small, use maybe one social media platform and let your website be your “home base“. You don’t have to catapult into a full digital strategy immediately, you can address this when traffic starts increasing considerably and there is a demand to engage with your audience on more than two platforms.

 

We invite you to take a browse around our site and if something tickles your fancy, and you’d like more information, feel free to contact us.

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The platforms of digital communication

Yesterday we spoke about important questions in our post, “The basics of digital communication“. As this is a series of posts to help you get your brand on the web, we’re picking up where we left off: researching possible platforms for your brand. You can stick to one or go with multiple platforms, as long as it falls in line with your brand and it’s audience.

Here’s a quick overview of five popular platforms used by brands around the globe:

Facebook is great for sharing snippets of information, useful links, images, grouped engagement and conversations and event awareness, to name but a few. Businesses usually opt to use Facebook when they want to post longer posts.

Twitter is where conversations get started. The 140 character limit allows for small links and short article headlines, and tedious paragraph-like updates are taken out of the picture. When conversations about what you’ve posted are started, it’s easy to group them together and interact with your users in short, concise posts.

Google+, the youngest of larger social media platforms can be used a lot like Facebook, however, nifty functions like Hangouts (video chats) can be saved and posted with ease. The Circles method of grouping content also makes it easy to get information to a particular group of people.

Instagram is a purely visual platform geared towards photography and an audience that prefers to be connected through beautiful imagery. If you’re in the business of visuals, Instagram is most likely where you want to be, however pairing it with Facebook and Twitter is advisable. Links are not a priority on Instagram, growing your following is.

Pinterest can be personal or professional and is also driven by aesthetics, but with links to helpful articles and blogs. You’ll find anything from fashion to DIY to health tips on Pinterest, and it’s a solid, easy to use space to create mood boards and the like for inspiration for yourself or your audience.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at a few more platforms, including excellent blogging options.

 

For more information, take a browse around our site and if something tickles your fancy, and you’d like more information, feel free to contact us.