Workshops: Social Media Marketing for Business


Social Media Venn Diagram

If you’re in New Zealand, you are probably familiar with the Institute of IT Professionals.

The IITP is New Zealand’s oldest, non-profit professional body of IT members throughout the country. As well as an excellent mentoring program, the IITP run a series of professional development workshops across NZ on various IT, business and marketing subjects.

I’ve been running training workshops in conjunction with IITP now for over 12 months and really enjoy it. The next round of workshops coming up are on the subject of Social Media Marketing for Business.

This full-day workshop will show you step-by-step how to implement a social media marketing strategy for a business of any size. Included will be real-life case studies, practical examples and clever ideas for using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and other social media channels that you can immediately adapt to suit your own requirements.

It will be a fun day, with some group activities, games and (if time permits), live analysis of existing social media strategies of willing attendees.

Below are the details and booking links for Wellington and Auckland events, so please share with anyone you know who might benefit from attending:

Social Media Marketing for Business – Wellington
Date: 14 May 2013
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: Terrace Conference Centre

Social Media Marketing for Business – Auckland
Date: 16 May 2013
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: University of Otago House

Thanks for your support!


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Twitter Wins the US Election By a Landslide

Despite the final vote tally, Twitter was the clear winner of the 2012 US Presidential election.

No matter what your political bias, the Twitter feed for the past 24 hours has captured the highest and lowest points, the heckling, the gags, the tantrums and the vote count. Once again, Twitter was the place to be to get the most up to date vote tally as State by State fell to each of the candidates. With news agencies reporting inconsistent or biased results, confused voters turned to Twitter to get faster updates via the hashtags #Election2012, #USElection and #USAElection.

According to Twitter staff, election conversation saw Twitter reach a peak of 327,452 Tweets per minute this evening, with not a single Fail Whale in sight – something Twitter staff were extremely proud of.  The company has clearly improved on their server load contingency plan since the last election.

And just as well too, because newly re-elected President Obama (@BarackObama) chose Twitter as the medium for his first acknowledgements of victory:

President Obama claims victory on Twitter

More than half a million people retweeted President Obama’s victorious “Four More Years” photo tweet.

Four More Years for Obama

However, not everyone was happy with the election outcome. Outspoken Republican Donald Trump (@realdonaldtrump) surprised everyone with his vitriolic, bizarre and seemingly unpatriotic stream of tweets immediately following Obama’s victory:

Trump Tantrum

Possibly the most amusing point about this epic tantrum was Trump’s incorrect assumption that Romney had won the popular vote and that the world was laughing at America because of a miscarriage of democracy caused by the electoral college system.

The tweets highlighted with the green pepper were actually deleted from Trump’s feed within an hour of them being posted, suggesting that Trump’s minders may have stepped in to prevent him from further embarrassment.

Trump’s tantrum prompted a wave of hilarious responses from the Twitterverse, some of which are highlighted in the images below.

Trumps Tantrum Trumps All
But for those of us who stayed on Twitter during President Obama’s victory speech, the hilarity continued. About halfway during his speech, someone on Twitter pointed out that the woman in the crowd directly over the President’s left shoulder had decided to stick her US flag into her hair and was waving it about with great enthusiasm.

hairflag FTW

The gesture generated an instant Twitter meme, similar to the one NASA employee @tweetsoutloud prompted when his space-influenced mohawk was spotted on camera during the recent Mars Rover landing.

Within a minute or two, the hashtag #hairflag was born, with witty tweets temporarily hijacking responses to the President’s moving and heartfelt speech.

Hairflag wins best meme

I couldn’t resist a #hairflag tweet of my own! By the time President Obama walked offstage, the #hairflag meme was in full swing, with inspirational posters, Facebook pages and parody Twitter accounts.

So Election Day closes with 31 million tweets posted and Twitter a clear winner, once again. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


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2012 Social Media Demographics: An Infographic

I know not everyone is a fan of infographics, but I love them. Sure, they’ve been done to death at conferences and meetings, but nothing beats an eye-catching graphic to quickly highlight important data within complex statistics.

Today I was searching online for the latest social media usage statistics to incorporate into a presentation I am giving and I stumbled upon this brilliant infographic put together by

Click on the image for a larger view:

Here are the highlights:

Social Media Usage:

  • More than 66%of adults online in America are connected to one or more social media platforms.
  • 67% of Americans use social media to stay in touch with their friends.
  • 64% of Americans use social media to stay in touch with family.
  • 50% of Americans use social media to reconnect with old friends.


  • Facebook has 845 million active users.
  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
  • The average Facebook visit lasts 23 minutes.
  • 46% of Facebook users are over the age of 45.
  • 57% of Facebook users are female (43% male).
  • 57% of Facebook users report having been to “some college” (24% bachelors or graduate degree).
  • 47% of Facebook users report making between $50,000 – $99,000 annually (33% between $25,000 – $49,999).


  • Twitter has 127 million active users.
  • 13% of Internet users also use Twitter.
  • 33% of Twitter users are over the age of 45.
  • 54% of Twitter users use Twitter on their mobile devices.
  • 36% of Twitter users tweet at least once a day.
  • The average visit on Twitter lasts for 14 minutes.
  • 59% of Twitter users are female (41% male).


  • Google+ has had 90 million unique visitors.
  • Google+ users are 71% male.
  • The most common occupation of a Google+ user is an engineer.
  • 44% of Google+ users are “single”.


  • Pinterest has had 21 million unique visits.
  • The top two locations for Pinterest users are Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • The top interests of Pinterest users are crafts, hobbies, interior design and fashion.
  • 82% of Pinterest users are female (18% male).
  • The average Pinterest visit lasts 17 minutes.


  • LinkedIn has 150 million registered users.
  • 75% of LinkedIn users use it for business purposes.
  • There are 2 million companies on LinkedIn.
  • 50% of LinkedIn users have a bachelors or graduate degree.

So as suspected, Facebook users are the biggest time wasters. Puts a new perspective on the value of Facebook advertising though, doesn’t it?

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Death of Steve Jobs Fails to Break Twitter Record

RIP Steve JobsWe all heard the sad news yesterday that Steve Jobs, founder and visionary at Apple, had died at the age of 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

I heard it from a client who lives one mile from Apple headquarters and was awoken by helicopters over his house at 4.30am. But most people heard about it via social media. Within seconds of an official statement released by Apple, the first tweets started to appear.

“#ThankYouSteve for the magic you brought to people’s lives.”

“iSad. RIP Steve Jobs for leaving your mark on technology.”

“My iPhone made all the difference during earthquakes on 4 Sept, 22 Feb & 13 June – it found my kids & reassured my family #eqnz #ThankYouSteve”

“Life is the only thing Bill Gates has beaten Steve Jobs at. #ThankYouSteve”

“Steve Jobs changed the world. We have lost a true pioneer and American visionary #iSad #ThankYouSteve”

Twitter users started spreading the news of Jobs’s death, adopting #SteveJobs #iSad and #ThankYouSteve hashtags attached to their tweets. For the first few hours, the rate of Twitter activity about Job’s death looked like it was going to break the tweet per second record of 8,868 tweets per second, set after U.S. R&B artist Beyoncé announced her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.

Australian social media monitoring firm SR7 estimated that Twitter activity hit 10,000 tweets per second following the announcement:

“We’re awaiting the official Twitter data to be released, however, from the numbers that we’ve been monitoring through the day since the announcement it’s certainly been trending to break that record,” Peter Fraser, co-founder of SR7, told the news agency Agence-France Presse.

TwitSprout went even futher, claiming tweet activity reached 42,000 per second at one point.

But it was Twitter who finally revealed the truth. In a statement given to Forbes last night, a spokeswoman from Twitter said that their internal data showed a rate of 6,049 tweets per second. That’s faster than tweets following the death of Osama bin Laden (a little over 5,000 TPS), but below the 8,868 tweets per second that followed Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement.

But even though the death of the technology icon failed to break the all-time tweet record, Steve Job’s death *did* break Twitter temporarily. The site fell over for around 2 minutes under the weight of the heavy initial tweet load.

Apart from anything else, it’s an interesting insight into the growth of Twitter. Consider this: following Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 there were just 493 tweets per second being sent, yet this was still enough to crash the service.

As a final tribute to Steve Jobs and the impact he had, Twitter staff put together a fascinating infographic portrait, consisting of a visualization of public #thankyousteve Tweets, sent over about 4.5 hours yesterday.

RIP Steve Jobs.

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McDonalds Dip Their Toe in Social Media, Have it Cut Off

Last night, McDonalds New Zealand decided to launch a Twitter account via @MaccasNZ. According to their first tweet, the move was to copycat their competitors Burger King and Subway:

“Decided to join @burgerkingNZ & @subwaynz and get Twitter. Follow us for promotions and cool stuff!”

I noticed their account this morning and decided to follow to see how such a major brand would proceed to dip their toe into the Twitterverse. It was like watching a train wreck.

The launch failed on a number of levels:

1) The first tweet basically said they’re only on Twitter because their competitors are. Sorry but the *Me Too* factor is not reason enough to get excited. Neither is “Follow us for cool stuff!” Yawn.

2) Their second tweet was grammatically incorrect: “Wanna win with McDonalds” (missing a question mark). Also, win what? Ok, these are pretty minor issues, but you’d think such a major company would assign somebody with a better grasp of English to represent their brand, wouldn’t you?

3) Their third tweet simply revealed how bored the person manning their Twitter account actually is:

“I think it’s time for McDonalds”

How underwhelming.

4) However, it was their fourth tweet that really scratched FAIL into the golden arches:

“Shakey town Christchurch I think you could do with some McDonald’s #eqnz”

For those of you reading this unfamiliar with the #eqnz hashtag – it stands for Earthquake New Zealand and it was adopted following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake we had last September. As anyone who lives in Christchurch will tell you, we feel a certain ownership of the #eqnz hashtag and do NOT appreciate accounts that use it to spam or promote non-earthquake related content.

After @MaccasNZ included the hashtag in the above tweet, Christchurch-based tweeps became quite vocal about what they saw as blatant abuse of the tag:

@kcolbin tweeted: “@MaccasNZ Please don’t spam the #eqnz hashtag.”

This was followed by retweets by @7point1squared and @WendyDavie.

Then @esoap tweeted: RT @MaccasNZ Shakey town Christchurch I think you could do with some McDonald’s #eqnz * MCD use twitter to spam earthquake thread in NZ

And just like that, New Zealand’s most recognized brand offended their audience. During their first 24 hours on Twitter.

5) Not to be outdone, their 5th tweet reveals they don’t know the difference a possessive and a plural: “Grab one of the McDonald’s dinner box’s tonight”. (Thanks @ThisCJ for pointing out this one!).

Apart from the fact that it has taken the NZ arm of this major brand so long to embrace Twitter, I’m curious as to who they have running their account and whether that person has any solid experience on Twitter. They certainly don’t seem to have twetiquette. Nor do they seem to have a grasp of English grammar.

Somebody just pointed out to me that the account is not verified, so perhaps this isn’t an authentic account. But, if it is (and I’m checking), the brand has gotten off to an awful start. Even if it isn’t verified, this would appear to be a case of brand-jacking that has gone unchecked for more than 24 hours. Neither is a great scenario. McDonalds seem to be having better success with their Facebook account though.

Let this be a lesson – don’t trust just anyone to represent your brand via a Twitter account. It’s not the job for some junior staffer and it’s not the job for your PR department. Marketing staff might be the obvious choice, but you need to find someone who is social, has experience in the medium and has a solid knowledge of your business and target market. Whether that person is internal or external staff doesn’t matter, in my opinion, as long as they’re the right fit.

Meanwhile, it’s fascinating to watch the drama unfold. Dare I say, I’m lovin it.

Postscript 1: The consensus is that this is NOT an official account endorsed or created by McDonalds New Zealand. I’ve tracked down the Twitter accounts for McDonalds marketing and both @McDonaldsCorp and a representative of McDonald’s advertising agency in New Zealand have both denied the account is official and claim to have known nothing about it.

Postscript 2: On their Facebook page, McDonalds New Zealand has publicly responded to my question about @MaccasNZ with the following statement:

“Hi Kalena – nope, that’s not us, but thanks for alerting us – we’re looking into it.”

So there you have it folks. A brand-jacking it was – but instead of satire, the purpose of the @MaccasNZ account appears to have been legitimate promotion that has backfired. Will be interesting to see if they manage to shut it down or replace it with an official account.

Postscript 3: The profile for @MaccasNZ has just been changed from “Official Twitter for McDonalds NZ” to “UN-official Twitter for McDonalds NZ”.  So clearly, some pressure has been applied from Golden Arch HQ.

Postscript 4: Turns out @MaccasNZ *IS* an official account for McDonalds NZ. Two new tweets today reveal the true story behind the account:

“Sorry we got off on the wrong foot. We are a McDonalds franchise acting on behalf of McDonalds New Zealand.”

“Also we are sorry for the mistakes in our tweets, New to twitter and letting certain staff use the account = not a good idea.”

They’ve removed the offending tweet containing the #eqnz hashtag, as well as the one containing the grammatically incorrect apostrophe. The profile for @MaccasNZ has been changed AGAIN to read A twitter for McDonalds to communicate with its followers from New Zealand.

So as I suspected, these were the actions of a well-meaning franchisee who created an official account without official permission and assigned the account to an inexperienced staff member.

Great to see them reveal the true nature of the account and fess up to their social media FAIL. Hooray for transparency and well done McDonalds New Zealand for following up.

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