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Showing posts from March, 2010

Is social media monitoring a gold mine or a bubble?

(Disclaimer: I used to work at Brandtology but left the company last August. The views here are from the experience with clients and would be clients from August to the date of the post. It has nothing to do with my experience in dealing with customer at my time with Brandtology.)A friend was asking me about the social media monitoring/analysis market and it got me thinking about this post.In all my freelance jobs, social media monitoring/analysis has not been an important criteria or a deciding factor if I get the job or not. It all boils down to how creative I can be with the social networks I proposed. However, there are a few signals from clients that indicate that social media monitoring/analysis might be a bubble. Clients moving to Facebook Fan PagesAll of my clients are looking at their social media strategy on Facebook, especially Fan Pages. The advantages of Fan Pages are that you are usually dealing with real people and it provide a demographic report abit 48 hours later. Th…

Astroturf where the grass is same same but different

"People talk about grassroots feedback but this technique is called Astroturf. That means you make it look like grass but actually you planted the plastic all over the field. Fake identities and you orchestrate a campaign".Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
27 March 2010
Channel NewsAsiaSingapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on a speech over the weekend commented on the technique called “Astroturf” when the government received a couple of emails which looked as it came from a template and with identities that were found to be fake. This was in reference to the AWARE saga. Is sending a “cut and paste” email template under a fake identity amount to astroturfing?Many bloggers have disagree that sending an email template with a fake identity is not astroturfing but if you take a look at the history, there might be some truth to the words used by the Prime Minister, but was it taken out of context?According to, Campaigns & Elections magazine defines astro…

Tiger Airways only listens to the good things in Social Media

When you, as a brand, start a Facebook Fan Page, be prepared for the best and worst from fans. Tiger Airlines, however, has decided that their Fan Page should only show the good things, and have taken a policy to delete negative comments and ban fans who posted them. The banned fans have retaliated and started a new Facebook Fan Page about Tiger Airways, “What I hate about Tiger Airways”. According to, Tiger has deleted posts and discussions which was negative to the brand. Even fans who said “No” when Tiger Airways’  asked “Do you love us” were banned from the Fan Page.
Image from, Derek Yeo, head of marketing at Tiger Airways, in his appointment told Media magazine that he aims to get Tiger Airways to be more personal with the passengers. From Media Magazine, “You might be very cheap but if one has to go through a lot of trouble to avail your services it might not be worth it. We…

How Nestle should have reacted to Greenpeace’s video

Food giant, Nestle, is under attack in the social media after Greenpeace posted a video to protest against the use of palm oil in its Kit Kat chocolates which is said to result in deforestation of jungles in Indonesia, homes of Orang Utans. (Caution: Video may spoil your lunch)Have a break? from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.Fans or anti-Fans have taken to Nestle’s fanpage and attacking Nestle.
Image from what did Nestle do wrong to spark such fury among fans?Mistake Number 01 – Requesting Youtube To Take The Video DownWe have seen so many times how a request for a take down which only results in the “Stresiand Effect”. Asking Youtube to take down the video was the mistake made by Nestle.  Yes, the video is negative to Nestle’s image but by requesting for the take down creates the perception that there is something to hide. I recently dealt with a negative review of a product for a client and it appeared online. I had to explain to the cli…

Photos Are Worth A Thousand Views

One of the “live” photos at RLW2010 in Fort CanningAlmost everybody owns a digital camera, be it a compact camera, a mobile phone with an inbuilt camera or a DSLR, yet marketers are not taking full advantage of the simplest of multimedia feature found on Facebook Fan Page. Updating photos “live” on Facebook Fan Page is one of the services I provide for clients especially during event days. The technology is there and affordable to do so as all you need is a netbook with a sd card reader and mobile wireless connection. Fans like it because it provides them with an update on Fan Page and the photos “literally'” brings the event to them. Clients like it the service too as it allow Fans to come back to the photo later to comment about the photo. This is one way of communicating to the people, your target audience. To reduce the Fan Page updates as spam, I usually take selected photos that talks to the fans. It is, however, surprisingly, that are not many who are doing the same for the…

What’s the difference in using social media for B2C and B2B and what is the ROI of social media?

You will find the answers in the video interview below between Jeffrey L. Cohen for Social Media B2B and David Meerman Scott, the author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR and World Wide Rave.David Meerman Scott at SXSW from Jeffrey L. Cohen on Vimeo.I agree fully with both of David’s answer. Let’s look at the answer about the question in the difference in social media for B2C and B2B. When a brand or government or non-government organisation or you decide to put yourself onto a social network, the whole idea is that you want to communicate the people, not only those within your circle, but to expand your circle to communicate with more people. As an individual, when you go on Facebook or Twitter or Friendster, or what social network is the in thing today, it is all about wanting to share your daily activities, thoughts, interest with people who are your friends or who are strangers until they add you as a friend. This is the same reason why brands, government, non-profit and the …

Brands too suffer from Distractus Digitalis – Respond to Walter Lim’s Post “Are We Truly in a Marketing Revolution?”

"How many wonderful stories can we spin about our company - short of hiring Stephen King on our payroll?" - WALTER LIM of Cooler Insights.I wanted to comment on Walter’s latest post, “Are We Truly in a Marketing Revolution?” and the comment became a post as Blogger couldn’t handle the amount of characters as a comment.I don't think there is a need to spin here. Spin is something you do when you are a message pusher! But if you are a content creator looking at creating content for the public and not for the media, spin is not necessary. My social media strategy usually about creating content that the target audience can interact with. If you look into Webster, it is no coincidence that social means "interact" and media means "content". Usually when I mention content, some potential clients would say "yes, they have content". When they show me the content, they are press releases or long case studies that are meant for the media to consume, no…

“Tuck Into A Game Called Love”

My grandparents were quite cool to help one of my clients, Marriage Central, to test out their new game “In His Shoes, In Her Heels’ and to attend the press conference to share their thoughts about the game. Also, I have to thank my mom who was also present at the press conference to help my grandparents there and with the game itself. Photo and story appeared in Today (, The Straits Times ( an ZaoBao.  Back to the serious stuff. If you are a social media consultant and the activity is part of the PR plan, it is also important to share with your clients how many times the story has been clicked or retweeted. With the advent of, it has become quite easy to do as the tiny url aggregator also includes other users who have shortened the links to the story. For example, The Straits Times story has been clicked 29 times so far with retweets from 2 source. The Today article has been clicked 39 times from two sources. The numbers are not impres…

Are Starhub MaxMobile Elite Users Getting What They Are Paying for?

(Update –ION Orchard Tests)I was at ION Orchard for an event and tested the 21Mbps bandwidth on my netbook. It was able to reach d/l speeds of 4000+kbps and u/l speed of 600kbps. That eliminates the configuration and hardware issues of the netbook as it is possible to achieve higher bandwidth. A friend from an IT pub told me that the further one get from the city area, but my test at an event in Raffles Place was quite bad yesterday. (Update – Morning Tests)On PC

21MbpsLast Result:
Download Speed: 1420 kbps (177.5 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 343 kbps (42.9 KB/sec transfer rate)We have detected your IP Address is Result:
Download Speed: 1572 kbps (196.5 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 132 kbps (16.5 KB/sec transfer rate)We have detected your IP Address is just signed up for the Starhub MaxMobile Elite plan with the idea of enjoying the high bandwidth of d/l speeds of up to 21Mbs …

Charity For Fans – Is It Ethical?

Facebook Fan Pages are becoming the social media platform for most clients today. It solves most of the problems that blogging, podcasting, youtubing and what other web2.0 thingy you can think off. This, however, made the race for fans an inevitable KPI.Sony Ericsson Singapore recently launched their Fan Page and their drive for fans was unique. Their pull was that for every ten fans who join their Fan Page, Sony Ericsson Singapore will donate SGD1 to the Singapore Children’s Society. Just click a button to join the Fan Page and you do your bit for charity. Effortless. At the back of my head, there was a lingering thought asking myself if this is an ethical thing to do. Is one joining this Fan Page because they are supporting charity or is it to support Sony Ericsson? Will we also see an influx of brands going for the same approach for fans?I tweeted about Sony Ericsson Singapore’s approach and also added that we should get 1 million fans for Singapore Children’s Society to get SGD100…

The Facebook Fan Page “Church” Analogy

I had a very interesting strategic discussion with a creative agency on a tender pitch this afternoon about how we should approach an existing Facebook Fan Page and introduce a new branding to these fans. We came across an analogy, which if sounds blasphemous I apologise, for Facebook Fan Page with that of Church. And when you think about it, it can explain why some fan pages pass or fail. For this campaign, the branding we proposing will be religion where the we look to make the fans followers or add new fans to the community. Obviously, Facebook Fan Page is the church where the fans congregate. The brand owner/s are the sponsors. There can be one sponsor or many. Alas, the social media consultant is the.. drum roll please.. the pastor!This struck a chord with me. Many brands look to themselves as the religion. The Fan Page is about them, the brand. As such, unless your brand is already as big as cult like Apple, you are then more likely to have the loyal followings already. But most…

Social Media At The IT Show

I was rather surprised that Social Media wasn’t really utilised by most of the brands at the recent IT Show, especially those with fanpages.Most of the fanpages did announce that they will be at The IT Show with a status update, but the brands should have done more. For example, they could take “Live” photos or even videos at The IT Show. HP Singapore had no updates on their Fanpage on the IT Show! The updates are important because when the fans are updated, their friends will also see of their updates. Fanpages can also be used to share links to reviews by the IT publications to set as a reminder to the fans about the product. Lenovo Singapore did a great job to update their fans!Handii Computers was my client during The IT Show and the responsibility was to do PR and social media for the client before and during the show. During the show, and working with the Australian PR team from Touch Marketing Australia, we provided photo updates and shared links of our media out reach that came …

Breaking Post: CyberPress PH denounces action by IT MNC and her PR agency

An IT MNC and her PR agency has come under fire from the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress) for a story about the resignation of the GM of that IT MNC that might have resulted in the sacking of the reporter and the editor stripped of his editorial responsibilities. Wrote the CyberPress blog, The IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress) denounces in the strongest terms, what the group sees as an unfair and arbitrary treatment of two CyberPress members who were penalized for doing their work -- reporting IT industry news.
Last March 1, 2010, CyberPress members had reported the resignation of a country manager of a multinational IT company – a development actually confirmed by the company. The report also stated that the executive had thrice been bypassed for promotion to the top post, an issue denied by the company.
The company objected vehemently that the report was “wrong,” though it announced the official’s resignation later on. We believ…

Top 10 Social Media Pick-Up Line

Need to be corny a bit to relax the brain. So here are my Top 10 Social Media Pick-Up Line.I can be your Linked and you can be my In!
Your Profile is the window to your world.
I return Pokes! I hope you do so!
I am Mayor of this pub and Mayor says “You’re my concubine!”
"I am so glad I Stumbled Upon you" submitted by Roderick Low on Facebook.
“I will TWEET you til heaven and earth may fade and BOOKMARK you for a better time tomorrow:P and I'll SHARE you with all my friends !!” from comment on Roderick’s status.
I will TAG you to my status and photos till end of time. Just make share permission is not given to my wife!
I have the Bejeweled Jewels.
i LIKE u

Blogger Interview With Jeremy Wagstaff of Loose Wire

Have a wire loose? Jeremy Wagstaff is here to fix it!

Jeremy finds phone calls are like so 1980s unless you are Maggie Q or Shu Qi.Who are you? Ie what is your blog name and your real name. Why did you come up with the blog title?I'm Jeremy Wagstaff. My blog is called Loose Wire because that's the name of my (now defunct) column at The Wall Street Journal, the Far Eastern Economic Review, and the title of a collection of those columns in book form (still available at all good bookshops, and some less good ones.)What are you? In ten (or so) words, you would describe your blog as: …I'm a social technologist. I've used the Internet since the late 1980s and written about it as a journalist since the mid 1990s. The blog has been going since 2003. It's a motley collection of thoughts on the state of the web, Web 2.0, the media, PR and why it's so hard to deal with any major company in the Southeast Asian region via email.Why do we need you? Why is your blog differ…

Rumours In The Age Of Social Media

The Singapore Twitter-sphere was set alive on Sunday night about a blog posting the “reported” heart attack of Singapore’s 1st Prime Minister. Click on this link at"lee+kuan+yew" to see what Singaporeans have been tweeting about. While most Singapore Tweeters have questioned the truth of the post, there have yet to be any confirm reports on the issue. One Singapore Tweeter even called the hospital to check but all she got was “we cannot disclose”. The speculation was heightened from a forum that highlighted of more security at the stated hospital. As the night wears off, the tweets grow longer and without any official news or respond team, there is increase speculation that the rumour might be true. Online rumours of the death of famous people isn’t something new. Steve Jobs has been a target of his rumoured death and one in 2008 caused Apple’s stock price to drop by 10%. However, Apple’s PR team was quick to react. With social networking…

Real Love Is In The Air – Orchard Road

Marriage Central is one of my clients at the Ministry of Community Youth and Sports. One of the responsibilities as a social media consultant is to upload content for them and this includes event photos and videos. It was a great Saturday afternoon to take the dance video below without the sun being too harsh. It wasn’t the case on Sunday. I am glad technology has put a HD video recording function into my Nikon D5000 as it means I don’t have to carry two devices for events. Also, the vivid colour processing does help to bring out the colours in the videos below. One of the activities in the campaign was to have 10 couples, decked out in traditional, modern contemporary and funky wedding costumes, dance in celebration of happy marriages and Real Love!Enjoy the dance!About Real Love WorksReal Love Works 2010, by Marriage Central, is back for the 2nd year to embrace and encourage couples in Singapore to celebrate their marriages. Leading up to the Real Love Works celebrations, Real Love …

Gadget3 to close – End of consumer tech era at CR Media

Sources close to Gadget4 have shared that the consumer tech lifestyle magazine will stop publishing either after the March or April 2010 issue. The closure of this consumer tech lifestyle magazine will mark the end of an era of tech magazines at CR Media. CR Media held the license to PC World Singapore in the 90s until IDG Singapore decided to launch PC Advisor in the early 2000s.  CR Media then switched to the PC Magazine license but ended it last year when PC Magazine decided to go 100% online. PC Advisor was closed within a year and IDG Singapore sold of most of its enterprise tech licenses, including Computerworld Singapore and CIO Asia, to Fairfax Media in Asia. I was told that the sales team might be switched to the other publications but the fate of the editorial team is unknown. Singapore is, therefore, left with T3 Singapore, Stuff Singapore, HWM Singapore and Digital Life as the reminding contenders in the consumer tech lifestyle print market. Note that HWM Singapore and Dig…

Agency Monday with BondPR

Social PR chats with Tom Burgess of Group CEO BondPR to find out why he sees his agency as a giraffe.Who are you? Ie what are the names of the people on your team?
The key people are: in Singapore it is Kunalan and James, in Sydney it is Kayleigh and in Europe it is Tom, Helen, Sophie and Paul

What are you? In ten (or so) words, you would describe your agency as: …
Experienced, professional, international, active campaigns in 50 countries, cost effective, part of your team

Why do we need you? Why should new clients go to you?
If they want good local results that visibly contribute to their success and want to reach multi-country markets through one point of contact

Contact? Who’s the best person on the team for new business?
That will be me, though I am based in London,  in Asiapac contact Kunalan in Singapore or Kayleigh in Sydney. Firstname(at) 

Best Pitch or Campaign? Please highlight your best pitch or campaign.
Regus campaign as it covers 30 countries in three conti…