Mama Claus decides who is naughty and nice for Burger King

Our Christmas campaign for Burger King introduces Mama Claus – a feisty South African woman who decides who is Naughty or Nice by checking out Facebook profiles. Two new limited edition burgers are being promoted by the activity a Nice burger and a Naughty burger.

We’ve invited South Africans to nominate themselves to receive a free burger on Burger King’s Facebook page - a lucky few are selected each day by Mama. Check out her video responses here.

Interactive Sensorium for Johnnie Walker South Africa

As part of the Meet Your Match campaign for Johnnie Walker we created an interactive flavour profiler for media and blogger briefings. The briefing is led by a whisky expert that guides them through a series of tastes, aromas and sounds to help pick the perfect Johnnie Walker blend. Choices are tracked via sensors in the Profiler and the final choice is displayed with the press of a button at the end of the experience.

It’s picking up some great press and social media coverage:

Food Blog Cape Town



Round table

Social media content trends for 2014

Expect more de-cluttering of newsfeeds

As social media matures in South Africa, expect users to become much pickier about who they follow. Experienced users have twigged that if they Like or Follow a brand they will have to put up with content from it in their newsfeeds. Expect regular culling of brands that aren’t adding value or wandering off topic with their content (or posting lame memes!). Brands will also need to be much clearer about what followers will get out of joining a community.

Bad content will be penalised

Facebook and other social networks are increasingly worried about newsfeeds being filled with “low value content” (those lame memes again for example). Algorithm changes have been made within Facebook specifically to prioritise quality content such as articles from “credible” media outlets. Brands putting out lazy content should expect to have their reach throttled back as nervous social networks clean out their content feeds.

Less ads more content

The less ads feel like ads, and more like useful content, the more successful they will be. With Promoted Posts on Facebook and Twitter substantially outperforming (in our experience) digital display advertising in terms of engagement, the move from hard sell to high value content continues to be one of the biggest trends transforming digital marketing.

The return of the blog

Blogs were all the rage in South Africa a few years back and then brands got excited about Facebook and Twitter and blogs were pushed onto the back burner. But they are coming back into vogue as their value as content hubs is being recognised; and with more budget going into content production (such as videos, infographics etc), having a place that can keep this content working after its disappeared from newsfeeds makes a lot of sense. The rise of tablets, which make longer-form content much more user-friendly to consume, should also drive this trend.

Content eco-system strategies needed

Most brands now operate multiple social media channels as well as producing content for websites, newsletters and other channels. Having unconnected strategies and separate content production streams is inefficient and will feel fragmented for followers.

Brands are having to think about how the eco-system of different channels works together, both from a planning and production perspective, and how to make content work as hard as possible. I believe a mind-set shift is required from bringing consumers to a single destination (e.g a website), to enabling them to receive a message via any one of a number of channels.

So in other words it doesn’t matter if a brand video was watched on YouTube, Facebook, a website, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn, what matters is the video was viewed and the message absorbed.

Immersive content

There has been some really interesting experimentation with adding multimedia to articles from publications such as the New York Times. Check out their amazing Snow Fall article:

Also a number of services launched last year that are taking content beyond just copy and images on social platforms. Thinglink allows you to add links within images (kind of hyperlinks for images); this is currently compatible with Twitter, Tumblr and a number of other platforms (but not Facebook yet).

Also with Vine, Instagram Video, increased use of animated gifs and soon Facebook video ads (and don’t forget about YouTube), there will be a lot more video content on social platforms.

Don’t forget about mobile

We finished off (or started) almost every conversation with this last year but we’ll keep repeating it in 2014 I’m sure: a large proportion of social media traffic in South Africa is mobile – if the content you’re embedding or linking to isn’t mobile friendly, it’s not likely to be effective.


How do I build a great social media team and who should I hire?

A question I’ve asked myself personally – the Society team started as two people in 2011, it’s now twelve, so we ask this in one way or another pretty regularly. This is also a question clients wanting to build their own teams have regularly asked us.

 This is what I’ve learned, quite often the hard way. If you want a social media team that can do things professionally and at scale, this is who I recommend you hire.

 Note: for smaller teams some of these jobs may be done by the same person or by someone who also has another role in the organization. That’s fine as long as they have the skills and time to deliver good work.


New channels for Santam

We’ve recently expanded our work for Santam to target SME audiences. The activity includes a new Facebook page and Twitter feed with content sharing insights and advice about managing business risks. A substantial amount of content will come from guest editors (one a month) who will share their own experiences and tips as successful entrepreneurs. We’ll also be hosting round tables from which we’ll share audio conversations about the issues that matter for SME owners.

Interview for Digital Loeries blog

Dan Pinch

Dan recently did an interview for the Digital Loeries blog. Here is what he said.


Dan Pinch: There were two instrumental people that I hold responsible: one was my next-door neighbour in the mid-nineties who set-up and ran the website for Ninja Tune records; I thought this looked like a really cool job (although not sure he was even paid for it). I remember telling a school careers advisor around that time that I wanted to write the content on websites and very clearly remembering being told it wasn’t a proper job (this was 1995 I think) so being a contrary type of person I made this my mission. The second person was a lecturer at university who ran two great (but oddball) courses the first was on Coffee Shops in the 17th and 18th century (sounds weird but basically the culture has some incredible similarities with web culture) and the second one was Cyber Literature, which included some basic html coding and studying early virtual communities like The Well. I think both of these experiences really set me up to end up in social media (and I still feel like I use some of the insights from those two courses). Career wise one of my first jobs was in an early online PR agency and I pretty much have always worked in online content in one way or another since then.

Case study of our launch for Burger King SA

Earlier this year we handled the social media launch of Burger King in South Africa. Check out our latest case study video to see what went down.

Day by Day campaign for Santam

Social media for an insurance brand isn’t easy – they are not something consumers are naturally drawn to follow. However our strategy for Santam has been to mine the data within the company for useful insights to share. By being genuinely useful we are creating some great engagement and positive comments.

One of the interesting discoveries was that certain days of the week are statistically more risky than others (and apparently Wednesday has the least risk). During the 6 week campaign we have been releasing content which explains the risks associated with each day and using external experts to share advice on how to minimise and deal with them. We have used both Facebook and Twitter ads to support the content.

For all of the video content visit Santam’s Youtube channel.

You’ll also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.


We launch Burger King in South Africa

Earlier in the year we ran the social media campaign to launch Burger King in South Africa. A challenge considering the many competitors already well established in the country. But perhaps our biggest challenge was that during launch week we were competing with both Justin Bieber and Bon Jovi for coverage in the two days leading up to doors opening. So we set out to position Burger King as the biggest of the 3 international celebs in town that week through a series of stunts, regular posts and media encounters.

The results were incredible with millions of posts dominating South African social media channels over launch week. The community management team worked pretty much 24/7 answering around 20 000 queries on Facebook and Twitter in a month.