The most effective email subject lines

The most effective email subject lines

You’ve often wondered what type of subject lines bring about the best opening rates? Well look no more. Contact Monkey has put together this nifty infographic to give you the lowdown.


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Did Facebook buy Whatsapp to kill it?

Did Facebook buy Whatsapp to kill it?

Facebook just bought Whatsapp in a move to dominate instant mobile chat across the globe. At a $16 billion price tag it averages around $35.56 a user (on 450 million active users).

I can just imagine what kind of integrations will be done with Facebook going forward, but I hope they keep it lean.

So did Facebook buy Whatsapp to kill it?

I’ll be interested to hear people’s thoughts on this. I definitely think they bought it has such a large user base and this is the simplest way to increase users and expose them to Facebook. Will Facebook kill Whatsapp? I doubt it’ll happen fast, but never say never.

What would be cool would be chatting from Whatsapp to your Facebook contacts and vice versa. I’m not sure if there would have to be a full integration (absorption) of Whatsapp, because if you look at the Instagram purchase they’re still operating quite independent in terms of branding.

Kuam (one of the Whatsapp co-founders) did mention that the deal would not have been made if advertising to Whatsapp users was on the cards, so luckily users can expect the same as before, a streamlined and lean communication process, after all, it’s what made Whatsapp what it is today!

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My thoughts on Vine

My thoughts on Vine

Vine, the video app by Twitter has taken the world by storm.

The uptake is very similar to the early days at Twitter, but it’s significantly more addictive. Those that are regular users of YouTube will attest to how easy it is to intend searching for something specific and find themselves a significant amount of time later wondering how they ended up on the latest batch of cat fail videos

…and Vine has not even hit mainstream…

…but there are already millions of users and some extremely creative videos. At the moment a lot of ‘follower gaming’ is going on where users are trying to get as many followers as fast as possible and some unexpected people are finding themselves with thousands of followers.

This is Trench, a guitar player that has gone on to build up hundreds of thousands of followers.
And yes, he’s that good!

Stop motions are also very popular

This is Megan Cignoli, she’s gone on to do many a brand campaign with the biggest brands out there.
One of the most successful Viners in my opinion.

Mike’s up and coming, but keep an eye out for his fresh ideas.
Not necessarily stop motion, but very creative!

How can marketers benefit?

There are many opportunities to grow an audience on the platform early on, but you’re going to have to be very creative. Brands are mostly connecting with the top Viners that have now set themselves up with booking agents and are successfully monetising their followings and it’s working. Celebrities (from music moguls to TV and movie stars) are flocking to the platform because it’s so creative, and also the ability for the videos to loop make for interesting song collaboration opportunities.

This is one I did in collaboration with an America actress, totally off the cuff and
it happened to get some traction :-)

Tips on how to grow your audience on Vine

  • Generate interesting and original content (don’t steal from YouTube!)
    • You might want to hone your Googling skills and learn more about good lighting, setting up your scenes and consistency across frames.
    • Beginning, middle and end – typical ‘shorts’ are popular
  • Bring in a fun element. The platform is mostly about mastery of the platform itself!
  • Provide value (similar to other social channels, but with a video twist)
    • Tax tips in 6 seconds
    • Lifehacks
    • These can be applied to any niche
  • Join #hashtag collaborations and competitions.
  • Use comedy
  • Use celebrities
  • Remix (audio and video)
  • Make perfect loops (this is something all Viners strive for at times!)
  • Don’t twerk!

The mechanics

So what’s on offer? Vine has quite a few different mechanisms that make it unique:

  • BPM of 147.99 (if you want perfect loops, say thank you later!)
  • Around 6.5 seconds of video that loops perfectly
  • Starts and stops recording as you touch the screen to make up different scenes
  • Can be hacked with assistive touch on the iPhone to do one touch or delayed touch recording, that bring about very interesting Vines.
  • Can be hacked to load external video

In summary

It’s not so easy to predict what really makes any Viner popular, but with the platform being this young, it’s open to experimentation. Instagram tried to thwart Vine’s growth by introducing video, but in my opinion it hasn’t come close. Instagram users are more used to posting photos and are weary of posting video. It’s actually very peculiar to see the difference in user behaviour. A lot of popular Viners have however crossed over successfully and are growing big followings on all their platforms. I think Vine is outgrowing expectations very fast and I predict that it will take over Twitter as the next big thing in the coming years as users get used to seeing themselves on video. The younger generation has much less resistance in producing video content and perhaps just don’t care what’s out there, but it’s going to be interesting to see how Vine copes in the mainstream once it gets there.

BEWARE – it’s addictive!

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How to really enjoy your job

How to really enjoy your job

I recently read an article by Chris Brogan about how he would do things if he had to start a new business from scratch. As an entrepreneur (and regular day dreamer) I really enjoyed reading that and it made me think about how we sometimes get stuck in a rut in day to day life. Follow the jump and find some tips on how to enjoy your job and life more!

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Why South African companies should look at Social Media now

Why South African companies should look at Social Media now

There’s a big flurry of action around Social Media in South Africa at the moment.

It seems that Twitter and Facebook has finally become mainstream over the past year, and clients are asking more and more about integrating social media into their existing campaigns. The question that one has to ask however, is “Why would you want to do it?”.

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Google generates some ‘Buzz’

This morning I noticed something new in Gmail – Google Buzz. Think along the lines of your Facebook News Feed. First thing you need to do is look at your privacy settings. By default it seems to share Picasa pics, your shared Google Reader items and status updates from GTalk and it’s linked to your Google Profile.

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Social Media Case Study Part 1

Having done various campaigns for clients, we’re excited about the possibilities that Social Media Marketing offer to our clients. In fact, we’re able to give our clients some control and responsibility in the matter of managing their profiles online. Social Media spaces like FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn are but a few areas where different aspects of your business can be marketed. Not all businesses will benefit from this kind of marketing, but these tools enable a different level of interactivity and social conversation with your target markets that was never before possible.

As a case study we’ve created a Facebook Fan Page for a local Cape Town Catering Company. Having suffered the slowdown in business through the current economic climate, we thought it a sin that food that good go to waste and decided to share. If you’re in the Cape Town area, make sure to book them for your next corporate or private function.

We want to document the case study here, to see what impact each of these has on business for them, without going into detail on how exactly we went about things. For that you’d have to hire us of course 😉

Now we haven’t really touched their website apart from loading some Facebook fan boxes as we want to see what influence each piece of the puzzle will have separately.

Oh yes I forgot to mention, our cashless friend needs to eat, so he’s agreed to help promote them for a delicious vegetarian meal now and then… Will try and link to his feedback through our updates as that will have some impact as well.

Be sure to return soon for Part 2, and if you have tips, comment here! Please ReTweet!

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Google and Bing finally to integrate Twitter

So finally it happened. This is something I wrote about in April and it seemed inevitable that Google would integrate Twitter and now it’s happening (and the same for Bing).

Well an agreement was reached. We don’t see it within results as of yet, but it’s going to be interesting times for SEO and how they would be filtering through a lot of spam (to gain top results) to show ‘legit’ results. In fact how on earth would Google and Bing determine what is spam and what is not?

What if someone wrote a simple little ping API that pushes a tweet on a competitive topic out each few minutes? Sure, I guess Twitter’s spam scripts are improving, but now all of online marketing industry has lots to talk about.

Even though Twitter’s traffic seems to be in a downturn (in the US) at least this would probably breath a lot of new life into them.

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