DisforDigital

My musings about all things digital marketing and communications including social media, search, online advertising and much more.

The A – Z of Social Media at the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014

A:  Accommodation

Many of the hotels in Sochi were built specially for the games. The only problem with this is that many did not get finished in time. Journalists covering the Games got straight onto social media to complain about the half finished and non-existent hotels that they had booked into months prior.

B: Ban

There was much speculation prior to the Games that Russia, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and various country officials were banning the use of social media. This hasn’t appeared to stop anyone however with constant chatter (good and bad) across all the key platforms.

C: Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremony triggered social media discussion with everything from the outfits to national patriotism being debated. No doubt the same will occur again with the closing ceremony.

D: Dogs

Journalists covering the Winter Olympics have become obsessed with the abundance of stray dogs loitering around Sochi. This has led to #SochiStrays trending across several social media platform.

E: “Expert on Security”

“Expert on Security” is the term used to describe actor Steven Seagal when he appeared on a Russian news show talking about, you guessed it – security at the games. Why he was doing this is a whole other question. The hilarity of it all led to the video going viral.  

F: Fashion

Olympic country uniforms always cause a stir. This year, much was said about the ‘busy’ Team USA sweaters.

G: Google Doodle

In true Google style, the Google Doodle celebrating the start of the Sochi Games was controversial to say the least. The internet giant showed their support for gay rights, a hot topic due to the host country’s anti-gay stance. It caused a stir to say the least.

H: Hashtag

#Sochi2014 was even trending in anticipation before the Games began.

I: Issues

The top three issues being discussed on social surrounding the games are:

  1. Russia’s stance on homosexuality
  2. The extermination of stray dogs
  3. Security concerns at the Games

J: Jamaican Bobsled team

The dream has been resurrected for the island nation of Jamaica this year with a new bunch of bobsledders. Fans can follow the team on Twitter: @jambobsled or Facebook fb.com/jamaicanbobsleigh

K: Korean

Korean is one of the languages that has been added to the list of languages that the Sochi Olympic organisers will be communicating with fans in on social media.

L: Luge dating fiasco

The Father of U.S Luger Tucker West started an internet phenomenon with the hashtag #TeamTucker when he told the world that his Olympian son was ‘single and a little shy, so reach out to him’.  

M: McDonalds

The fast food giant has landed a social media winner with it’s #cheerstosochi campaign encouraging fans to say “cheers” to their favourite athlete or team.  

N: Negative Press

@sochiproblems is just one of the negative representations online with the profile highlighting all that is wrong with the Games.

O: Olympics

Although it plays poor cousin to the Summer Olympics, the Olympic spirit still runs strong at the Winter Olympics and captures imaginations across the globe.

P: Putin

The Russian President has aroused much debate on social media as the Games host, particularly for his policies on homosexuality.

Q: Questions about security

Leading up to the Games, many athletes took to social media to voice their concerns about the proposed security risks to competitors and spectators at the games.

R: Red Rocks Music Festival

The Red Rocks Music Festival started the social conversation about Sochi 2014 back in the Summer. The 17 city tour around Russia was supported by the 2014 Sochi Cultural Olympiad.

S: Sponsors

From Visa to Panasonic to Procter and Gamble, sponsors have jumped on board and are getting the most out of their involvement by constant chatter across social media.  

T: Toilets

Just prior to the games, a bizarre image went viral on social media of a double toilet with two toilets side by side at one of the games’ venues.

U: Ukraine

The Ukraine has recently suffered from internal unrest and hostility towards Russia. A terror plot to hijack a plane enroute to Sochi was uncovered just days before the Games were about to start. This sent social media into overdrive.

V: VKontakte

VKontakte (popularly known as VK) is Russia’s most popular social media network. Similar to Facebook, VK includes a newsfeed and hashtags.

W: Wagner

American skater Ashley Wagner was one of the most talked about topics on Facebook on the night of her event due to her sourpuss face and one word response seen on TVs around the world in response to her score.

X: XXII Olympic Games

XXII Olympic Games – come on X is hard!

Y: Yoghurt drama

One of many weird and wonderful stories to come out about the Games is that Team USA’s shipment of Chobani Greek yoghurt was blocked by the Russian Government. Whether this is accurate or not is hard to know.

Z: Zimbabwe

Sochi 2014 is Zimbabwe’s Winter Olympics debut. The sole member of the Zimbabwe Olympic team Luke Steyn will have a whole country tweeting about him when he competes in his events.

How not to fail at content marketing

1. Measurement
Without measurement, content marketing is useless. Measurement is required to:

  • Determine topics/ types of content that hits the right note with audiences
  • Measure return on investment for the time and money spent on content marketing efforts
  • Enhance content marketing efforts insight through data analysis

2. SEO
Incorporating search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques into content marketing is not difficult or time consuming. A small keyword tweak can make or break a piece of content.

3. Business and marketing goals
A well-written written piece with SEO and active distribution across social networks is nothing if the content messaging does not align with business and marketing goals. Mismatched content will confuse your audience and risk disengagement amongst brand ambassadors and advocates.

4. Share
Sharing is caring. Content marketers have recently been accused of a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude. A well thought out social media strategy to promote content is a must in order to gain the most value and leverage out of content marketing.

Three Retail Brands Dominating Digital Marketing

In 2014, customer experience is the single most exciting opportunity in digital marketing say 2,500 marketing professionals surveyed in the Econsultancy Intelligence Briefing: 2014 Digital Trends survey sponsored by Adobe. There is one big problem however; consumer expectations far outpace corporate innovation.

I like to focus on the positive though. So here are three retail brands that are blowing their competitors out of the water with their innovative digital marketing campaigns that you guessed it, epitomise great customer experience. It’s no surprise that these campaigns also showcase some great mobile initiatives, the area that came a close second to customer experience in the Intelligence Briefing survey.

1. David Jones – watch and shop #Weare video

Having pretty much ignored the online shopping space until 2013, Australian department store David Jones catapulted into the 21st century with an innovative multimedia feature to their spring/summer 2013 campaign. The video allowed shoppers to click on certain parts and be taken straight to an ecommerce page where the item the model was wearing could be purchased immediately.
See the David Jones’ #Weare video.

2. Marc Jacobs Daisy - pop-up store tweets as payment promotion

‘Social currency’ is here. Well, it’s been in Soho, New York recently (corresponding with New York Fashion Week) thanks to a Marc Jacobs Daisy pop-up store that only takes ‘social currency’. Shoppers can receive products in exchange for Tweets, Instagram photos or Facebook posts that use the hashtag #MJDaisyChain. 
Read more about #MJDaisyChain.

3. Sephora – leading the way to a digital future

International beauty and makeup store Sephora has over the past few years, transformed itself into a leader in the digital marketing space. According to the brand’s Senior Vice President, the success can be put down to a focus on the customer experience. From the Sephora app, to its presence on social media platforms such as Pinterest, Sephora is using data gained from online customer interactions to enhance and embellish its efforts to become a world leader.
Read more about Sephora’s digital leadership.

From a brand that has been behind the times for the past few years (David Jones) to a brand that is arguably one of the most innovative and forward-thinking retailers in digital marketing (Sephora), there is such broad variation of digital marketing integration across retail brands in Australia and throughout the globe. The only thing we can be sure about is that 2014 will bring lots more surprises in the retail digital marketing space.

Why Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In was the best book I read in 2013

The latest on Sheryl, as I call her (my friends and family can testify to this) is that she has reached the exclusive ‘billionaire’s club’. I only hope that this milestone will expand the readership of the Facebook Chief Operating Officer’s best selling book Lean In. I may be a total Sheryl Sandberg fan girl but this is one woman that more people should be paying attention to.

My top takeaway from Lean In? Sheryl opened my eyes to a phenomenon that I realise is happening all around me but I couldn’t quite pin point it – leaning back. I have even come to discover that part of me was scared of this unknown thing that seemed to strike women down and hold them back, frozen at a certain point in their career.

Lean In and Sheryl have given me insight into the workforce, career development and how to make your own career choices to pursue a career that you want and get closer to equality in the work force – that is equality for each man and woman to choose the type of career they want without being held back, pushed forward or looked down upon.

Just in case I’ve given you the impression that Lean In is some sort of self-help book, it’s not. I don’t know what genre to place it in that gives it justice on all levels except to say it was the best book I read in 2013 and I truly recommend you read it.

What Australian digital professionals can get out of SXSW from 14 000 kms away

South by Southwest or SXSW is a group of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences that take place annually in Austin, Texas, United States. 

If you’re in the digital space and you haven’t heard of it, you must be living under a rock.

The key for digitals like myself is the Interactive part of the festival focused on emerging technology. SXSW has a reputation as a breeding ground for all things digital. But it’s not just the interactive portion of the festival that provides digital innovations, SXSW is full of ideas people from across many industries. 

SXSW Beginnings

The South By Southwest group of festivals and conferences began in 1987 and is run by SXSW Inc. SXSW Inc added two additional festivals also run in Austin, to it’s repartee in 2011: SXSWedu and SXSW Eco. SXSWedu focuses on educational innovation and SXSW Eco on the environment.

SXSW proper has grown year on year since its beginning in 1987. It is now the largest revenue producing event for Austin. SXSW generated approximately 167 million dollars for the Austin economy in 2011.

SXSW began after a failed attempt to bring the New York City music festival to Austin.

When the plans failed to come to fruition, Roland Swenson from the Austin Chronicle decided to create his own festival.

Swenson brought the Chronicle editor and co-founder Louis Black and publisher Nick Barbaro on board as well as booking agent Louis Meyers and like they say in the movies, the rest was history.

The now famous SXSW name was a creation of Louis Black, a play on the name of the Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest.

The organisers didn’t expect too much from the first event in 1987 predicting 150 attendees. They were shocked when over 700 turned up.

Festival Milestones

1993 – SXSW moved to the Austin Convention Centre where it is still held

1994 – A component for film and other media called ‘SXSW Film and Multimedia Conference’ was added

1995 - ‘SXSW Film and Multimedia Conference’ was split into ‘SXSW Film’ and ‘SXSW Multimedia’

1999 – ‘SXSW Multimedia’ was re-named ‘SXSW Interactive’

Digital Milestones

2007 – Twitter unofficially launched at SXSW

2009 – Foursquare app launched at SXSW

SXSW 2013

Just because you are in Australia and not at SXSW doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the great presenters and discussions happening at the event.

Make sure you follow the presenters on social media because we know they will be tweeting and blogging about their SXSW appearances, as will attendees.

Create lists in Twitter and set up Google Alerts for the presenters and topics that interest you most in order to get all the information from here in Australia.

Below is my list of top sessions at this year’s SXSW Interactive.

The Twenty Something Time Machine 

Brand Bloggers and the Social Commerce Future 

Event Success Through New Tools and Technologies 

Is it Social Media or is it Journalism? 

Measuring Social: The Inchworm and the Nightingale 

Mosh Pit of Experts: The Future of Social 

Why Social Ads Work: Ignore Facebook Naysayers 

The Big Power Shift in Media

The Future of Google Search in a Mobile World 

The Copyright Era Meets the Open Source World 

Designing for Real Time Marketing 

Digital Disruption: Brands as Cultural Participants 

Get Connected

Connect with SXSW

SXSW Trends

Who to follow for the best SXSW news

Mashable

TechCrunch

Wired

Fast Company

I seem to have a penchant for using multiple devices simultaneously - iPad, iPhone, MacBook, Digital Radio - should probably turn the TV on just for good measure… #geny #multitasking #disfordigital

I seem to have a penchant for using multiple devices simultaneously - iPad, iPhone, MacBook, Digital Radio - should probably turn the TV on just for good measure… #geny #multitasking #disfordigital