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September 18, 2014

How to get more followers on Instagram

This blog post is a part of my “how to get” series. I will cover how to get more likes, views, shares, fans, followers and other such vanity metrics.

Step 1: Deciding on a theme for your Instagram

Out of all the different methods I have selected, NEITHER of them work, if you do not have a set theme for your Instagram account. For myself, I decided that my Instagram should be about digital tactics with simple advice on why and why not to do different things when working with digital marketing.

Regardless of your theme, you need to have one, otherwise all of your efforts will go down the drain.

Step 2: Getting the right tools for Instagram management

There are mainly two tools I have found useful for managing an Instagram account properly.

Followers for Instagram – an app that gives you the opportunity to see who follows you back and who doesn’t, which gives you a way to unfollow those who do not follow you back when you start exploring the different hashtags.

Gramfeed – A web application that connects to your Instagram account and gives you the opportunity to do your work – except the posting – from a desktop computer.

Statigram stats – Use statigram to know when Instagram is experiencing high traffic for your account. You will then know when you should post your Instagrams in order to get the highest engagement rate. Imply log in and click the statistics option in the top navigation.

Step 3: The best practice regular advice on how to build an Instagram audience

  1. Share things people like – yeah… right
  2. Share at the right times – actually a really important one, see above for tool
  3. Use relevant hashtags, but not too many – yes, but it really only helps your like count
  4. Follow others – best one as you can see below, important that they are relevant
  5. Host contests – SUCKS
  6. Complete your bio – yes, if you add things like “I follow back”
  7. Ask questions in captions – good one if you want comments – which engages more people
  8. Use call to action in caption – good one if you are a SPAMMER or if you want to drive traffic elsewhere, doesn’t help for getting more followers
  9. Use filters and apps – yes! especially to edit your photos well and to post collages etc. again – for likes, not for followers
  10. Consistency – Yes. Worst thing is to surprise your followers in the wrong way.

Step 4: The fast track tactics of how to build an Instagram following

The goal for this test was to reach 10.000 Instagram followers. The below tactics are the ones I used and I started out at 514 followers.

1. The LIKE a desperate hashtag on Instagram tactic

There is one tactic that works considerably well for building Instagram followers. That tactic is the “follow desperate hashtags” tactic. Basically, you sort out the hashtags where people are the most desperate for a follow, and then you start interacting with them. Basically, you can get a ton of likes and followers, simply by following the feed and liking the photos they post.

Here are some of the best desperate hashtags at this point in time – please add more in the comments section:

#shoutout #shoutouts #shout #out #TagsForLikes #TFLers #shoutouter #instagood #s4s #shoutoutforshoutout #shoutout4shoutout #so #so4so #photooftheday #ilovemyfollowers #love #sobackteam #soback #follow #f4f #followforfollow #followback #followhim #followher #followall #followme #shout_out.

Method result: Extremely good

2. Like photos on relevant hashtags on Instagram

So. I got another tip about how to get more Instagram followers, and that was to use the “Like relevant and irrelevant hashtags”. Those hashtags that are relevant to me is #socialmedia, #seo, #marketing etc.

Method result: Good method if I post consistently

3. Mass follow on relevant hashtags

The main concept behind this tactic is to find popular people within the niche you are building your reputation. Then you follow all the users who like whatever the popular person is posting.

Method result: Extremely good outcome if you have relevant content on your Instagram profile

4. Growth through Twitter usage

This tactic is a bit more tricky to setup, and it does require some software.

You start out by creating a completely new Twitter account. Secondly you try to find at least 10 sources with RSS-feeds that are relevant to the topic/theme in which you want to grow. Let’s say animal puppies. You go out and find ten blogs and instagram accounts publishing photos and posts of and about animal puppies.

Do NOT name your Twitter account “Animal Puppies”. But rather name it “Annies Puppy” or something cute, yet possibly real person alike.

Now you go ahead and combine the RSS-feeds using Yahoo Pipes. Now! Do some research about all the hashtags that are used for Animal Puppies such as #cute #puppies etc. Just check out what is trending at the moment. Great tool to do that is Twitters own search engine.

Next step is to generate a new RSS-feed through Yahoo Pipes, and posting the aggregated RSS-feed to IFTTT. NOW! You connect your IFTTT to Twitter, generating an auto posting Twitter account. Let it post for a day or two to start collecting your first followers.

Now you are ready to go buy some followers to this account. Yes! Buy them. Remember, this tactic is for Instagram and not for Twitter. You need the followers in order to pass the Twitter radar for following too many people at one time. Just remember to buy them at a slow pace of about a hundred a day.

Once you start accumulating bought fans, you should start adding fanns using TweetAddr or some other such tool where you can search for a hashtag and create an auto follow function.

NOW!! The magic detail! Put the link to your own Instagram account in the bio!

The only next thing you will have to do is to clean your following list from time to time. You will see your Twitter account grow fast, but you will also see a lot of those followers moving over to Instagram as well.

Method result: Works really well as long as you stay on topic, which the automation does for you, for long term growth

5. Facebook push

If you have a Facebook page, the easiest way to build an audience on Instagram is to push traffic towards your Instagram account, simply by telling your fans that you have an Instagram account and what it is that you are using it for.

I would post something like this: “Hey guys! Just launched on Instagram. I will post photos from my travels, the people I meet and from days in the marketing industry – http://bit.ly/1lE81sE

You might call this a silly tip amongst the others, but seriously. I hadn’t done this one myself and it is one of the first things I recommend my clients to do, AND it is a really good one :).

Method result: If you have a Facebook page – do this regularly! It really helps

This article will be updated as I discover more tactics on how to build more Instagram followers.

September 16, 2014

Content is shit, all hail viral mechanics!

The past 16 years I have had the great fortune of working with a range of different brands with very different ideas on how to run a business. One thing that unites all of them, however, is their unwillingness to be the first one to jump into the water and swim whenever a new thing come along.

Benchmark has since long, been the way brands try to hedge what their own position in the business landscape should be all about.

This is perhaps a great way of understanding where the market is moving, however, when applied to marketing in 2014, looking at what others do, might be what makes you fail. Especially if you copy, rather than understand the mechanics at work behind the results.

The value of social media

The past year we have seen the victorious viral of Volvo Trucks, the Ice bucket challenge and a series of other wild campaigns that have been shared between people online. Naturally, marketing directors are pointing fingers, asking their agencies for their own version of the above.

It has always been this way.

What many fail to understand however, is WHY and HOW these viral campaigns became the huge successes they did.

Human behaviour at the core of the launch

In the media, in blogs and in most of the story telling coming out of these campaigns, the focus has been the content. It has been about the story and how people choose to engage with something they care about.

I would like to argue that this has very little to nothing to do with the final outcome. Content is shit, when it comes to generating a viral effect in any type of media.

Rather. It is the behavioural mechanics and the understanding of formatting/optimising which is what makes a campaign go viral or not. The difference is in the detail. It is about the choice of words in a button and about the ability to change, until it takes off.

However, mainly, the success of a viral campaign resides in whether or not it coheres to the principles of conformity, challenge, charisma, creativity and cheating. You can listen in on the 5 Cs of viral marketing in the video listed above.

Everyone forgets the launch

Besides the behavioural mechanics, most marketeers forget that the launch of a campaign is as crucial as the product in itself. Just like product development in the startup community, a campaign has to adapt until it sits with its audience.

Most budgets are spent on production or hijacked to some crappy banner advertising at the date of launch. Very little money goes into adapting the messaging or the layout. Even less goes into creating additional stories about the content, making it relevant to more bloggers, online magazines and newspapers.

Do it and it will get done

In viral marketing, you need to reach through, not only reach out. You need to be inline with the purpose of the visit, the view or the action in order to generate a share. The only way to get there is to focus on optimising your own journey so that it is inline with the behaviour, purpose and interests of who you are trying to reach.

It is only when you understand these principles that it also becomes fun, easy and really really profitable to jump into the water and swim on your own.


Together with Hyper Island we are running a series of labs in Singapore. People from all over the world fly in to go from doing to doing great in digital marketing and social media. Find all the information you need on Hyper Islands website. I for one would love to meet up with you and discuss until we drop!

August 25, 2014

How to deal With Facebooks Click-bait and Photo caption algorithm changes

Facebook announced two changes to their link algorithm today.

1. They will work to discredit click-baiting articles cause they supposedly crowd out content from your friends

2. They will change so that your photos with links in the captions will be shown less than links that are posted with the link associated photo and photos posted as photos

So. What do these changes to the Facebook algorithm mean?

Well. You should really read their post here – Facebook click bait and photo caption changes – And then continue reading.

The challenge with the click baiting change

I am concerned about this change as it will give less value to essentially all blog posts that are either too short or too long. You will thus have to change the format you write in order to maintain your shareability on Facebook.

So. What the heck do I mean by saying that?

Well. First off. If your article is a short how to or top list, visitors will stay shorter at your page than they would on a longer article. Regardless if you served their purpose of clicking the link in the first place. Secondly. If the article is too long, yet the introduction is really interesting, I am very likely to save the article for later reading and thus return to Facebook after a short while.

The short articles will have a bit of an easier time as they, most likely, will be compensated by users sharing and commenting on the posts. Also. Posts with Facebook comments will get priority as they are more likely to get interaction signals that Facebook can read. However, the long reads. They will most likely get less priority as a result of Facebook not being able to get any signals about how the user interacts with the story.

I would say Facebook shouldn’t do this change as users will eventually stop clicking these links if they do not like the content they receive. Facebook has a wonderful ability to push ads on a personal serve basis, and I am surprised they admit that they cannot monitor my behaviour well enough to stop serving me these types of links when I stop clicking them. However, my suspicion is that they do this for completely different reasons. But hey! I am a cynic.

The challenge with links in the photo caption change

This is challenging cause it will effect the way we do promotions on Facebook. Especially if we have legal constraints that are associated with our promotions. If let’s say we post a photo with an offer that is tied to a set of legal constraints, we will have to either boost the post more heavily, giving us a less beneficial ROI. OR we will have to post the full legal text directly in the post, pulling down conversion rates and click throughs – not because you have sucky legal disclaimers, but because the format of the post is not a nice way to pedagogically present legal changes.

I have used links with photos a lot as a navigational tool and as a game tool where the next step or a “jump” is made possible in more creative photo albums. I have also used is as a “Yes or yes” conversion tactic where I have given people the option to click the link or to share the photo which has worked really well.

Either way. Work around time!!

1. How to work with click baiting links

My advice to counter the click baiting algorithm are these:

1. Use related posts at the bottom of each of your pages in order to keep users at your website for a longer time.

2. Implement Facebook comments in order to give Facebook more signals about how people interact with your content

3. Make sure to ask a closed question as simple as “Do you like 1 or 2” in order to get more interaction on your posts

This might not produce the most valuable content for the end user. Nor might it not be the best for the site owner. But it will counter the algorithm change if you want to do it.

2. How to work with the image caption challenges

Naturally this is a move by Facebook to get you to use the OG-meta. And that is the solution I will give you. The way to get around this is to do the following:

1. Implement full OG-meta landing pages for all of your campaigns – Get code here – and make sure you size your images correctly and use your promotional photo as the OG-image.

2. Publish photos without the link but use text such as “Visit our website for full terms and conditions. Link can be found in our bio.”

3. Use mobile cloaking based on UTM-tags, where you serve a different kind of content for visitors coming through different kind of tagged links


Either way. These changes will not solve the challenges Facebook is describing, but they will just serve the purpose of integrating your website more into the nest of the Facebook economy. When will Facebook do something cool again? When will they give us more customisation options and ability to get ads from companies we really like. I sure as hell like a great offer. Still, in 2014, Facebook has never asked me which of the Brands I like, I really want offers from…

December 20, 2010

5 Valuable takes from Airlines use of Facebook – the “snow fog story”

Naturally, with the luck I carry in life, I have got stuck in the big “snow fog story” holding Heathrow in a sleeper hold for the past few days. I am quite happy though as it has given some excellent examples of interaction between users and companies on Facebook.

#1. Clarity in product/service development on Facebook

Some companies have worries when starting their Facebook pages. They think that this will lead to crises they cannot handle. They think the burden will be too big. For those who use a time consuming setup, I am sure that this is also the case when all hell breaks loose. However, if you look at the feedback on Facebook to the airlines, all is not hell right now. It is clear that people are pissed about two things:

  • Lack of information
  • Rude employees

Without Facebook at least one of these issues would never surface. Rude employees would never tell their supervisors that they are worthless, and although there might be some complaints about it to customer care, it will probably not give the full picture. The positives wouldn’t have been able to surface either. Only someone with a serious complaint reason would sit the 2 hours in line to have their say.

The take from this is that:

  1. Companies can learn from the feedback published on Facebook on what to focus on in order to improve their service
  2. Positive feedback has a laid back way of surfacing as the Facebook format offers a many to many dialogue

#2. User generated support on Facebook

One of the things we all talk about but there isn’t too much written, is the phenomenon of users acting as experts. This is highly useful and I will give you an example from Lufthansas page below.

Elchin writes to the supervixor Alexander on the Lufthansa page:

Enter Robert:

Robert solves the problem for Elchin and Elchin likes Robert as a response. All of a sudden a crisis has turned into a bond between two users. You might be thinking “yeah, what kind of bond is that… digital.. huh.. haha.. not worth a dime”. But… think of it this way. Elchin had the mindset of anger when he came to the page. Enter Robert who solves his problem. All of a sudden Elchin is not angry anymore and thus the experience on the Facebook page, and of the company is bettered. Instead of hate, he feels satisfaction.

#3. One to one responses

SAS does a classic customer service setup on Facebook. They respond to each question posted on the page individually. They seem to have standardized the answers and they don’t seem to reply to follow up questions. I think that this is a good exercise if you feel like you have the resources to do this.

The questions become more customer care related and more specific if the user sees that they can focus on themselves and not on the general situation. This is a key take away.

  • If you as a company is less active, the questions will be more focused on the general situation and liking/disliking of your company
  • If you as a company is more active, the questions will focus more on individual situations

I think this is important to keep in mind as you might only want one type of questions and might work in sectors where you do not want personal questions on the FB-page. (Thinking banking and insurance here…). Given the examples displayed this past weekend, I think I will start experimenting with recommending a more passive hold for those companies who cannot support certain kinds of questions on the FB-page as a result of legislation etc. I don’t know, what do you think?

The example above: Michael needs to get home with a specific flight from London. He puts it to SAS by using the “why don’t you prioritize swedes” argument.

Fanny jumps into the discussion and gives Michael her support as she is getting on the same flight. SAS responds by saying that they hope so, but that Heathrow is running at minimum capacity (ie. blaming Heathrow for the problems). Then SAS ends of by saying they will put their largest 737’s in action so that they can bring home as many people as possible. Then gives an update link.

I would say this is a pretty nice way to act as it sort of solves the problem for the moment without actually saying anything than what is already commonly out there –> No one knows what’s happening!

However Fanny seems to like it, so I guess it is a pretty good strategy.

#4. Misuse of the Facebook landing page tab

I don’t really know what United Airlines have been up to lately, but they sure as hell need to get the marketing and the communications departments to start working together. Below is a screen dump of the landing page they are currently using in the midst of the crisis. Suggestion:

  • Perhaps use an information tab as the default landing page where people can get contact information, rescheduling and claims information so that they do not call to the wrong place (as I did, with a 3 hour wait prior to getting the info that I had called the wrong support phone)

#5. Information syndication and resources

British Airways has a neat solution to information co-ordination problems. They have syndicated their Twitter feed onto Facebook which really shows the users where to be at in order to get response to their questions. They are using this feed as their landing page giving it a real time and urgency feel. In contrast to United Airlines they can mix promotion with service which is a really neat way of taking care of two “problems” in one go.

#X. Show me what you’ve got!

What else is out there. Please write blog posts and write about your experience. Link to this blog post and I’ll accept your track back below so that we get it all collected in one place. (Yes, that might be interpreted as a link bait, but yes, I think it makes sense this time.)

So what’s your story?

November 12, 2010

Why Social Media is Not for the Affiliate industry

Ok. I think I might have to take that back, considering I used to work for the affiliate industry for a couple of years. What I mean by saying this, is that making money on social media is not about traffic, but about billing relationships. Naturally, affiliates have no other billing relationship but the one with the client paying for the traffic.

This blog post is perhaps more about how affiliates have to adjust their business models to fit the social media landscape. Most of them have been spoiled by the simplicity of working in an SEO friendly world, however as SEO is becoming increasingly dependent upon social interactions with users, the affiliates who wish to have a lasting life, might just want to read further.

1. Owning the customer relationship

As most affiliates are design to funnel traffic, to who ever pays for top spot in their lists or best words in their recommendations, they are very seldomly focused on building a customer relationship. This is a good thing in many aspects.

First of all they don’t have to deal with customer complaints as they do not have the responsibility for the products and services. Secondly it is a quite easy task to optimize as you promote who pays. Third, they don’t have to think about product development, other than perhaps the development of your own website to increase conversion rates.

The downside of this, is that the world of social media sort of requires that you build a relationship with some customer. It is actually dependent upon that you deliver a promise that you keep. Especially if your focus is on making money.

Thus, short term, traffic funneling business models that aim to push responsibility on deliverance onto someone elses shoulders isn’t a very profitable one. In order for affiliates to own the relationship they have to begin working with:

  • CRM both in social networks and on their own membership websites
  • Develop win back campaigns through e-mail and notifications
  • Give added value in one form or another that requires some kind of sign-up or membership

They then need to think in terms of “owning the market”. Once they have build a sufficient following, the established relationships, with their website members, can be used to direct huge portions of traffic from service operator to service operator. Almost working like a union, or perhaps, like the mafia.

One website doing this very successfully these days is the Expedia owned website tripadvisor.com.

2. Product ownership

If there is one thing which has proven successful in attracting both business and buzz through social media, it is when companies give in to its users. As affiliates own no product, they cannot develop it, and thus they cannot change the experience for their users, into a better one.

Now, some of you might want to argue that the affiliates do have their websites. And yes, the websites are in a way their product. But if the products that the websites are promoting are crap, then it won’t matter how good of a website it is.

The biggest affiliate of them all – Google – should have taught everyone a lesson about this by now. They work with relevance and micro payments rather than high CPO and quality referrals. Although they are working on the latter one, it is more important for them to deliver relevant search results than it is to deliver buying traffic to the media buyers. As I said, they are working on it, but they still have a long way to go, and they are still very much dependent upon the quality of the landing page they are sending the traffic to. Just like any other affiliate.

What affiliates should do in order to gain ownership of product:

  • Create product development groups with the service providers
  • Stop tweaking their toplists and banner areas and let the users decide
  • Increase the comments and review functionality on their websites increasing transparency of intentions

3. Caring

Most affiliates simply don’t care. I’ve presented cases and business propositions for affiliates so many times I think it is written on my forehead.

The main problem I face when talking about social media is that they all care about the last two slides. Ie. where I start talking about making the money. I’ve actually heard, many times, that I “should have skipped to the last two slides right away”.

And that’s really what makes me tic. When people are too ignorant to pay notice to what takes you to the winning circle, and when they only cares about the party they see from a far. They are not willing to put in the investment, but they are willing to drink the champagne. That is what most affiliates do.

And we’re not talking about a huge investment. It is the concept of having to divert attention from the money pile to the future that is the challenge here.

The successful ones, such as Google, put their focus on quality and relevance. This is what most affiliates forget and that is why they aren’t suited to operate in social media. If you want to stay good at what you do, then don’t listen to me. But if you want to become great, then you probably should. Any company can become the next Google. It is just that some neither care or set their bar high enough.

September 29, 2010

How to Analyze Viral Campaigns – eMetrics Stockholm

I held my last talk ever on the 28th of September (except for the case that Dialogkonferansen calls me up again). I won’t do any more conferences as I feel so sick before I go on stage. I am nervous about a day and a half before, and I put ridiculous pressure on myself to perform. That’s why I simply cannot stand it.

Also, I put some crazy effort into my presentations with practice and preparations. That takes a lot of time for virtually “free work”.

Now to the presentation that I did hold.

First off I wanted to talk about viral campaigns and how to generate traffic through them. I talked about my 5 C’s for viral marketing (book still not out … doh…) and I discussed how one could start the analysis by answering the question of where the problem really is. Do we have enough links? Do we have enough traffic? Do we convert well? Do we get customers to come back? etc.

I went on into talking about K-factor and marketing driven viral campaigns vs. organically driven viral campaigns. We discussed that it is not only the nominal number of views/hits/visitors that explains if a video or page has gone viral. It is the shape of the slope and the second derivative of the slope that gives you a good alert for if you are running a viral campaign or if it will die.

Please look through the presentation below and comment if you want me to explain anything.

Possibly related posts:
September 22, 2010

Let’s create a neat graphic and pretend that it’s true

When Thierry Henry scored his hands goal against Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers, everyone claimed that the assistant ref should have seen the incident as he “according to the graphics” had clear sight of the debacle. As everyone could tell from the graphics, the ref DID see, infact, was looking straight at the incident. But he didn’t blow his whistle. He didn’t call the attention of the field ref and he intentionally sent France, rather than Ireland, to the World Cup. According to the graphics.

The matter of the fact was that the graphics didn’t tell the truth at all. The ref actually had his view blocked by several players, and had no chance in hell to see the incident. There was thus something missing in the graphic, which was there in reality. Something which the journalists neglected, as it was so much more fun to talk about the graphic.

Similar is the nature of social media and consultants active in the field. A lot of diagrams out there that look great. They tell us what we want to see, convered with compelling arguments that sound logical. In fact, most of them are bullshit. Although good looking, and seemingly accurate in their analysis the diagrams, just like the graphics from the World Cup qualifier, lack the one important aspect which would make them relevant – they do not cohere with reality.

In reality, social media is not fast, it is not like a grilling party and it is not the most suitable forum for creating lasting relationships with your customers. The success stories I have seen, and the selling practices I have engaged in, so far, that have been truly successful, are all connected with direct call to action and sales cycles. They have completely lacked the remarkable content, nor have they focused on transparency.

What they have focused on is product, delivery and keeping promises. Old and sound business ideals. Conversion has come about when there has been a clear scent throughout the campaign, where call to action haven’t been fuzzed out and where the offer has had a social element to it (ie. get your friends in on it…) and a great offer (…and get it cheaper). Surely there are situations where you can see customer service being enhanced and improved through social media. But the dialogue is not so much about fantastic writings, images or other content. The dialogue focus on products. That’s where the conversion takes place.

And just as any good SEO would focus on the converting keywords, a good social media guru should focus on the converting discussions. There is simply too much buzz out there to focus on the latent laughter being created from investments based on bringing joy to the world.

The recipe is quite simple. Great product, plus promises kept, means online business. And whilst the focus is placed in what tool to chose and what campaign to make viral, the most important part of communicating what you actually can deliver is lost. Instead of focusing on what the core of your offering is, you focus on how you can make it spark like gold. That’s what our/MY industry has fed you with. They/I have told you that you should focus on long term projects that take aim at being the hub of resources used when discussing your vertical in online channels.

But you have no chance. The social web is not open. It is closed in networks. And although you make the best campaign in the world, that is shared between users like mad, they will not care when it comes to the decision of making the purchase if they cannot find dialogue about your products and offering online. What do they get when they get it from you? That’s the story you should be promoting. That’s the dialogue you should be listening in on. That’s the content you should be assembling rather than trying to explain it yourself.

It should be common knowledge nowadays that user reviews increase conversion rates in most verticals. Testimonials do as well. Do you show UGC on your website? (if you don’t know what UGC stands for you really should be unemployed). If you don’t have it, well then you should be unemployed as well. REally… I am sick and tired of all the bs. All the long term mofo’s talking crap out there. Social media is not about making money tomorrow. It is about making money today.

At least for businesses it is.

Yes. When we as users roam facebook profiles, stalking hot and ugly friends of ours, we do not want to sell or buy. But when we do want to sell or buy, we are in no mood to listen on a story about someone’s CSR profile. We want to get the goods and get out of there. What’s between us and our purchase is if the product we are aiming at is really what we want. That’s when social media matters for business.

Now some of you go – but but but… I could put this building on fire… – but just like Newman in office space you will get sent to the basement. You ask yourself, but what about PR-crises, what about Branding? Well, if you don’t say anything other than what you do, then PR will be a breeze. If you sell good products that you deliver with a promise you can fulfill, then you will have all the brand equity you need. Just look at Apple. They are complete assholes. But we still love their products cause they are what they are. We create forums we give Apple-sounding names. We call our children iChild and we take the haul of shit just to stay clear of the blue screen of death the PC so handsomely delivers to our screen every now and then.

The discussion about social media is distorted. We need to put it back on track. We need to start talking about how to identify a buyers behavior, how to include scent when users share information through links, we need to understand how to take charge of information architecture on external platforms and we need to CRM the living shit out of all the data we can get out of it. That’s how we make money NOW and not in the future.

So stop pissing me off with retarded Keynote slides with crazy looking megaphone people on them. X that shit out and start exploring, researching and sharing how to do “the deed” for real.

Or to quote a successful Swedish entrepreneur… “..the only KPI I pay notice to in social media is money out…”

The graphics can tell you a very neat story. But does it correlate with the data you see on your back end? If not, then it is probably not true. So please stop pretending that it is. Question it, question me!! We need to be questioned, and I feel beefed up to handle the heat. How about you mr/mrs social media expert… are you up for it?


Possibly related posts:
September 21, 2010

SPAM in Social Media

My second talk at SEMKonferansen in Oslo, Norway, was about SPAM in social media. I have studied a lot of spam tactics over the years as spammers have a tendency to pick up new technologies, loop holes and other such methods very fast. I learn from them, adopt their inventions and use the triggers for my own “white hat” campaigns.

I used to work with spam before it was made illegal in Sweden. It was a lot of fun and it taught me to always find a simpler way of doing things. Some spam works, other doesn’t. I never suggest that anyone should actually spam but I always tell my clients when and how it is used in the industry. I see it as my responsibility to highlight the benefits as well as the risks. For most brands, the risks are too great. However, for smaller product websites, affiliates and/or private enterprises it has its perks and should not be left off the table.

I know it is kind of controversial to say what I just said, but I work for Honesty and thus I cannot be else than truthful about why I go around town presenting spam techniques. I should also say that none of my active clients endorse, use or even want me to discuss spam tactics with them. I promise to tell you if anyone of them do in the future (seriously.. I will tell you.. as you’ll find out anyhow…)

Some choose to discuss things in new terminology in order not to look bad. They call it seeding or link catalogs or paid social media. I choose to call things what they are. I say words like cheating and spam, just cause the methods are not available to everyone.

So, to clarify. Do I promote spam – NO. Do I use it for my current clients – NO. Have I previously used it – YES. Do I tell my clients about the effects of cheating, positive and negative – YES. I do all this because it is my job, and because I am one of the best in the world at it. Now, why do I share this knowledge? Because there is just so much that needs to be exposed in this industry of ours and I just felt like outing some of it.

August 23, 2010

Dialogkonferansen – Bring Dialog 2010 – Strömstad

I am currently at the Dialogue conference in Strömstad, Sweden. I have just had my talk and I am eager to share some of my feelings from Stockholm departure until now. It has truly been a weird trip so far. I will update this post with my presentation, with references and with insights from the sessions I join, so stay tuned.

Social Media Money – my presentation

Earning money from social media

First off I wanted to kill some myths. I don’t know if I did, but at least I tried. First, social media is all about creating billing relationships. You can do this by using the social persuasion mechanisms available through social networking platforms and open source data mining. Secondly I wanted to kill the myth about viral campaigns. They are not based on luck but on skill and I released my 5 C’s of Vrial Marketing which will be the topic of my book (that still needs some final touches before it gets published).

The challenge I was facing is that I can go on forever about those things, but I managed to squeeze it into a 40 minute session.

Amazing audience at dialogkonferansen 2010

The audience was absolutely brilliant and they were awake, laughing, moving around and smiling throughout the presentation. I should provide some links to the data that I base my assumptions on, but I’ll do that later as the nielsen reports and forbes studies have some copyrights that I’ll have to check on first.

Here is the presentation:

The trip to Strömstad

Have I ever told you I am scared of flying. Well, I am… ridiculously scared. Especially flying in propeller airplanes looking as though they are a rest product of Aeroflot’s golden days. I don’t know, but why do they call this Golden Air? There is nothing golden about it at all. Perhaps it’s like the expression “Silverbacks” we tend to call experienced people. Only that these planes have been through so much that they are now Golden. Bah… The flight was scary and I think I saw my life flash by outside the window there for a while on the inflight to landing.

Golden air scare flight

Then I guess I had my longest cab ride with “Nenad the Serb”, actually, he might have been Macedonian or Albanian as well, but I just don’t know. He was a great companion for a 1,5 hour ride that put Dialogkonferansen back another 2400 SEK for my journey.

When I got to the venue I tested my stuff and it was amazing how quickly they got the set in order. As you can see from the “day before” image below, the room was barely even thought of being setup when I got there. Amazing people working at this conference. The hospitality has been great and everyone seems to be genuinely smiling. I really should move elsewhere than Stockholm. Hmmm… hehe…

Setting up the conference

I checked into my hotel and enjoyed the late night view from my window. Strömstad should be visited again, I thought to myself.

Hotel View Laholm Strömstad

The Conference – day one

The first day I got to listen to three presentations. One by Mike Teasdale from Harvest about e-mail marketing, one from Søren Brahm Lauritsen about data driven marketing, winback campaigns etc. and one from Jay Highley about mobile marketing. All of which were highly interesting. I especially enjoyed the one from Jay as it was down to earth and focused on where the mobile marketing sphere is heading. I think that we as ad agencies have a lot to do in this sector. Hopefully sooner than later.

The mobile market is full with notify-possibilities, something which we use in social networking all the time. I don’t really see why we shouldn’t utilize this when we run TV-ads, online banner campaigns and YouTube video promotions. It simply makes no sense to exclude the mobile, sms or smartphone services from the full experience of a brand communication.

I would like to take a mobile campaign and use it to launch a viral e-mail campaign, using the triggers available on Facebook. I think I am going to have to conceptualize that and pitch it to someone… hmm….

Sadly I didn’t get the chance to listen to the last speakers of the day as there is a reality to take into consideration at home as well. I held two Skype meetings and 4 calls in two hours. But I am sure tomorrow will treat me with some excellent stuff and so I am not that worried the rest of my time here will be the same as home time. I already feel inspired to create!! Something which I haven’t felt for the longest of times.

Bring Dialogue – Day two

The second day was harsh on me. I got really “tipsy” the first evening which wasn’t a bad thing at all, however it made me quite sore in the head the second day. I managed to squeeze in some of the talks and it was nice to kick back and listen in on some thoughts from people I rarely get to meet otherwise. I had the good fortune of talking to some people from other companies that were experiencing some of the “usual” problems. Hopefully my advice can help them push through.

I haven’t had time to reflect for so long and listening to other peoples problems, challenges and ideas really helped me, not only neglect my headache, but also get inspired to some new and original ideas that will be published in this blog later on.

The high note of day two was to listen to PG Wettsjö. Not that he brought a lot of new stuff to the table, more the way that he put it out there. Truly inspiring and humorous.

At night we went to Koster and had a meet and seafood fiesta! It was a great hang at our table with Johan Ronnestam and two Swedes from a Norwegian company. The party wasn’t over when we left Koster and I found myself in a room filled with happy people until 5.30 the next day. The funny thing is that we really didn’t stop talking about trends on the web when dancing. Happily enough I stayed a bit less intoxicated the second evening and I got some really good discussions going. Amongst other things I realized that I have to get deeper in my presentations. People really want to see “how things are done” and not only listen to what can be done.

For my next two talks this year I will do just that. eMetrics in Stockholm and SEM-konferansen in Oslo will get some detailed examples from my crypt.

Dialogkonferansen – day three

I only listened in on one speaker – Johan Ronnestam – on day three. I was too busy working with stuff from home. It is crazy times at the agency right now as we’re steamrolling on all frontiers. I won’t say we are a success yet as there is still so much to do, but getting out of the house for three days really didn’t help my todo out the least bit.

However, Johan is a great speaker and I managed to pick out some takeaways from his methodology that I will hopefully be able to integrate into my own way of presenting ideas.

Dialogkonferansen – the Staff & Organization

If you haven’t been to Dialogkonferansen yet, then you have really missed out. It is not only good, but it is spectacular. The staff is really professional, friendly and help you out in ways you really don’t expect them too. The venue is amazing and although the weather wasn’t the nicest, you really appreciate the sort of remote location and the focus that it brings.

I am truly thankful for the experience.

I think I’ll update with more images and text later, but I am too exhausted right now.