Besides the podcast posts, it’s been awfully quiet over here since launching my year long project A Sponsored Life. However, every now and then I stumble upon something that I want to write about that really has no place on any of my other sites.
Recently (and hitting the mainstream today) an ad for Hyundai’s new whatever technology stirred a ton of controversy and outrage because the ad features a man trying to kill himself with the exhaust from his car. The ad wasn’t seen by many eyes until Holly via Copybot wrote about her dad’s suicide in a similar fashion and how it stirred her emotions. Her post has gone viral, and has the social media world ablaze with rage towards Hyundai and their marketing agency, Innocean.
Now, normally I’m the last one to be offended by something that pushes the boundaries… Maybe I’m desensitized by all the things you see on the internet and on TV (the last time I actually was really grossed out by gore was during Shaun of the Dead – but granted I was pretty depressed at the time, so that might have contributed to my disgust then,) but I just find that a lot of people are looking for things to get offended over. It seems to be what our society likes to do now – get mad at something and pile on. So, while I am sorry to hear about Holly (CopyBot)’s story, it’s not because of her that I feel the Hyundai ad is terrible…
I feel the Hyundai ad is terrible because, well, it is! Again, as I said, I like edgy. I like controversial.. but I like feeling good. And this ad didn’t leave me feeling good. It left me feeling gross, sad, depressed… you CAN be edgy and push boundaries without making me feel that way. AND you can do it in a car commercial. Here’s an example of one that does deal with suicide by Volkswagen.. It’s very controversial but in a way that didn’t leave me feeling sad.
GM also added a bit of suicide into one of their ads back during the Superbowl a couple years ago. I’m conflicted on this one, in that I don’t feel happy about it – but I’m also not offended by it… maybe it’s the fact they used a robot instead of a human, but I can’t help but think about the dying (sorry) car business and make the connection between former plant workers…. But, still… not as personally offensive as the Hyundai ad.
Hyundai just announced that the ad was never intended to be seen by the public… but it still begs the question why they would even make it in the first place… If Ford is any example of a ‘leaked’ ad, well then we can surely expect to hear about some firings at Innocean/Hyundai over the coming weeks/months.
Lesson to learn? Suicide is rarely (yes, rarely… but go ahead and comment below how it’s never) funny and in the internet era… treat things you don’t want the public to see like a sex tape. Very private, or deleted. Unless, of course, that’s what you want to be known for.
2012 was a good year. It was a year where I witnessed a lot of success from my peers, and in my own life. I was able to accomplish a bunch of goals I set out to achieve and came out feeling like it was the year I needed to build the next 5 upon. That said… Does anyone else just feel like 2013 is just going to be an incredible year? For the last month, I’ve honestly felt so optimistic for what is to come. And not just in my own projects, but in my friends as well. I truly believe this is going to be a breakout year for many.
Over the month of December, I spent a lot of my time working on my own projects and setting myself up for the year ahead. 2013 was going to be drastically different than 2012, both professionally and personally. The lines dividing my personal life, professional life and career were about to be blurred immensely and what I had come to call my ‘life’ was about to disappear. I’m of course talking about my year long social media adventure A Sponsored Life, which kicked off on January 1st and will run until December 31st.
Until now, I have been able to attend events, review products, write about promotions and more all from the comfort of my home office, a coffee shop, or elsewhere. Now, I have cleared everything I own and committed to only live on what social media provides for the year… it is drastically different, will be very transparent, open and give everyone unobstructed access to my life. I’ll be the first human tamagotchi! I’m both excited and terrified for what the year will be but know at the end, I’ll be a better person for it – through success or failure, I know I’m going to learn a lot.
I’m also optimistic for the Zach Bussey Show podcast, which returns to air on the 15th. Last year, we recorded 26 episodes, a half year worth of shows and the growth experienced was incredible. In 2013, there will be a whole new set of guests, some awesome show bits, games, promotions and other ideas which should make it an even more interesting show to listen to! Thanks to everyone who has been tuned in so far!
In 2013, here’s a few of the people I’m keeping my eye on and expect great things from in no particular order!
- Val Stachurski and I’m Charming You. Val had a really inspiring year in 2012, and know that she’s going to only do bigger and better things in 2013!
- Casey Palmer and Mansformation. Casey is probably one of the most upbeat people I know, and has plenty of awesome ideas up in his head. 2013, we will see the launch of Mansformation and I know it is going to be huge.
- Jen Kirsch and BBTS. I think 2012 was a big year for Jen with her TV show, many columns and other media appearances, which should see her step even more into the spotlight in 2013.
- Jamie Cuthbertson and JamieLeighTO. I personally think she was the top new blogger that I was exposed to last year, and fully expect her to continue to grow as a blogger this year.
- Stephanie Fusco and StephanieFusco. Stephanie has been a great person to talk to and bounce ideas off of, and from what I saw, experienced a lot of good stuff in 2012. I’m excited to see what she comes up with and what successes she has this year.
- Justin Baisden and Jmoney Rambles. Justin has always been an interesting blogger and is producing content more often from what I’ve seen. 2013 will probably see him grow in notoriety in my opinion!
- Joe Gaudet and his Youtube Channel. Joe is a voice actor and came to my attention through the podcast, his commitment to his passion is inspiring and I think 2013 is going to be a huge year for him professionally!
I’m surely missing several others that I mean to add, so the moment I think of them I will absolutely add them to this list.
2013 will have its challenges, upsets, defeats, down moments and problems… but I am positive that at this time next year I will be reflecting on all the incredible achievements and strides made by people in the social sphere over the year. Social media really has provided a place for anything to happen to those who really commit to it and 2013 should be an exciting year overall.
Over the last few months I’ve certainly been a quiet blogger. Instead of my usual 4-5 a week, I’m down to about two since August. It’s still something to wet the whistle but certainly not the amount I used to do. It’s actually funny, I’ve also gone days without looking at my Google Analytics either – something that most bloggers check daily in order to determine what worked that day and what didn’t. (And just to help give us a bump in the ego.)
Now, while I have been blogging less… I’ve also likely started to annoy the PR folks. I generally decline about 50% if the pitches that come my way… but over the last 5ish months it’s been significantly higher. Something in the neighbourhood of 90% I’d say. A weird thing to do right? And there’s been some awesome pitches so don’t fret PR folks, it’s me not you…
So the big question becomes Why?
Well, the answer is an exciting one. It’s also one I can’t give you too many details on for another week or so. But the brief explanation is… I’ve been working hard on developing something new. A massive social experiment in blogging, social media and being an influencer. One that will test me mentally, physically and socially. It’s a concept that no one has ever done before and truly lends itself to being a social thing. At the same time, it also will impact me and my life immensely – creating many problems for me to solve, many uncomfortable situations to deal with and many risks to overcome. While it is highly unlikely, there is the very, very, very slight chance that I could even die. Dramatic much? (Also, not kidding.)
This new idea is something I’m incredibly excited to unveil to everyone. I’ve talked to a few people about it, (having made them sign non-disclosure agreements… jeez, so serious) and everyone I’ve run the concept by has been very excited to see it in practice. It really is something that should be a lot of fun for everyone – and a great opportunity to do some social good in the world.
Ahh, okay that’s enough being illusive and teasing. Anyway, I just wanted to address why I’ve been more quiet than usual.. and also let you know I’ve got something exciting in the works and when I do launch it, I hope you’ll all join me at the new property!
The podcast is now entering into our 22nd episode, and in such a short time we’ve had massive growth (by podcast standards). Each and every week the number of listeners continues to grow. While, I would love to claim all the credit for this – the truth is that this is all thanks to our incredible listeners, supporters, guests and yes, even the people who don’t like the show. Also, while her name isn’t in the title, Meg’s involvement in the show is also a big reason we’re doing well! So thank you to everyone! Truly, you have no idea how much I adore you all.
Now, with the growth of the show, we stumbled upon some ‘great’ problems to have. We are getting pitched to have bigger guests on – household name comedians, actors and artists. The major limiting factor was that broadcasting from Shoeless Joe’s was not a ‘private’ area. Listen to episode 21, with RJ to understand why that is important. So, after making a public plea and also checking out some of the options we had, I’m pleased to announce we have a new home! Starting this week, we’ll be broadcasting from the newly created Buzz Buzz Home Studios! The private space is incredible and it’s going to be a thrill to be there and bring major guests in!
Lastly, with this development and new location… we’ve come to a point where we absolutely need someone else to help out with the show. Which is why we are seeking a producer to help manage the shows operations! What’s that entail and what are the perks? Well, let me run down a list of things…
Producer Role Description
- Be around an hour before we broadcast, the hour we’re on and an hour afterwards.
- Help with setup/take down of equipment.
- Meet guests in the parking lot, bring them up to the studio, get them a drink and walk them out after the interview.
- Take pictures.
- Help with booking guests/be a point of contact.
- Be good with Google/Youtube – we may need something looked up quickly while on air.
- While cash is not guaranteed, if/when we get advertisers/sponsors we will certainly cut you in.
- Drinks – We’ll always have drinks on site. Just tell us what you like and we’ll stock it.
- Get to meet celebrities. While I’ll destroy you on air if you pester them for autographs haha, you’ll obviously be able to interact with them.
- Event invitations. We get invited to a lot of events, which we will certainly extend to you.
- You get an awesome title, and Meg and I will surely provide a good recommendation if you need it.
- Fun! It’s a fun show to be apart of – I promise!
So, if you’re interested in being part of the show to act as our producer… please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a link to something awesome on Youtube for good measure haha.
Oh, and if you haven’t already subscribed, rated and reviewed the show on iTunes – please go do that! It’s that small act which will help us to bring even better content and guests to the show! :)
This is a post I never thought I was ever going to write… Myspace may just be relevant again! This morning Myspace posted a video about their new.myspace.com service and it looks slick, properly styled and all the features we’ve come to love in social media while still retaining some of the reasons we once loved Myspace (music). It also looks simple which is so crucial to a successful social media platform! It looks to be pulling the best from various social networks and placing it on a Pinterest style image based design. With the rapid growth that Pinterest saw, the simplicity of Twitter and the connection/images of Facebook, Myspace puts things together to create something that has potential.
But potential only goes so far. Myspace has experienced such a trashing over the last five years, and with the social media overload that people have (why I’ve invested less time in Pinterest and Google+) it’s tough to balance all the time commitments that are required. But, Myspace had to do something. Let’s be honest though, if this fails then it is officially over. There’s no coming back if the best thing from Myspace that I’ve seen doesn’t attract people.
However, me personally… I’m willing to give it a shot! Just don’t mess this up Myspace and allow this stuff again! What do you think about the new Myspace?
Haha, oh man I spent 5 minutes working on a silly alliterate title for this and came up with that… clearly I’ve been writing way too much lately that my brain is drained! But that has nothing to do with why I’m writing this post. Actually, the reason I am writing this is because I wanted to thank Spinzo for being the FIRST sponsor on The Zach Bussey Show! (PS. Thank you to GoBanana.ca for sending in the pirate ship logo! We love it!)
When Meg and I started this podcast 10 weeks ago, we had decided early on that in order to be able to do a lot of the things we had in mind (and boy do we have a list of ideas coming up!), we were going to need some help from some sponsors. Believe it or not, but a podcast is not really an inexpensive venture… the equipment is only a small part of it (and compared to a lot of podcasts and the equipment they use, we’re pretty top of the line), but the invested time in it is big and the hosting of the podcast is another expense. We hoped to have a decent number of listeners by end of year and be able to lock down some sponsors then… well, we’ve already beat our initial goals by a huge margin, and hit #62 on the Top Comedy Podcasts in Canada on iTunes a couple weeks ago! And things aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. Our most recent three shows are definitely our best so far, and we have so many great, wacky, fun and probably slightly insane things coming up!
Let’s get back to Spinzo! I really want to thank them for their support of the show, so let me take a second to talk a little bit about what they are. For those who haven’t listened to the show yet, Spinzo is a new website that’s going to be evolving the group deal concept to be more about what you want. Already, I’m sold on the idea because really… how many dance classes, yoga passes and laser eye treatments do we really need?! What do you need a deal on? New headphones? Lunch with the guys? A brand new pair of Louboutins? Spinzo is determined to save Toronto money!
So, now to bring it all back to the show… Spinzo is going to hook one listener of the Zach Bussey Show up with a brand new Nexus 7 tablet computer! How do you win? Well, listen to the first 10 minutes of the show and we explain it very simply (and then listen to the rest of the show because we’re told it’s entertaining!) Hint: You can win by going to the Spinzo Toronto Facebook page, and commenting about something you want savings on… let them know you heard about it from the Zach Bussey Show (or here) and you’re entered!
On the next show, (Tuesday, August 28th), we will have the CEO of Spinzo on air live to announce the winner! So tune in and find out if you’ve won! Again, thank you immensely for being our first sponsor Spinzo!
PS. Spinzo is going to be hooking someone up with a vacation too. Details will be shared on the show on the 28th!
Once upon a time there was a boy. Today we will call that boy Pabst. Pabst’s last name was Canada, named after the great land where he was from… Pabst Canada was an average boy. He was popular with a group of guys, between 20 and 30 who were uber trendy. So trendy that they knew all the cool spots you never heard of. And Pabst Canada was right there with them all the way. Pabst had a difficult time getting girls though… maybe once in a while a hipster girl might put her lips on him… but that was rare. It made Pabst upset at first, but then realized that this was his crew and that was unlikely to change. Heck, all his friends back in Brew School (Labatt Blue, Bud Weiser, Kokanee, and others) all often had the same problem. Bud Weiser was lucky though, cause his sister was becoming popular with the girls and that gave him some additional time with them.
One day, Pabst Canada was being silly and saw something something he though was funny. He figured his hipster friends would find it funny too, so he shared it on Instagram/Twitter. It wasn’t really that funny, but whatever… he only had 610 people following him anyway. No Fat Chicks! it said.
Then, the big bad social wolves who don’t like Pabst, don’t follow Pabst, and often only mention Pabst to make fun of him decided they were going to use this against him because they don’t like anything that’s a joke from any brand. “Brands are not people, they should not act like one,” snarled the social wolves as they licked their lips in anticipation of the brutal beat down they were now going to orchestrate against Pabst Canada. They were going to have their dinner today, and boy was it going to be delicious. A new piece of social media flesh to sink their teeth into.
‘Yum, yum, yum,’ the social sheep following the wolves exclaimed as they all decided to take a bite. They told Pabst he was stupid. They told him he should never be heard from again. They told him to go find a job. They said he was a sexist. They told him he was the worst. Pabst’s dad down in the United States even sent him a message scolding his son for making a mistake. (Also also giving a backhand to Sleeman in the process).
Pabst Canada felt really bad. He deleted his tweet and apologized to people. He thought people would find it funny, but he was mistaken. He accepted his error and promised to be better, hoping that would make the name calling and yelling at him stop… but he was wrong! Wolves aren’t happy until their meal is a dead, rotting carcass… once they have had the sweet taste of social blood, they are consumed with their madness until there is no more. So they kept brutalizing poor Pabst. They told him his apology wasn’t good enough, that he was stupid, that he was worthless. Pabst quietly sat there and took the beating. There was nothing he could do. He only hoped that the next day, his boss at work would accept his apology… it was a learning experience and we all make mistakes right? The snarling wolves wouldn’t be happy if that was the case… but fortunately some other brand would make a mistake soon and they would be able to feast on something new! But until then, Pabst was going to keep them satiated for a couple days.
While the story of Pabst ‘the Blue Ribbon’ Canada isn’t finished yet, the moral of the story is… Social Wolves are out to dine, getting enraged about everything. They don’t accept that bad jokes are bad jokes, but instead believe them to be serious things that they share with us like fortune cookies. Rather than going “Hmm, yeah that’s not that funny, but he apologized so it’s okay,” they take on the mentality that mistakes are not for brands. So the real moral of the story, or the takeaway we all should grab from this… is that people make mistakes. Jokes are sometimes just jokes, whether in good taste or not. No one is perfect, and everyone is entitled to a second chance (having learned from their mistake).
PS. Pabst is bottom of the barrel anyway… if they decided to market themselves as the “No Fat Chicks Beer”, they would probably sell more beer! That said… lighten up folks!
Buying Twitter followers has been something people have been talking a lot about in the last 6 months. With it being easier and easier to do, and some people basing their entire careers on their supposed influence, the allure of double, triple or quadrupling the amount of Twitter followers someone has is too much to handle. This is evident by the growth in followers some people have had, in many cases, overnight. And while everyone suspected as much, there was never any true proof of it.
Until @StephanieFusco blogged about a website that actually makes a pretty accurate deciphering on what is real and what is fake. It also checks who is silent. Then it provides you with a score, how many are fake, how many are inactive, and how many are real. With these scores in mind, it’s easier to see who’s real and who’s fake.
This is where it gets exciting… obviously I checked a bunch of people out that I suspected of having bought followers, and no surprise… 30-50% of some common people’s followers are fake. No big surprise to me. I knew it was only a matter of time before these fake people were exposed for their bullshit behaviour and corporate abuse by lying to companies and saying they had a larger network than they truly did.
But, it gave me an idea… the idea of buying followers… where were people buying them? What did these fake followers look like? How quickly could you accumulate them?
So I set out as of about 8PM last night to test it out. I set up a new account @REALzachbussey and started buying followers. Overnight the account has grown to 26,000 followers with accounts that sorta look real, but not really… they have a real name, and a photo… but most of their usernames are a jumble of letters…. @laleks825 @nylacgugo etc. None have any tweets, no profile… and none have any followers. As I suspected.
Here’s where it gets interesting though: If you check out who these fake follower accounts follow, you learn some of the names of people who are paying for followers… and it’s a LOT of celebrities. Check for yourself: https://twitter.com/#!/nylacgugo/following,.. and according to StatusPeople….
Sean @iamdiddy Combs (his 7,300,000 are 25% Fake)
Actor @JimmyBennett (his 1,074,000 are 83% Fake)
Singer @MarquesHouston (his 851,000 are 85% Fake)
Whatever he does @JeffreeStar (his 432,000 are 63% Fake)
Rapper @RedCafe (his 394,000 are 79% Fake)
Sr VP of Shop.com @LorenRidinger (her 374,000 are 81% Fake)
Rapper @ThatsShawtyLo (his 203,000 are 81% Fake)
That’s bombshell in and of itself!
That said… there’s one other thing everyone needs to be aware of… buying followers requires no permission from the account. Essentially, you can buy followers for anyone. With or without their permission. As I’ve just experienced… just about an hour, I started getting mass followed by the same spam accounts that followed @REALzachbussey. Whoever bought these followers did so intentionally to try and lump me in with those in Toronto who have paid for followings… Fortunately with some quick action, I was able to stem the flow of follows. Here’s how…
1. Put your account on private.
2. Go to twitblock.org to quickly block and report for spam every account that managed to follow you.
3. Click ‘decline’ on every other follow that tries to come your way from the spam accounts… as you can see I have some work to do…
(UPDATE: I’ve learned that for all the followers you have that are ‘waiting to be approved’ when your account is private, disappear entirely if you set your account back to public.)
This exposes some major holes in Twitter. One’s that they will really have to start exploring. Back in the early email days, there was something called an email bomb which would overflow someone’s email inbox with emails. It was/is a serious issue and forced email providers to rethink how email functioned, and how to prevent it. Twitter now has this same issue, and they need to take it seriously.
1. If someone like Marques Houston has 851K followers, but only 128K are actual people – there is a problem with how many Twitter users the service actually has. Or Sean PDiddy Combs with 7.3M but there’s 1.8M fakes.
2. If anyone can go out buy anyone thousands of followers without any safeties in place, it can be very damaging to be portrayed as a faker (and time consuming for someone trying to fix it). This is the equivalent of a social media nuke.
3. Clearly, current safety measures to prevent fake accounts from being created are insufficient. Twitter needs to explore new ways to prevent spam, perhaps even examining the idea of a one time buy-in. $5 one time buy in FOR ALL USERS may prevent spam accounts from even being created. How many people have $125,000 around to set up 25,000 fake follower accounts?
I’m going to continue to explore this dark side of Twitter and the paid for followers and as I become aware of new issues, causes for concern or insight, I will certainly continue to add new blog posts on the issue. One thing is for sure, this is a problem that is only going to get worse unless Twitter acts now.
I’ve been decorated with titles before… Canada’s Best Male Social Blazr, Top 5 Toronto Twitter Influencer, Top 5 Blogger in Toronto, #62 Comedy Podcast in Canada, Top 4 Business Plan Writer in Ontario, and a ton of other rankings. Well I have one more to add to the list!
I came in second place yesterday in the BiLLe, Best Blogger in Canada… which means I won a silver medal in Blogging in Canada! A pretty incredible accomplishment if I do say so myself. Here’s a photo of me accepting the silver medal award!
Yes, after a month of effort, time, nerves, anxiety, and putting together some magic… magic I would have continued to deliver, I was not picked as best in Canada. But a silver medal is pretty awesome anyway.
Quite frankly, I don’t think they made the right decision. But maybe I’m slightly biased (THOUGH I had my friends at some social analytic companies run the numbers, and the results are incredible… If you match up our social media stats, blog readers in Canada, true engaged follower counts and about a dozen other metrics… I’m better in all but one category). But whatever, what’s done is done. And the decision is final.
I’m happy with the title of Second Best Blogger in Canada and look forward to the next thing in my life… something bigger and better! If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that every time I have a set back, I stand up again and move faster than I did before.
So thank you to all who supported me, all who were rooting for me, sending positive vibes, well wishes, good lucks and everything in between… Your support is truly appreciated and you have my unending thank you for everything.
PS. Yes this blog post was just an excuse to share that photo I created. Haha.
The days of the promote everything blogger are coming to an end, and for any blogger who isn’t evolving away from that, is going to fade into obsolescence. I’m rewriting the beginning of this post, though the majority of it I wrote just about a month ago. I wanted to wait for the right cue to post it. That cue came yesterday via my good friend Val who’s post “Sick of Blogging” was an indication that she knew something was wrong with her blog. I have told her gently that I wanted to see more of her thoughts and creative content without any involvement of a PR company, brand or event… So I’m thrilled to hear she wants a change and know that she’s going to grow as a blogger now… maybe she likes the idea I suggest below and implements it. But now to carry on with the actual post.
It’s funny how the blogging community works… people build something uniquely their own, with an interesting voice and perspective on the world… Only to change and become a verbal vomit billboard for any brand willing to send a sample their way. It’s why I imagine a lot of ‘overnight’ successful people end up face down in mountains of cocaine, broke or worse – they don’t know how to handle new found success after being average for their entire lives. It’s definitely a similar thing for bloggers… where once your ideas on a website were just a hobby, now deliver products, opportunities and parties.
Bloggers create content… but when that content becomes negatively infected by a new brand every day, the blog loses it’s appeal. The content that readers loved disappears and is replaced by a a new branded something-or-other each and every day. How many free product reviews can we really read before we give up? My tolerance for branded blogs is about 3. If you write three posts back-to-back-to-back that are all about a different brand or branded event… the relationship between you as a blogger and me as a reader is over. It tells the reader that you have given up to the corporate spoon of ‘free’ and will never return to the reason we started reading you. That’s not to say I don’t have any room for it. In fact, I think for a lot of personal bloggers it provides some value for readers and for the blogger… you get some free stuff and the reader may get some insight/vicarious living or a chance to win something. But there needs to be a balance and it can’t be something new every single day. Consistency is definitely important.
For myself, I’ve talked in the past about my brand loyalties to Ford and Carlsberg in a post I wrote nearly a year ago. While neither company has ever paid me a cent to blog on my website, or tweet or attend their events… they’ve provided me with great opportunities over the years to a point where I don’t feel guilty about tweeting about them. We’ve established an ongoing relationship that feels natural. And that’s the main idea behind this blog. As bloggers, brands, PR companies and readers… it’s time to change the blogging landscape and do something different. It’s never been more necessary, and the switch is perfect – especially with the push/pull of bloggers now asking for cash from PR companies for blog posts. (Have an ‘observation’ blog post I’ll be posting shortly as a follow up.)
I believe the key to the successful implementation of bloggers+brands+PR companies+readers is… a long term program/relationship that benefits everyone.
I’m convinced this concept will benefit everyone far more than the current wild west of free products and horrible blog posts about products that the blogger would never even purchase themselves. What I’m suggesting is that a blogger and PR company work to establish a relationship between the blogger and a brand. This relationships is ongoing with a (minimum) commitment of 6 months. This way all parties can really get things rolling and see if its a partnership that works. (Also, based on how brands develop customers, this idea makes SO much more sense.)
I’ll give you an example of how I see the implementation (and this is entirely hypothetical)… A PR company comes to me indicating their client Subway is interested in partnering with me. The idea is simple, they have 40 items on the menu that I should try. Once a week for the next 40 weeks, I need to try each product – they’ll provide the gift cards to do it. The deal is: each week I update a blog post with the latest item I’ve tried off of their menu. Each update includes an instagram photo tweeted/shared on Facebook. As a bonus tie in, every 4 weeks, I host a contest where I giveaway a $XX gift card to one reader.
This concept should truly benefit everyone in the short and long term:
- To the blogger, an ongoing reward, free lunch and a natural piece of ongoing content which is far more natural than all the one off brand blogs. It’s something you can track ongoing results and tweak to make better/learn from and build better content as a result
- To the PR company, ongoing results which are better accepted by readers, relatively inexpensive and fit more naturally into a blog. You save a ton of time because you have a list of brand loyal bloggers you can contact with new updates. Content created on a consistent basis and able to really track results as well as give/get feedback.
- To the brand, you lock down brand lovers who will be loyal long after the program and will naturally promote you in their every day life (I know I do for Dentyne, Carlsberg, Ford etc.) The results will be better than one off ‘brand switcher’ posts that a lot of bloggers post currently.
- To the readers, less throwaway branded posts that you don’t care about replaced with posts fitting more naturally within a blog. The focused content is easier to accept and get behind, plus with planned giveaways, you’ll know when to come back. You also will probably have more respect for them not bombaring you with a million brands every month.
There’s probably benefits that I’m missing, and there’s probably some negatives to this for all involved to… but quite frankly, things the way they are now are horrible. Bloggers I used to read only post branded content, brands waste their time and effort on people who’s opinions no one could ever trust (saying things like the best car is Toyota, Honda, Ford, Lexus, or whatever car company lends them a car that week), and as a blogger it’s a big waste of my time to deal with all the silly PR pitches, plus I know that my readers get annoyed if I get too brand lovey.
That said, I want to hear what PR people, other bloggers and readers have to say about this idea…. please comment below and let me know your thoughts! Would you as a reader like this idea? Bloggers, think it would be easier/better for you? PR people, what problems/difficulties do you envision? Brands (community managers?) what do you think your bosses would think of this?Don’t forget to subscribe to the Zach Bussey Show Podcast on iTunes or TuneIn, and listen Tuesday nights at 6PM live at http://zachbussey.com/show
Has anyone else noticed how ridiculously sensitive we’re all getting these days? It seems anything somewhat controversial sets off the social media community into fits of rage usually reserved for people ditching babies in stairwells and eating peoples faces in clear acts of zombieism. Perhaps this lack of any kind of sense of humour is proof positive that the zombie apocalypse is upon us… people are overriding their humour function with madness.
The latest culprit/company to receive the zombie socialites smash down their door and eat at the brains behind a twitter account is @ASUS, who at Computex 2012 in Taiwan, tweeted out a picture of their latest transformer computer thing from behind, while a (clearly attractive) model stood beside the new product. The tweet (which has since been deleted):
The social media zombies attacked it for being sexist. The company apologized. They issued a statement. They backtracked. And the zombies raged on, their thirst for social media brain unquenched. GRAWAWRRRRR.
The reality is the tweet is MAYBE in poor taste for a computer company. That’s it though. It’s not sexist. It’s not setting women back. It’s not doing anything beyond trying to be funny. We have a woman who is posing beside a piece of technology, not because she has anything to do with the development of the product, but because SHE IS HOT. She’s a model and she is nice to look at – from all angles. And we have a dude behind the camera who is commenting on the scene.
But the rage is insane! Okay, look if the guy had tweeted “I’d love to put the new Asus blahthing on this woman’s ass and use her as my desk.” THAT would be a great example of a sexist tweet. But instead, we continue to perpetuate and build a society where everything offends someone for no good reason. One where we get riled up at a moments notice and want brains/blood of a victim to quench the thirst/hate for corporations(mostly). It’s gotten to a point where everyone is being brutally monitored in this new social world that no one is allowed to be anything but a PR controlled zombie of a person – with tweets and status’ being carefully crafted to not offend anyone. It’s no wonder that most people think companies on social media are boring – they can’t take a risk because you keyboard groaners don’t let them.
Everyone needs to take a breath and lighten up. That’s the cure to the zombie infection – not getting worked up over nothing. But hey, lets look at some great zombies raging out of control… out of control because their tweets are ridiculous.
Matthew, you weren’t going to buy one anyway you bandwagon zombie. Based on looking at your feed for 1 minute, you own a Mac and we all know the cult of Mac don’t lose customers. You just hate Windows and wanted to bash them. (New ASUS come with Windows 8 I’ve read.)
Right Leigh, that’s what they said in the tweet. “Hey, you women don’t buy our computers. Here’s a woman’s ass.” No, they failed at trying to be edgy funny. Your day wasn’t ruined by the tweet. It didn’t get you fired, or attacked. Don’t be so rage-y.
I love this one because you can tell from the profile picture alone she just wants to be an angry person in life and get mad at people. My favourite part is where she talks about her disposable income going elsewhere… Corinne, prove this tweet – otherwise you’re a liar. I want to see on paper/tweet/email/text message where you were considering buying an ASUS. Because I guarantee it didn’t happen. ANGGERRR ZOMBIE RAGE HATE!
Fact is, we’re all overly sensitive these days to any kind of comment that strays from the center. Quite frankly, ASUS just became a more well known brand, and in two weeks when someone goes into Best Buy to get a new laptop, the recall memory of the word ASUS is going to do more to sell their computer compared to two weeks ago. Our memory is short and being a social media zombie only helps the company/person/thing you seek to punish. Mark Zuckerberg was right when he said we’re all “Dumb fucks“, (yet we all still have Facebook accounts.)
But for the sake of a fucking argument… still feeling the outrage if this was the photo?
Welcome to Zombieland.
I’ve been sitting on the sidelines of social media for a while now. You haven’t seen me post a very damning blog post in a while. You haven’t seen me tweet as aggressively as I once did. Nor have you seen me blog about all the wonderful stuff that companies want to provide me because I am a social media influencer. No, for the past while I’ve just hung out on the fringe of the scene observing what is a vastly changing landscape, made ever more gross and diluted day after day.
Oh it’s true, the social media scene in Toronto (and naturally I assume in other markets as well) is broken. (PS. Bands, please don’t call yourselves Broken Social Media Scene). Why is it broken you ask? Well, it’s actually quite simple… some human beings are inherently evil, greedy, have an overinflated ego and have careless disregard for anything other than to prop up their sinking social media dictatorship regimes. (Ironically, by being honest and calling out bullshit – that’s usually the title I’m associated with.) In the real world, if these people were given any power, they would be corrupt, abusive and lack any kind of moral compass. Maybe we should start calling some of these social media stars “Social Bankers”, because they seem to stop at no end to try and fix the system to their benefit.
So what am I talking about exactly? I’m saying a lot of words, but have yet to really point out the issue and why social media influencer marketing is becoming a scam… Here’s an image of a popular social media character’s twitter following.
What does this chart say? Well, it shows that for 2 months a persons following on Twitter was organic… it grew at a steady pace. Gaining 2-3 followers per day on average. Then on one day, a single day… that following doubled overnight. Now, in the wise words of my grandfather “If something smells fishy, it means there’s a dead fish around.”
The scene has reached a point where even the most ‘influential’ are so corrupted by their own greed and inflated egos that they have decided it’s the right time to pay for followers. Make no mistake, the only way to gain that kind of following overnight is to have content that went viral (but even then it’s a steady slope over days/weeks, not all at once), or they paid for them. Yes, we are now at a point where the reigning social media influencers, who try to sell their services to companies pointing out how many people they reach with a tweet, how many impressions they can get… aren’t satisfied with how much they are getting. An investment of buying followers doubles their following overnight, which means they can ask for twice as much from dumb companies and PR people who don’t do enough research.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, social media influencer is not a job and the ‘end game’ to being a social media influencer is working at Starbucks until you’re 67 and retire. There’s no major payout. You’re never going to live on the income of being an influencer. It’s a dead end road, and we’re approaching the cliff.
Want another example? This one is a little more cleverly done, but it’s using a ‘follow train’ system. You follow one person and 10 people follow you.
We’re now at a point where social media influencers can’t be trusted. Hell, I’m not sure they ever could be… but especially now. The reality is, social media influencers understand that the social media influence market is getting more and more cluttered. People who would normally get ALL the invites and products are probably starting to get less… Something has to be done, and paying for followers seems like a good step. A Hail Mary to try and reclaim the glory of a crumbling career. Hoping maybe to help build that Klout score up a little more.
Unfortunately the writing is on the wall and everyone is waking up a little faster. For a while now I’ve been pointing out the ridiculousness of working with some of us social media influencers, and very quickly more and more people are coming to terms with the truth and being vocal about it (something I wouldn’t have thought would happen a year ago). Trying to recapture some glory by paying for followers is the final nail in the coffin. Integrity is clearly only as valuable as whatever product a company is willing to provide.
Be careful of the scam, Influencer marketing is no longer honest.
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