Social Media – #sy (Simon Young) – My Opinion

Much like SEO marketing, most of its pretty much abiding by a few simple rules, however there seem to be those who really get on the band wagon, enjoy doing things, and raking in big money for it.

Whilst some Social Media Marketing does work, and does bring in business, you cant forget core values of marketing. things like having a target market rather than just going viral (does anyone recall #moonfruit? ok what did their company actually do? don’t remember? don’t worry, nobody else does either!) .

A few days back the #sy tag started showing up on twitter, people just appended it randomly to any old sentence it seems. Unsure about other people but i dont live my entire life on twitter so somewhere along the line i missed what the heck it was all about.
It seems i wasn’t the only one! I asked a couple of times what it was about with no answer, as it seems did quiet a few others. The most we got told was ‘all will be revealed Friday night!’ etc and similar.

Once a few people started doing it everyone jumped on the bandwagon, in fact i saw a couple of tweets saying ‘no idea why i changed my avatar to have #sy, i have no idea what it is, everyone else was doing it!’. Others thought something big and cool was coming also but didnt know what it was.
I got an invite to something on facebook which, again, failed to say anything about what it was other than ‘Race to Carista’ which meant nothing to me at all, and to watch the #sy hashtag on twitter.

About 24-48 hours out from the ‘main event’ i saw more and more people getting pissed off with all the mentions of #sy and no idea what it was, one went as far as unfollowing anyone using the hashtag, and others were getting rather annoyed at the whole thing.
I noticed that generally people aged 12-30 were on the #sy bandwagon (students, etc) and that people from 30ish upwards were the ones generally more annoyed at the spammyness.

Finally Friday rolles around, and we get told its just a Media Company http://www.ijump.co.nz renaming their company, oh yeah and the Carista thing was some house for sale. They wanted to prove how effective Social Media was by having people in the house and doing live stuff online whilst showing off an expensive house which was for sale (re-worded in my own words).

Now, heres what went wrong (in my opinion). Only a select few seemed to know or get an invite into this house and were told ahead of time, how can you advertise something without letting people know WHAT you are advertising? if people ask, at least give them a teaser of something to look forward too.
Secondly, its a house worth at least $1,000,000 – Target market would be either business people with a bit of money, of family etc. majority of the people on twitter i saw whom went, did not have that kind of money, and were not in the market for a house. Whilst there may have been people at the house who were interested, how did they relate to twitter? How did it relate to all those who had been using the #sy tag and were waiting for something exciting to happen?
There were about 3 or 4 people tweeting with the #sy tag, the entire thing was pretty disjointed cut down versions of what i’m sure were riveting speeches. With 140 Chars the message just didn’t make it.
I had a few people dm me asking me what it was about, what was going on, and were very disappointed that they had changed avatar, somehow got roped into something that never happened.
The problem here was they advertised it as something twitter based, when in fact there was very little twitter interaction at all, and no socializing at all to do with twitter, anyone who asked questions were ignored pretty much.
As one person said to me “I was curious about what they were up to – but after being all mysterious, just turns out to be some navel gazing for the selected few”

Now this there is a lot of harping on about how Social Media is going to be the new magic on your business, and with a few golden rules which are pretty much common sense. I don’t believe you need a course to learn it, though having one person working for a company who knows what they are doing and has the right personality is definitely advised (if you have an employee who already does so, by all means use them!)
Be friendly.
Don’t do generic auto tweets or bots.
Don’t argue with people or put them down (what you say reflects on your company).
Try and keep the same person/people on deck and make them helpful, friendly, and let them interact and personalize it .
Its called social networking for a reason, its socializing, not an advertising platform like a newspaper, tv, or magazine, hence why the different rules.

I must stress, these are very much my own opinions and impressions, and i do not dislike or have any grudges or mean any insult to those involved at all, it was more a deconstruction and interpretation of what i saw happen. A lot of the people involved were people i consider friends, and i mean no disrespect at all to them, or anyone else.
Because i realize there may be some personal fallout for me because of the blog post, i have respected those who i talked to privately and left their names off, feel free to voice your own opinion here.
ps. Still unsure what the ‘Race’ was in the ‘Race to Carista’

  • Nice summary, Liz! I actually owe it to Simon Young who roped me (and the company) into Twitter but I was a bit perplexed by the lead-up to the #sy event. The hashtag could easily have stood for SuYin, heheeh

  • Thanks Liz, I really appreciate your post. It sounds like we didn’t come across quite the way we wanted to! It was an amazing event at Carista House last night, and I’m going to be writing it up as a blog post today or tomorrow.

    My apologies that the awesomeness inside the building didn’t fully translate onto the #sy hashtag. This was an experiment, and sometimes experiments have mixed results.

    To address just a few of your points:

    * The idea was not to sell Carista House directly to people here last night, or on Twitter, but to generate content showing the house in action, that can then be used to connect to the right buyer – and make the house stand out from the usual real estate practice of showing emotionless pictures of empty houses.
    * Social media is simple for (some) individuals; it gets complex for an organisation to adopt it. That’s where #sy comes in, as well as for the many, many individuals in business who know they need to get into this stuff, but don’t know where to start.
    * The Race to Carista was the web series our media team (Lewis Bostock, James Hancox and Courtney Sit) did, another example of a different way to market a property – storytelling, not just photos of a house and features & benefits.

    Here it is:
    Episode 1 http://www.twitvid.com/5DB64
    Episode 2 http://www.twitvid.com/1B7F6
    Episode 3 http://www.twitvid.com/4F69F
    Episode 4 http://www.twitvid.com/960CC
    Episode 5 http://www.twitvid.com/98B26

    Thanks for engaging, I really value your opinion. To be honest, I was blown away by how much hype a simple red triangle could generate, and I’m not sure we could have ever lived up to that hype. But I am incredibly grateful to those who felt the excitement and sent their best wishes. And I’m also grateful for the culture we have in social media of (generally) pretty thoughtful, constructive criticism.

    Cheers! More to come.

  • It's interesting to see people's reponses to #sy and other campaigns. It's up to the user to either join in or ignore it. Why worry about the reasoning behind it?

    Personally I was asked by Simon Young (iJump, sy) to help spread the word and did so as a favor to him. Did I jump on the bandwagon? I don't think so. I made a choice.

    Twitter is all about choice, as is any other media. Wherever the eyeballs are, that's where the message is broadcast. It used to be newspapers, then radio, then television, now the internet.

    Is your point that the campaign was flawed and it should have been done differently? You could be right. But don't forget that we all have freedom of choice – it's not like #sy took over our minds for a week. 🙂

  • Amie

    I totally understand where you are coming from Liz and respect your opinon 🙂 On a personal level I agree with Nathaniel. I was also asked to help spread word and choose to because I respect Simon and Marie so was happy to help promote their campaign for 3 days. For me this was not jumping on a bandwagon. I may not of known all the answers but I shared what I did. However I admit watching a party via twitter was no where near as fun as going to a party 😉 Roll on tweetup!

  • Thanks guys for talking about it, its good to see these things and learn, looking at the #sy tag now there are more people speaking up. Since making the post i have been DM'd and emailed many times by people agreeing, a lot of them are just to scared to say anything publicly for fear of being blasted.

    I'd like to emphasize have nothing against ijump, Simon, or anyone involved, i think we live and we learn, and was just trying to voice my personal feelings at the time and a few others who were too shy to voice an opinion.

    It was very frustrating to ask repeatedly 'what is #sy' only to be told to follow the stream and then have nothing in the stream.

  • Oh yeah, cause you are super famous 😀 haha

  • velofille

    Thanks Simon for clearing it up more, I did see that you posted a few more informative things than others, however since I wasn't following you i didn't see them, i also had no idea who was organizing it until much later 🙂