Friday, 18 December 2015

Monday, 15 December 2014

We’re packing our toys away for 2014!

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We’re so exhausted, our arms are falling off (probably lost between the couch cushions?) Time to “LEGO” of 2014 and recharge for another busy year of building ahead!

The Firewater toy box will be closing on Friday 19th of December,
and will reopen on Thursday 8th of January 2015.

Blocked up while we are away?

To be used only in cases of EXTREME, CATASTROPHIC, EARTH-SHATTERING emergency, you can reach us on this number:

Firewater Interactive | Alon | +27-83-453-1690 | alon@firewater.net

Looking forward to another year of creative construction in 2015!

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Friday, 13 December 2013

It's time to Rock Out as we Clock Out

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It's time to Rock Out as we Clock Out - Firewater Interactive Year End 2013
Closing on: 20 / 12 / 2013
Re-opening on: 09 / 01 / 2014
We need to focus on getting the band off the ground…
Your favourite digital rock stars are in desperate need of a bit of R&R, so before we take
that giant leap into 2014, we’ll be taking a little break from the 20th December 2013
until the 9th January 2014.

In case of emergency (a REAL emergency!) you can get in touch on +27 83 453 1690
or drop us an email at support@firewater.net. See you next year!

Firewater Interactive
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info@firewater.net
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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Social Media: Who's doing it right

There’s nothing quite as thrilling as when social media is done right – especially when you’re in the digital industry. We’re a little OCD when it comes to the Internet, and like everything to be clean and good quality.

Since we’re always complaining about IE, spam and R140 million websites, we thought we’d spin the table and acknowledge some brands that have got the right idea online.

Each month, we’ll choose a brand that we think is owning the social scene. We’ll dissect them and uncover their social media success secrets!

We’ll start off with a brand that has mastered it all: Community engagement. Strong interaction. Updates that get 100+ shares and likes within minutes. They’ve got it.

Who are they?

The Jane Goodhall Institute of South Africa (JGI)

JGI is a rehabilitation centre for abused and rescued chimpanzees in South Africa. The brand boomed online this year, but wouldn’t have if JGI didn’t have their social media eyes open.

The institute has a strict no breeding policy, but – to their surprise – their 9-year-old chimp Nina fell pregnant. JGI recognised this as a social media gold mine. Why? The world had never before seen a chimpanzee birth. This was a chance for JGI to inform.

Anyone who knows anything digital will tell you that great content either informs or entertains. JGI jumped on the ‘inform’ bandwagon and created fresh, relevant and engaging content.

How? Let’s take a look.

Fresh

JGI set up a video camera in the sanctuary to record every minute of Nina’s labour. This way, the public could log on and watch a live video feed of a chimpanzee birth. What did this mean? It meant fresh content. Content that could only be found on the JGI Facebook page and nowhere else. No content is as sticky and appealing than that.

Fans from all over the world (literally) were glued to their screens. Everyone was too afraid to log off in case they missed the live birth. People came back to the page every day for updates – sharing their messages of support and encouragement for Nina. The community felt personally connected to the chimp and her story. Social media win!


Relevant
But what was even better than the live feed, was what JGI did after the birth. The video feed was taken down – which could have killed the campaign right there. However, JGI continued to film small snippets of the baby and share them on their page. They continued to provide fresh, relevant content.

And they’ve been rewarded for it. Fans still return to the page looking for updates. The best part is, they’re finding them. Nothing is more frustrating than not being kept informed and up-to-date on something you’ve followed so closely for so long.

Engaging
JGI boosted engagement even further by having a competition where fans could vote for a name for the baby. In order to vote, fans had to give a small donation towards the sanctuary. The public chose the name Thabu, which means ‘rejoice’. Our guess is JGI are rejoicing, because this exercise left the community feeling more personally connected to the brand than ever.

On a smaller scale, JGI posts in general are winners. Updates come from the sanctuary staff themselves, which make them personal, relevant and trustworthy. You’re getting as close to the sanctuary as you can. Their posts are perhaps a tad too long, but if you’re keeping your fans engaged, it can’t be too bad!


So, what did we learn from this?

Fresh, interactive and engaging content is always a winner. Fans need a reason to return to your page. And you need a reason to come into your fans’ personal lives. We’re not all as fortunate to have pregnant chimpanzees around, but keep your eyes open and you might just launch the next viral campaign.

What we can do for you?

If you’re interested in growing your social media following and building a successful campaign like JGI, we can help. Firewater Interactive has a full service, in-house social media team. We fuse creativity and innovation with strategy to create custom digital solutions. From content creation to strategy, we’ll identify your needs and we’ll fulfil them.

Just give us a shout


Friday, 9 November 2012

Who Else Wants to Grow Their Brand and Gain More Traffic from Pinterest?


Wait, what? From Pinterest?

No, I’m not kidding.  Pinterest is the 3rd most visited social media site in the US and it drives more traffic to your website than Google+, Youtube and LinkedIn combined. No wonder so many businesses have noticed how powerful this visual pin board is.
Pinterest enables you to pin anything you find interesting on the internet and their secret weapon is the powerful use of imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words; what about your brand? With over 9 million monthly Facebook connected users and 2 million daily Facebook users, can you afford not to capitalise on that kind of exposure?
How would you promote your brand on Pinterest?

  • Promote a lifestyle
  • Feature visual content
  • How-to’s and articles
  • Run campaigns and contests
  • Crowd source

The most important part of Pinterest is promoting a lifestyle. You’ll need to find more creative ways to promote your product or brand without blatantly trying to sell to consumers. Pinners do not take well to shameless self promotion - the sooner you learn that the more fruitful your efforts will be. Another statistic shows that pins without prices are twice as likely to be re-pinned as pins with prices.
Companies that have excelled in creating a great presence and accumulated a lot of followers on Pinterest are not the ones you’d expect to see. Kotex, Chobani Yogurt and the U.S Army are a few great examples. Chobani Yogurt has over 9000 followers, with pin boards introducing you to recipes using yogurt, exciting fitness ideas and the latest kitchen gadgets. They’ve made their brand fun, appealing and impossible to resist. Not what you’d expect from a yogurt company.
There are many tools out there that can help you analyse your Pinterest efforts and help you track the influence your pins have. Take a look at sites like Pinerly, Pinreach, Pinpuff and Wordpress Pinner to see how far your pins go.  
Now, over to you. Try out Pinterest for yourself and see what all the hype is about, but try not to get too addicted.

By Elandre Frank



Thursday, 8 March 2012

3 things Lady Gaga can teach us about social media

She’s already taught us that we were born this way, but it looks like Lady Gaga now has a more important lesson to teach the world – how to effectively use social media. With 48 million Facebook likes, 29 million Twitter followers and 1 billion YouTube views, the woman is clearly doing something right. Of course, being an international celebrity makes clocking up those numbers a whole lot easier, but she hasn’t been dubbed the ‘Queen of Social Media’ for nothing. We’ve taken a look at some of her online movements and have compiled a list of three things Lady Gaga can teach brands about social media.

1. Give your fans a backstage pass

A ticket to a live concert is cool, but a backstage pass is even better! When someone hits the ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ button on your page, it’s like they’re buying a ticket to your concert. When you post, it should be like you’re giving them the backstage pass. Give followers access to exclusive and personal information about you that they couldn’t find anywhere else. Lady Gaga chose to reward her loyal followers with this picture, which featured the new stage design for her upcoming tour:



Gaga also regularly posts candid photos of herself, puts up a live feed of her album signings or lets followers listen to new tracks first. Any online marketer will tell you that you need to reward your followers with content like this. Make them feel special by sharing exclusive photos, having competitions, providing hot-out-of-the-oven updates and offering discounts. People love new and original content just as much as Google Spiders do, and will index you just as high on their social networking favourites if you give it to them. So make it worth their while to follow you. That being said; don’t make all of your posts self-promotional. People will eventually tire of this, so throw in an occasional post that isn’t about you, but that’s still in-line with your brand interests. This is where adding external links to cool articles or asking questions comes in handy!

2. Get your fans to interact with you and when they do, acknowledge it!

Lady Gaga has a particularly good grasp on this one. In May 2011 she hosted a QR Scavenger Hunt in association with Starbucks, which had fans scanning in-store QR codes and finding hidden clues to win a range of prizes. But Gaga engages her fans in simpler ways too, just by asking for their advice or input. On the 7th of Feb she tweeted:

But what’s more important is that she adds value to posts like these by actually following them up. She lets her fans know that she personally reads their tweets, by sending out posts like:


The effect of doing something like this is that fans will start sending out even more tweets addressed to @ladygaga in the hope that she will respond to or retweet them. It works a little differently for brands, but the essential point is that it’s important to interact WITH your fans. Ask questions and get their feedback, but don’t make them do all the work. If you get a cool comment that comes back, ‘Like’ it, or post a response and tag their names personally. This will encourage your followers to interact even more, because they’ll see it’s not a waste of their time and that their input is actually being considered. Engagement will also show that you’re not just some robot sending out generic posts. As internet marketer Lyn Terry says: “People want to know you’re human”. Social media is, after all, all about socialising and people can only do this if there is a human, or at least a personality, behind the posts for them to identify with. But watch out for the dangers of getting too personally involved! You can read our previous blog post on “Online Reputation Management – How Important Is it?” below for tips on what not to do when interacting with your followers.

3. Post regularly and be accessible.

Lady Gaga has a presence in just about all of the social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter, to YouTube and Google+. Even though her Facebook traffic is substantially higher than her Twitter and Google+ accounts, she doesn’t purposely drive all of her fans to one page. She keeps her posts regular and consistent across all channels, meaning that fans can freely choose whichever one they prefer and not lose out either way. Plus, she is posting on average at least once every two days, sometimes more, which means that fans will check back regularly and have her constantly in their home feed. As a brand, you should do the same.

We could go on and on about what else Miss Gaga can teach us, but we promised to limit it to just three for now. But we recommend checking out this cool overview of all of her 2011 website campaigns which appeared on Mashable: http://on.mash.to/lABbtl. We look forward to seeing what she brings to the table in 2012 – at least from a social media point of view.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Thanks for the Memories. See you in 2012.

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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Online Reputation Management – How Important Is It?

The term “online reputation management” has been thrown around a lot recently, especially in relation to public relations nightmares some companies have experienced. It seems that rogue PR professionals are posting inflammatory Tweets or blogs, or maybe a company’s website was hacked and damaging information was released. On the other hand, you’ve probably also heard of companies with a great online reputation who are known to interact meaningfully and positively with their customers. Online reputation management is an essential part of public relations in the 21st century.
You may have never thought much about online reputation management. You may have been taught that the best reaction is no reaction, and that if you ignore a pest it usually goes away. While that may be true, taking no action to a cyber-assault on your good name is definitely a bad idea. Negative opinions and misrepresented fact can tarnish your clean reputation immediately and ruin an otherwise trustworthy name, especially in the times we live in today, with technology and the online world growing at a rapid rate. Online Reputation Management is now essential to any company or service wanting to maintain a clean and untainted online image.
Let’s first define ORM. Online Reputation Management can be defined as “the process by which a company can build positive feedback, respond to negative sentiments about their brand in online conversations and minimise the effect of negative publicity by suppressing damaging web pages in Google search results.” (http://www.targetinternet.com/, 2008. A practical guide to online reputation management).
As online discussions on forums, Twitter, Facebook and product review sites become more popular and customers turn to these channels as part of their buying decisions, companies need to be aware of where and how their business is being discussed. Every day, lies and rumours fill these forums. Search engines looking for fresh content place these postings at the top of their results. There's no “undo” button, and defensive posts may make matters worse.
By continuously updating and adding new and fresh content, this situation can be prevented. Strict adherence and close attention to content and responding effectively and courteously on all platforms is one of your best weapons in the arsenal of ORM. If your customers like your content, they’ll tell their friends about it via email or social media. This means you have to produce the best content possible to manage your online reputation.
However, if there is a lack of attention to posts and complaints, or if the content is managed badly, the consequences can have far reaching effects .One example of this is the horrendous way Nestle handled their Facebook interaction with its customers and clients. Nestle, in all their glory, decided to place their interns (and the “less experienced” personal) in charge of their Facebook group. Nestle told their fans and customers that if they used an altered Nestle logo as their profile picture they would be removed from the group. The following image depicts the interaction between Nestle and the users:
The problem, obviously, is Nestlé’s response to people who didn’t like the initial statement. It’s PR 101: Don’t insult your customers. And in PR 2010, mind your manners in public forums — especially those expressly created for fans of your company. Nestle ultimately alienated and angered many of its customers and in turn, took many months to recover successfully.
Your online reputation can be seen in a number of ways. Whether you’re seeking employment, selling a product, looking for an investor or trying to score a date, someone is going to turn to a search engine to learn more about you, and when they do, only flattering and complementary information should be seen.
There are many companies offering the service of ORM today. The key is to find the right one for you. Due to the sensitive and volatile nature of the online world, highly skilled expertise is needed when managing and monitoring your online image. So be careful when deciding who you want in the hot seat.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Google+ and stuff

It’s been a couple of weeks since I've been given a chance to post and a lot has happened in the world since then: Tons of Facebook changes, Google plus being opened to the world, Typhoons in South Africa, a crashing South African Rand. And most recently today the death of an icon: Mr Steve Jobs himself.
While this is not a post dedicated to the great man himself I would like to take this opportunity to pay homage and thank him. As Barack Obama put so succinctly, “There may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented”.
On a more personal note there has also been a lot of interesting and exciting news here at Firewater. We’re busy working on a lot of internal upgrades and a couple of exciting mystery projects!
Back to Business™!
Since Google plus opened to the public it has seen a HUGE increase in registrations. Current figures put the number of Google+ users at over 50 million! That’s 50 million users in just 3 months! In comparison, it took Facebook 3 years and 8 months to reach the 50 million mark.


(handy graph courtesy of Leon Håland).
Almost every website that has any sort of share links now includes a +1 amongst the more “traditional” Facebook and Twitter links.
Possibly my favourite thing about Google+ is that even with Google’s inclusion of the social games they have kept our feeds clean from the general spam that these games produce. Their innovation of having a completely separate feed for games which I never have to see makes it a clear winner in my opinion.
3 months down the line and Google+ is well poised. As things stand they already have the major players in the social media space reacting to their innovations. We’re looking forward to what Google will do with this new found social power!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Hacky time lapse experiment

video

End of month-week-day hacky sack playing in the parking lot. Filmed on an iPhone with iMotion HD. Anyways - we clearly need a lot more practice!! 

Have a great weekend and we will see you in October!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

African Sales >> Fragrance Sale

It is our duty to let everyone know that our up-the-road-neighbour African Sales is having their bi-annual fragrance sale. (Our hidden agenda is that the queue is so long our spouse's don't make it in!!!) It starts from Fri 30th Sep 2011 until Sun 2nd October 2011.
They supply most of the famous brands to all the big retailers - great pre-xmas shopping at dirt cheap prices!! Get there early or late as lunch time is pure chaos! Take snacks, drinks and sun protection & an umbrella!
PS: Don't squat in our parking bays - and if you do - come in and say hi!!
Times
  • Fri 08:00 - 19:00
  • Sat 08:00 - 16:00
  • Sun 08:00 - 12:00
Address
  • 25 Commerce Cres East (across from Sandton Action Cricket)
  • Eastgate Extension 12 (NOT BEDFORVIEW - By Krammerville)
  • Sandton
  • Tel: +27 118094000
  • http://maps.google.com/

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Facebook Places and Check-in deals


Facebook is notoriously bad at communication around their new initiatives and labelling the products clearly and concisely. The average man in the street will easily get lost when trying to setup an advertising campaign or check-in deal for their business. The money wasted daily must be mind-blowing.
A couple of weeks ago I came across a certain article that put me in a flat spin. The headline read: “Facebook Deals shuts down”. My heart fell through the floor. How can they do this to us? I had just sent a brand spanking new business strategy which hinged on Facebook Deals at its core.
I continued to read and found that as is all things Facebook the association with the word deals seemed to have been extended in America and in fact the part of Facebook Deals they were shutting down mirrored the concept that Groupon was built on.

This did not have an effect on the strategy I had just sent off. Heart = firmly back in my chest where it belongs. So what did it really mean?
The original article posted here: http://bit.ly/mVqItU on memeburn explains the whole thing in a lot more detail. But basically it means Groupon type deals died a premature yet probably well timed death and Facebook Places Check-in deals are still alive and kicking.
With the recent kick-off of Facebook check-in deals in South Africa I feel Firewater Interactive is well positioned to pioneer this exciting new development from Facebook.
Facebook Check-in deals come in 4 different types. These are Individual deals, Friend Deals, Loyalty Deals and charity deals. Each has been tailored to a specific use.
  • Individual deals are great for offering specials on specific products, free gifts or a launch of a product or service. This one is great for anyone from Spa’s to Supermarkets.
  • Friend Deals are great for group specials and deals when a specified number of people check-in as a group to receive the deal. This would also work for any business but would be especially suited to restaurants and bars.
  • Loyalty deals are great for business owners looking to reward their regulars. By checking in a specified amount of times the person may receive a gift or discount at your business.
  • And lastly Charity Deals are used to raise money for a chosen charity. By customers Checking-in they are donating via your business to the chosen charity.
In essence Facebook Check-in Deals are an amazing concept that needs to be fully explored and played with in order to really understand the full power.
Take a look at AVIS South Africa who is one of our newest clients. They are forging ahead with Facebook Places and Check-in deals with a great discount on weekend rentals. You may find their Facebook Fan page at the following link: http://www.facebook.com/AvisSouthAfrica

If your business is looking for a great Facebook solution with or without Facebook Check-in deals give us a call and we will tailor make your strategy hand in hand with your specific needs while remaining within your budget.