Tag Archives: twitter

Loyalty lessons from Lady Gaga

I stumbled upon this great article by Jackie Huba…well worth a read!…

There’s a lot marketers can learn from artist and musician Lady Gaga.

At age 23, Lady Gaga has rocketed to global fame in less than two years. Playing piano at age 4 and New York nightclubs at 14, she recently broke Billboard’s record as the first artist to have her first five six singles reach number one. She’s won two Grammys, and has sold 8 million albums and 15 million singles digitally worldwide. While her performance art-style stage shows andbizarre outfits have garnered much buzz, it’s her loyalty marketing that may sustain her for years. Gaga is dedicated to her fans and clearly knows the elements of cultivating a community of evangelistic fans.

With that, here are my 5 lessons about building brand loyalty, Lady Gaga-style:

1. Give fans a name. Gaga doesn’t like the word “fan” so she calls them her “Little Monsters,” named after her album “The Fame Monster.” She even tattooed “Little Monsters” on her arm and tweeted the pic to fans professing love for them. Now fans are getting their own Little Monster tattoos. By giving the group a formal name, it gives fans a way to refer to each other. Fans feel like they are joining a special club. (Related business examples: Maker’s Mark Ambassadors and Fiskar’s Fiskateers.)

2. Make it about something bigger than you. During her concert tour, Gaga recites a “Manifesto of Little Monsters” (text) (video). Although a bit cryptic, most Little Monsters see it as a dedication to them, that her fans have the power to make or break her. (Related business examples: Smoque BBQ (pdf).)

3. Develop shared symbols. The official Little Monster greeting is the outstretched “monster claw” hand. As all Little Monsters know, the clawed hand is part of the choreography in the video of her song “Bad Romance.” Gaga tells the story of watching a fan in Boston greet another fan with the claw hand and that’s when she knew this was the Little Monster symbol. EvenOprah knows the Little Monster greeting. Shared symbols allow fans to identify each other and connect. (Related business example: LIVESTRONG yellow wristbands.)

4. Make your customers feel like rock stars. One staple of Gaga’s“Monster Ball” tour is to call a fan in the audience during the show. She dials the number onstage, the fan screams out, is located and they are put up on a big screen. While the rest of audience goes bananas, she invites the fan to have a drink with her after the show. (Related business example: eBay Live Conference where attendees walk through a gauntlet of applauding eBay staff as they enter the closing gala)

5. Leverage social media. Gaga has the requisite Facebook fan page (over 5 million fans) and Twitter ID (almost 3 million followers) but it’s how she uses them that drives loyalty. On Twitter, she tells fans what she is doing, such as tweeting them before she opened the Grammy Awards. She also tweeted to fans that she was buying them pizza for waiting overnight at an album signing.

Some artists are very protective of their image and prohibit recording devices during performances. Gaga doesn’t allow professional photographers into her concerts but is ok with fans recording and putting videos on YouTube.

Whether Gaga will have staying power remains to be seen. But she is making waves in the music business and teaching plenty of people the power of fandom.

Wouldn’t you like to have fans like these?

Thanks for the great read Jackie!

Yours in social media,

The 2038 Problem

Here’s an interesting scenario (especially for the IT geeks), the Year 2038 Problem. What is it? The Year 2038 Problem is also known as the Unix Millennium Bug, Y2K38. The Year 2038 Problem will cause some computer software to fail in the year 2038 and even possibly before hand, affecting all software systems that store system time as a signed 32-bit integer.

System time is measure by a system clock which counts the number of seconds since the arbitrary starting date called the epoch. This starting date is 00:00:00 UTC on Thursday, 1st January 1970.

The furthest in which this time can be represented is 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19th January 2038. After this, time will wrap around and go into a negative number and therefore being interpreted as a date in the year 1901 rather than 2038. Most systems will be affected by this very close to, or even on the day, but programs written that date forward will happen sooner. For instance, a program that is storing a date 20 years into the future will crash and fail in 2018.

Because most Unix-like systems store and manipulate time using this format (it is generally referred to as Unix Time), other non-unix based operating systems and software that store and manipulate data like this will be just as vulnerable.

One of the earliest problems with this, surfaced in May 2006 in the AOLserver software. The software was designed with a kludge to handle a database request that should NEVER time out. The design specified an arbitrary time-out date well into the future. The date configured for the request to time out was, one billion seconds… Crazy! I know! Try counting, it will only take you about 32 years, and after 9:27:28pm on 12 May 2006, when this problem first happened, it went beyond the 2038 cutoff date. Therefore, after the request hit 2038, it overflowed and returned a date that was actually in the past and caused the software to crash. AOL’s server management had to edit the time-out to a lower value after this.

One thing is for sure, I cannot wait for 2038! As big as the Y2K bug was, it was never confirmed to happen, and didn’t really either. The Unix Millennium Bug is. Computers are now using 64-bit architectures, and these operating systems are becoming more common. The new 64-bit value introduces a new wraparound date more than twenty times greater than the present age of our universe! 292 billion years from now on Sunday, 4th December 292,277,026,596AD. Unfortunately, not all computers will be updated for this and a lot of 32-bit applications running on 64-bit systems are likely to be affected by the issue.

But don’t worry, I promise… in 2038 the world will still turn, the sun will keep burning and your Facebook and Twitter status will still be there. Who knows? It might even be displaying ‘138 years ago’ ;)

Can Social Networking cause identity theft?


So, can social networking really cause identity theft? This was an interesting topic that was the subject of a breakfast group meeting I attended recently. It really got me thinking how much someone will know about you when they see your Facebook, LinkedIN, or even Twitter account.

They know what your name is, your date of birth, physical location, who your relatives are, marital status, your friends, what things you love to do, and so much more! All of this information can give scammers a great opportunity to take advantage of you.

We were told about a woman who took a phone call from a man who said that he was the son of one of her uncles. He was posing as a desperate relative who needed some money for an operation for a heredity complaint. She was skeptical at first but after questioning him, he knew so much about her family and history that she ended up sending him some money to help him out. It turned out it was all just a scam.  I can’t help but think would I have fallen for something similar.

Well I have some tips on how to avoid this happening to you and it doesn’t mean you have to give up social networking, it just means you need to be careful on how much information you are giving:

  • Remove your date of birth, physical address and mothers’ maiden name from your Facebook profile.
  • Set your profile on private and be very careful of who you give access to your profile.
  • Remember that once you post information online, you can’t take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other people’s computers.
  • If a social networking site doesn’t look safe or you can’t figure out the privacy settings, don’t use it. Go somewhere safe.
  • Do not discuss holiday/travel plans online. No one needs to know when you’re going on holidays or even on business trips. Tell all about the trips AFTER you return. And don’t ask others about their plans, either, encouraging them to post their private info.
  • Watch what you do list online, regardless of privacy settings. A thief can take your digital photo and all other info and use your identity. Don’t give them all that ammunition. Upload a favorite animal or flower image, for example, instead of your face. List the nearest large city instead of the small town where you live. Use a nickname, maiden name or other identity listing.

Yours in design,


The Power of Twitter


Well it should be common knowledge by now that Julia Gillard has taken the top position as Australia’s Prime Minister. If you did not know of this fact until now, then I guess you have been living under a rock since last Thursday evening, or perhaps you just don’t have a Twitter account.

According to this ninemsn story , the news of our new PM wasn’t broken in a tv, radio, online or print bulletin – it was in fact broken by News Ltd’s Samantha Maiden through one simple tweet: “Labor Mp text: it’s Julia no ballot”. This message of less than 140 characters, as well as other messages tweeted by fellow journalists spread like wildfire through Twitter-land.

I was on Twitter on Thursday night and I have to say, there were tweets popping up left, right and centre about the new PM. I’ll be honest; I didn’t watch the debate (was the debate even televised?), but I didn’t have to. Thanks to the “Tweeties” I follow, I was well informed about the goings on of the debate, and the outcome. It’s amazing how a simple social media tool can keep one so well informed during an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

And it’s not just the news of the new PM that I have heard about before a news bulletin! For example, I knew of both the Haiti and Chilean earthquakes hours before news bulletins even surfaced here in Australia. The power of Twitter is very much underestimated.

To those who think Twitter is a pointless social media website, I urge you to think again. While there are certainly tweets along the lines of “I ate a cupcake for breakfast” and “I love Justin Beiber”, there’s also a lot of very informative and up-to-the-minute information on Twitterland that you just can’t get anywhere else right now!

Tweeting always,

Time’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2010

foursquare platform

I stumbled upon the Time website the other week (which is fantastic by the way) and found their list of Top 10 Tech Trends for 2010. This list gives a very basic snapshot of some of the amazing applications that are changing the way we live.

The list highlights FourSquare, Facebook Connect, Social Games like Farmville and Bejeweled, Cloud computing for music downloads, Twitter conversations forming the ‘Back Channel’ of a program, Venmo’s new mobile phone technology that allows you to bump your phone with another to issue a payment, user-generated barcodes by Stickybits, Apple’s Flash snub in favour of HTML 5 and of course the iPad.

Check it out for yourself: Time’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2010

Yours in design,

Jetstar flies the social media flag!

This morning I read that more than 71% of businesses intend to increase their use of social media – including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and company blogs – in 2010 (according to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report).

So it was timely when I discovered how Jetstar plan to divvy up their marketing budget. It’s pretty big news as it’s reported as the first major brand to make a dramatic shift of marketing spend into social media. Now, take a guess how much of their marketing spend Jetstar have lobbed into the social media basket?



Nope, not even close.

40%! While it may be bad news for print advertising, it’s telling news for the reality and future of digital marketing. This enthusiastic nod to social media has been described by Jetstar on Mumbrella as a “significant shift in marketing spend” to the new media phenomenon. In the article Jetstar aknowledged that traditional media had become expensive and fragmented.

I believe Jetstar’s push into using sites like Facebook and Twitter illustrate the company is open to follow trends and they recognise how their audience like to communicate.

And the proof is in the pudding. Mumbrella reported the Aussie budget airline trialed social media, including Twitter and YouTube, over the past 18 months, which confirmed their customers were comfortable reacting online. You may recall the 1000 seats for 2c sale through Twitter last year? It sold out in 2 hours!

If that’s indicative of the cool campaigns and customer-happy offers Jetstar may share when they commence their social media saturation in the next financial year, then I shall be following their tweets with credit card on hand!

Yours in design,


3 Brands Reaping Success by using Social Media for Businesses


Social media, we all know it. Most of us probably use it on a personal level – Facebook, Twitter, Bebo… It’s an online, interactive, community-building wonder world that’s not a craze; it’s here to stay.

Despite the genius of social media sites dissolving the distance of communicating with friends anywhere in the world, what I find totally fascinating is what social media can do for businesses.

With some know-how, forward-thinking digital marketing plans and an active (read: daily or every couple of days) dedication to social media forums, businesses and brands of all sizes can grow their brand, engage with their target audience in online discussions, promote events, and reap the benefits of viral marketing.

Let’s look at the leaders first. The big guns are switched on and obviously have the dedicated resources to achieve such results. I applaud the brilliant Facebook Fan Pages of big brands like Pringles and Red Bull. They are definitely leading the way in successful digital marketing initiatives and all have fan bases in the millions.

While their social media strategies differ – like Pringles focusing on clever use of video and Red Bull by streaming their athlete’s tweets through Facebook – their results are the same. Their Fan Pages showcase loads of interaction, the roll out of creative branding exercises, and perhaps most importantly, an active, online community thirsty to engage in discussions and forums.

Perhaps one of Facebook’s most popular Fan Pages belongs to Coca-Cola. As I type, they have clocked up a staggering 4,626,432-fan base, and unlike most other big guns, two Coke fans started the page. Coke’s marketing department then blessed the duo, added their assistance and now their page is run by user-generated content. Clever.

Aside from these recognisable, universal brands reaping the rewards from social media, companies of all scales can benefit from social media marketing. And it seems quite a significant number are already catching on. It’s now becoming a case of, ‘well, why shouldn’t we be involved’?

Yours in design,