Sapient Nitro

Instagram launches Instagram for Business with Brand New Analytics.

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Instagram launches Instagram for Business - New Brand Instagram Insights function.
Instagram launches Instagram for Business – New Brand Instagram Insights function.
 
Instagram have finally added Insights through Instagram For Business that social media content creators, agencies & brand managers can now activate and utilize as a basic measure of success for individual Instagram content.
 
In late 2014/early 2015, during SapientNitro’s award-winning Philly Pourovers Instagram campaign, I had access to one of the early versions of Instagram Analytics as one of the launch partners for the introduction of Instagram Advertising to the Australian market and there were indeed some valuable analytics to be had, which when combined with a measurable uplift in offline sales and Nielsen ratings, enabled us to demonstrate ROI through social media for the Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand.
 
Until now only a select number of brands from the masses have had access to these Analytics and while the desktop version is not available to all and sundry, late last week Instagram started rolling out the Instagram For Business option for accountholders to switch their Instagram accounts across to Business Profiles.
 
So what does this mean for my brand? 
 
In short:
  • Boost options & Insights now available for individual Instagram content.
  • Instagram Insights now available for access via mobile phone only.
  • New Contact Button – Instagram have installed an easy to use contact button for fans and followers who wish to email you.
  • Switch over to Instagram Business Profile today via mobile phone. Must be logged into a Facebook account with access to brand page linked to your Instagram Account.
Pros:
  • Boosting existing content that’s actually live on your Instagram account – previously it was only possible by separate hidden or “dark” posts.
  • Customer Service/Enquiries – new Contact Button makes it a LOT easier for fans and followers to get in touch.
  • 3rd party tools no longer required for basic metrics such as Reach, Impressions, Follower growth, Gender Breakdown and Age Range.
  • Instagram Analytics launch – while this this does feel like a band-aid placeholder to keep agencies & their clients placated, it no doubt means that the full-blown desktop version of Instagram Analytics that the platform has promised is not far away.
Cons:
  • Instagram for Business only available on mobile for now – not yet available on desktop.
  • Rudimentary data, which will still need to be supported by other tools to measure and demonstrate ROI through Instagram. 
  • Available for most accounts, but not all. I’ve heard from a few of my Australian colleagues that it’s not available on all accounts yet.
Things to note:
  • Update your smartphone – Ensure your Apple iPhone is updated to the latest version of Instagram.
  • Instagram Advertising ensure you speak with your media agency about advertising options as they may have access to tools that aren’t yet accessible  to the broader market.
If Instagram for Business is not already active for your account, then the photos below illustrate how to turn it on/set it up in Instagram Settings for your brands and what you’ll be able to see with Instagram for Business once it’s live.  
 
It is of course early days in Instagram for Business & the tool definitely requires development, but it’s a step in the right direction and I’m confident the full-blown version is not far away!
 
Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).
Social Media Strategy, Content Production & Community Management.
 
Connect with Dan Wilkinson.
Founder – Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.
LinkedIn 
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-wilkinson/9/319/57
Twitter https://twitter.com/hotndelicious
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
For social media, photography & influencer business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.
 
What Instagram For Business looks like & how to set it up:
 
Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/HotnDeliciousRecords
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
 
Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!):
I recently wrapped my position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro Australia, transforming the face of social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer, Bulmers Original Cider & more, to focus on freelance clients and my own business, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!, a travel, entertainment & lifestyle brand, business, blog & podcast.
 
My portfolio from the past 12 months alone includes speaking at Social Media Week – Miamicase studies featured on both the Instagram and Twitter Global Business Blogs, APAC winner at the 2016 Facebook AwardsShorty Awards finalist in NYC just last month & much more.
 
If you need help with one of or a combination of the following then give us a call:
  • Set-up of Agency/Client Systems, Processes & Documentation.
    • Social Media Audit.
    • Social Media Playbook creation.
      • Content Production.
      • Community Management
    • Reporting (incl. Data, Insights & Analytics) 
    • Issues Management, Crisis Management & Escalation.
    • Monthly Content Calendars.
    • Social Media Training & Education.
      • Clients.
      • Internal Leadership/Senior Management.
      • Internal Teams.
    • Internal Teams – Ways Of Working.
    • Social Media Strategy.
    • Content Production.
      • Photography.
      • Video content.
      • Social media copywriting.
      • Blogging.
      • Podcasting.
    • Monthly Social Media Reporting & Analytics.
    • Thought Leadership – writing for organization blogs/external media.
    • Speaker – Events & Festivals.
We already work with clients in Melbourne, Sydney and London, so no matter where you are around Australia or the world, we can either work in your city or remotely. It’s totally up to you. 

To find out more drop us an email at: info@hotndelicious.com or fill in the contact form below.

Let’s get started today! 

  
Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has transformed social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.

Social Media Services We Provide

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet. Social Media Strategy, Monthly Content Creation, Community Management & Reporting. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson.
Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet. Social Media Strategy, Monthly Content Creation, Community Management & Reporting. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson.

Key Lesson Of Social Media – Liberal Party fail the Gen Y Snapchat bullshit filter.

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pjimage

 

Liberal Party Snapchat fail: 

 
Australian Federal Election time. And yes, now we’re in vote count mode.
 
In the closest Australian election in years, the soapboxes are rife and without a clear victory to either side in the two-party system, fingers are being pointed left, right and centre, but today I’m just going to focus my own personal Federal Election soapbox on an area that I know and love. The realm of social media.
 
While there weren’t as many social media activations as I anticipated over the Australian Federal Election period, there certainly were a few notable mentions and one in particular that I’d love to discuss, to get us all thinking more about the tactics we apply to the use of social media platforms and content generation in Australia’s social media scene.
 
Two of my favourite activations in particular were Twitter Australia’s #ausvotes hashflag and ABC’s live coverage of the election via Snapchat, however the Social Media Epic Fail Award, must be awarded to the Liberal Party’s execution of their Sponsored Snapchat Lens, the first of its kind around the world and one that went live just 24 hours before the polling booths opened for 2016 Australian Election. 
 
While the Sponsored Snapchat Lens definitely generated awareness amongst the youth market, the majority of that feedback on open platforms like news media, blogs and Twitter, was highly negative and the activation demonstrated a real lack of understanding of its intended audience – their use of Snapchat and the digital native’s mindset in this age of digital and tech innovation.  
 
Like many at the higher end of my field in Australia, I get excited when I spot new digital media ad products and content delivery methods trialled by trend-setting brands, creative and media agencies, as all too often Down Under, due to the size of our population, smaller budgets and yes, internet speeds galloping at the pace of beached turtle, we’re a little slow at times to be leading the way in one of the few key industries that’s left for Australia to make a global impact in.
 
As a result, one of the downfalls of being behind the eight ball in the digital sphere is lack of education and understanding of social media as a channel in the broader brand toolkit and our strategy towards ongoing and campaign content.
 
With my teams, I generally follow a 70/20/10 rule when creating and trialling ongoing/campaign content for clients and while the Liberal Party may have used that principle in this case, I fail to see how they thought the Sponsored Snapchat Lens telling the youth market to Vote Liberal, would ever turn out as anything but an Epic Fail.
 
The key factors that they forgot to take into consideration is Gen Y’s attitude towards social media use and the psychology needed to work in with the modern day user’s thought and behavioural processes.
 
This is something that really rung true during my past 3 months in the USA, where I was fortunate to experience the quality  and scale of digital campaigns activated in North America, as a part of broader through-the-line efforts to provide cut-through for brands in an already saturated market.
 
An example of successfully driving the voter conversation amongst millennials, is Tinder App’s partnership with Rock The Vote to drive USA youth market to the polls and this was indeed one of my favourite digital applications that I experienced during my time stateside. Designed for the native Tinder user experience, it is a tool that helped the user feel like they’ve come to a decision themselves, rather than someone instructing them to vote a certain way.
 
Now I’m not a Millennial, but I feel exactly the same as any digital native, prolific content creator or indeed everyday user who has been involved with or joined the evolution from owning multiple Myspace pages to the invention of Facebook and where we stand 10 years later. The approach that I’m suggesting that you consider is no different to meeting someone new amongst your friendship circle down at the pub for the first time and is as old as time itself. Don’t talk at me. Involve me in your story.
 
As Shane Smith, Canadian Emmy Award-winning journalist, web entrepreneur, co-founder & CEO of the VICE Media has been saying for a number of years, people 25 years old and younger have been marketed to through the internet since they were born and as a result have the most highly tuned inbuilt bullshit filters.
 
Some luxury brands aside, if you create content for your brand that broadcasts and talks at consumers, rather than making your brand relevant to their lifestyle, joining their story and by doing so, inviting them to join yours, then they will see right through your bullshit and either lambaste you for it or scroll on by, which is exactly what happened with the Liberal Party Sponsored Snapchat Lens.
 
When you as a brand manager, creative or social media lead are creating content or activations for your business in the social media sphere, then you need to take into consideration how you yourself prefer to consume content on your mobile phone in your personal social media Newsfeed and what you yourself enjoy seeing. Sure, all of us love seeing exciting, new social media content executions, but if there is one lens I do suggest you use for your digital content moving forward, then it’s this:
 
If it looks like an ad, then it is an ad and I’m quite simply not interested. Text lock-ups, too much logo, “there’s never been a better time”, sell sell sell… Don’t do it! And if you don’t have the budget to deliver the original amazing execution in the way that you and your team envisioned for maximum impact… Don’t blinker yourself and charge on ahead unchecked. Evolve it!
 
Of course, brands who get it like Redbull and Oreo North America have “the moneys”, but you have to work with what you’ve got and it’s not always about the big budget ideas.
 
Utilising social media to meet business and brand objectives is all about understanding your digital ecosystem, how best to optimize content for the various platforms, human behaviour, their thought processes and the user experience, then creating stories and content that for the consumer (you) are funny, helpful, make me feel something, are what I think or make me feel like I knew it first!*
 
If this makes sense to you, but you’re concerned that your boss, team or agency don’t quite get it, then it’s time for you to source someone who does to help you.
 
Connect with Dan Wilkinson.
Founder – Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.
LinkedIn 
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-wilkinson/9/319/57
Twitter https://twitter.com/hotndelicious
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
For social media, photography & influencer business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.
 
*”The top 5 reasons women share online” by Venus on editor & publisher Mia Freedman.

Twitter Moments #democracysausage ftw with #ausvotes hashflag:

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/HotnDeliciousRecords
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
 
Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!):
I recently wrapped my position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro Australia, transforming the face of social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer, Bulmers Original Cider & more, to focus on freelance clients and my own business, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!, a travel, entertainment & lifestyle brand, business, blog & podcast.
 
My portfolio from the past 12 months alone includes speaking at Social Media Week – Miamicase studies featured on both the Instagram and Twitter Global Business BlogsAPAC winner at the 2016 Facebook AwardsShorty Awards finalist in NYC just last month & much more.
 
If you need help with one of or a combination of the following then give us a call:
  • Set-up of Agency/Client Systems, Processes & Documentation.
    • Social Media Audit.
    • Social Media Playbook creation.
      • Content Production.
      • Community Management
    • Reporting (incl. Data, Insights & Analytics) 
    • Issues Management, Crisis Management & Escalation.
    • Monthly Content Calendars.
    • Social Media Training & Education.
      • Clients.
      • Internal Leadership/Senior Management.
      • Internal Teams.
    • Internal Teams – Ways Of Working.
    • Social Media Strategy.
    • Content Production.
      • Photography.
      • Video content.
      • Social media copywriting.
      • Blogging.
      • Podcasting.
    • Monthly Social Media Reporting & Analytics.
    • Thought Leadership – writing for organization blogs/external media.
    • Speaker – Events & Festivals.
We already work with clients in Melbourne, Sydney and London, so no matter where you are around Australia or the world, we can either work in your city or remotely. It’s totally up to you. 

To find out more drop us an email at: info@hotndelicious.com or fill in the contact form below.

Let’s get started today! 

  
Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has transformed social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.

Social Media Services We Provide

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet. Social Media Strategy, Monthly Content Creation, Community Management & Reporting. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson.
Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet. Social Media Strategy, Monthly Content Creation, Community Management & Reporting. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson.

Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet – Social Media Strategy & Content Production for your brand.

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Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet. Social Media Strategy, Monthly Content Creation, Community Management & Reporting. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson
Bulmers Original Cider. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson

Hot & Delicious fresh out of the blocks with Social Media Strategy & Content for your organization, business or brand.

 
I just landed back in Australia 2 weeks ago from 3 months in the USA and in the process of onboarding a select number of new freelance social media clients for Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!
 
In January, I wrapped up my position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro Australia in January, transforming the face of social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer, Bulmers Original Cider & more.
 
My portfolio from the past 12 months alone includes speaking at Social Media Week – Miamicase studies featured on both the Instagram and Twitter Global Business BlogsAPAC winner at the 2016 Facebook AwardsShorty Awards finalist in NYC just last month & much more.
 
If you need help with one of or a combination of the following then you should give us a call:
  • Set-up of Agency/Client Systems, Processes & Documentation.
    • Social Media Audit.
    • Social Media Playbook creation.
      • Content Production.
      • Community Management
    • Reporting (incl. Data, Insights & Analytics) 
    • Issues Management, Crisis Management & Escalation.
    • Monthly Content Calendars.
    • Social Media Training & Education.
      • Clients.
      • Internal Leadership/Senior Management.
      • Internal Teams.
    • Internal Teams – Ways Of Working.
    • Social Media Strategy.
    • Content Production.
      • Photography.
      • Video content.
      • Social media copywriting.
      • Blogging.
      • Podcasting.
    • Monthly Social Media Reporting & Analytics.
    • Thought Leadership – writing for organization blogs/external media.
    • Speaker – Events & Festivals.
We already work with clients in Melbourne, Sydney and London, so no matter where you are around Australia or the world, we can either work in your city or remotely. It’s totally up to you.
 

To find out more drop us an email at: info@hotndelicious.com or fill in the contact form below.

Let’s get started today! 

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter 
https://twitter.com/hotndelicious
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hotndelicious/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/HotnDeliciousRecords
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
For social media, photography & influencer business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.
 
Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has transformed social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.

Social Media Services We Provide

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet. Social Media Strategy, Monthly Content Creation, Community Management & Reporting. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson.
Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet. Social Media Strategy, Monthly Content Creation, Community Management & Reporting. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson.

Little girl’s curiosity. Jaipur, India. ‪#‎wanderlust‬

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LittleGirlsCuriosityJaipurIndia. Photo credit: D.Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Welcome to the new series of Hot & Delicious travel short-pieces where I share my photos from around the world and the moments behind them in short form. I’ve traveled the globe and yes, it’s long past time I started sharing some of the wonderful moments I’ve been blessed enough to experience.

When I travel, like everyone else I do love ticking off boxes by seeing the sites like the Eiffel Tower, Vatican City, the Kremlin and more, but my purest travel joy is derived by venturing off the beaten track and being aware enough to capture those moments of inspiration in every day life that just seem to appear at the most unexpected times. This is one of those.

Little girl’s curiosity. Jaipur, India. ‪#‎wanderlust‬ Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

I was on a 5-day trip to India with 2 friends to visit renowned tourist circuit, The Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is so called because of the triangular shape formed by 3 cities in Northern India which each has it’s own wealth of beauty, culture and history – Delhi, Agra (the city of the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur. Whilst driving into Jaipur, also known as The Pink City, we pulled over by the side of the road to determine our bearings and these 3 beautiful little girls wandered out.

…and for just a moment …it was almost as if time stopped. 

DW

The Golden Triangle - India

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

 

Facebook Mentions – Lighting cigars with wads of brand Benjamins.

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Facebook MentionsWell, hai Faceook.. nice shiny news toys.. Facebook Messenger, Slingshot, Paper, Native Video being optimized and now Facebook Mentions… 

In case you haven’t heard of it, Facebook Creative Labs recently dropped their latest tool, the Facebook Mentions app “makes it easy for public figures to talk with their fans and each other on the go.” Hang on, I hear you say.. that’s what Twitter and Reddit are for.. yes, this is the latest in moves designed to keep social media users within the Facebook family.. buy Instagram, Facebook Paper for news, Slingshot to combat Snapchat, optimizing Native Video to draw advertising $$$ away from YouTube. It all makes sense right? I’m not convinced.

Celebrities, market need and the need for Facebook to have their fingers in every pie.

Now I’m not a celebrity (yet 😉 ), but I’ve been around the music industry for years and for me there’s two types of celebrities.. those who like to be seen schmoozing with other celebrities and sharing it with the world and those that like to be left alone or if connecting with other celebs, are not trapped up in making a big deal about it, so to me Facebook Mentions in it’s current format doesn’t make sense.

And what about Facebook’s perceived need for “world-domination” of all social media tools in the broader social media market?

We live in an ever-evolving technological age where consumers are spoilt for choice and each of us have our own little suite of social platforms that we use in varying frequencies depending on what drives and inspires us as an individual. Like my food and travel destinations I crave choice and variety in my social media; I enjoy Twitter for one-on-one connections with influencers, meeting every-day people I come across in the digital world whom I’ve never met who love similar things to me, friends and making new business contacts, Instagram as a photographer for daily inspiration/sharing and yes, even Pinterest has it’s place to occasionally inspire me and make me laugh when I’m struggling to get the day started and coffee just isn’t cutting the mustard. Like most of us. I want to at least “feel” like I have this choice and while Facebook Creative Labs is a cool initiative in theory, some of those smarts would surely be better utilised in improving Facebook’s user experience, as what Mark Zuckerberg & Co seem to fail to realise is you don’t need to own own every single human connection on social media. Sure, it’d be nice ($$$) and social innovation is certainly key, but you can’t be everything to everyone and when spread yourself thin over a 100 different opportunities invariably you open yourself up to falling flat on your face.

Last year I spoke with one of our top guys in Singapore about his philosophy on innovation and for his own personal development he endeavours to focus on 3 big projects a year and to do them well, nay, absolutely nail them. I come from a similar school of thought. In 2010, I burnt myself out working 12-14 hours a day 6 – 7 days a week managing 3 bands/singer-songwriters, working on a snowboard show on TV, building a business and flying around the country running various events, whilst trying to make ends meet. Now translate this to Facebook. For them it’s burning resource. It’s all very well to want to build creations designed to combat competitors and blow them out of the water with innovation, but creation’s just the first step. Once you’ve spent millions of dollars building a viable platform, to stay current and to continue to evolve, it’s necessary to continue pouring money into projects just to keep them relevant and competitive, which leaves two considerations – (a) The aforementioned market need and (b) Where’s this money coming from for development?

So my Advertising Dollars are funding this?

Yes, now comes the “fun” part. “Where’s the money coming from for your shiny new toys Facebook?” – mutter agencies, brand and marketing teams around the world. And yes, pure and simple. Brands are paying for it.

Working in social media I accept that part of my role is explaining to clients that the natural evolution of successful digital technologies into paid channels is nothing new (e.g. Google) and another reason why each brand’s social strategy should remain platform neutral and be tied to business objectives, rather than specific social platforms. But this? Uh uh.. in it’s current format and in an already saturated social media market I fail to see the necessity of Facebook Mentions and sure if it took off there may well be financial benefits in influencer/brand cross-promotions in the future, but they will be affordable for the few and when life’s already been made more challenging with the “death of Facebook Organic Reach” conversations, this is not helping.

I’ve been sitting here thinking you’ve been making some shrewd moves of late, Facebook, with your finger on the pulse and as always I’m happy to be proved wrong, but I’m concerned that this just smacks of an itchy trigger finger and you’re shooting blanks.

DW

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet.. 2014.. I’m ready..

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Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson

2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet..

This year I went from 80% self-employed in my own music industry business, Hot & Delicious Group to coming out the other side of winter working full-time for America’s #1 Digital Agency, SapientNitro, driving social strategy for one of Australia’s largest brewers.

A year of contrasts & definitely not a quiet one, but coming through my 3rd brain tumour operation in 15 years just a year & a half ago, looking back on previous years and knowing all the cool shit I’ve nailed over the past 3 years, it definitely feels like one where I’ve treaded water a little more than usual [to put it in perspective I’ve still created sponsorship partnerships for The Aussie BBQ series of international music showcases with Virgin Australia and Studios 301 in the USA, travelled to LA and Austin (Texas), captured images of Australia’s top musicians/providing social media services for The Aussie BBQ/Sounds Australia at the world’s largest music conference SXSW, project-managed Federation Square’s Helix Tree – Light In Winter installation and starting working with a range of beer/cider brands (incl. Miller Genuine DraftPeroni Nastro AzzurroCarlton Dry, Sweden’s #1 cider KopparbergBulmers and Strongbow cider)] to name but a few projects. Treading water’s not the right phrasing.. a better one would be working in the thick of projects, rather than keeping the eagle eye view from above..

The new job’s been hell-for-leather since Day 1, but I am excited about the team we’ve built, working with people who inspire me, the prospect of being in a position now to present wicked new ideas & game-changing concepts in the new year, access to global resources/networks to achieve our goals and a regular salary (vs working contract-to-contract), which will help allow me to focus on an as of yet unfulfilled music career and a bunch of new Hot & Delicious Group projects in my “downtime”.

The craziness of the past 5 months in particular means I reached the Xmas/New Years holiday period completely exhausted and ready for a solid mental break. As a result, I took the measure of banning myself from all forms of social media for a week from Xmas Day – New Year’s Day. That rest from social channels, family holiday at Portarlington, camping/fishing/skindiving with a bunch of mates on a beach down the Great Ocean Road and today’s trip down to Republica Cafe (St Kilda Beach) to soak up the 25°C blue skies, led to clarity and this explosion of thoughts on paper, which may or may not make it to my Hot & Delicious blog (I’m leaning to yes.. Ha ha.. :D). 

That insight is that during the ups & downs on the roller-coaster of life this year, I’ve managed to have amazing experiences, but these “Good Times” have been accompanied with “Capture this, Update that, Tweet this person, read this article, write that article, watch that TV series…”. It’s true that Sundays have pretty much been kept for me and generally-speaking I’m broadcasting/checking social less on Sundays, but in reality there’s been very few times outside of work or on days off where I’ve made an effort to go out, do something fun & just soak up that particular moment in time for what it is, without feeling the need to update one of my social channels. Connected, Connected, Connected.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve created for myself through hard work & the ability to see opportunity in the gaps of the patterns & differences of the world around me, but my #1 goal for 2014 is to soak up the joy of this life by taking more time out for me including chilling & focusing on projects that I love. More passion, energy & happiness will no doubt ensue. Sure.. Capture this, share that is a big part of who I am and what I do.. the reality being that social media is a big part of my life at play/work and an extension of my personality, but it doesn’t define me. 

Living in the moment is what I want to see more of from myself this year and not a concept that’s new to me, but taking time out to reflect & enjoy is where we get fresh energy, a sense of calm and it’s in this headspace where the fresh ideas & magic flow.. 2014.. I’m ready..

Dan Wilkinson.
16:04pm, Tuesday December 31st, 2013.
Republica Cafe, St Kilda Beach
Melbourne Australia.

Hot & Delicious.. music news & sick live photography from around the planet:
Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com