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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:

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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.

 

Calling All Cars hit the stage.. Bang! Electric!

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Image by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
Image by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).


Calling All Cars hit the stage.. A
n unstoppable, explosive force field of energy from word go.. Bang! Electric! 

Australia is a country spoiled for wealth with musical talent and when it comes to stagecraft, Melbourne rockers Calling All Cars have got it NAILED! First saw the lads live in 2011 when I was at Pyramid Rock Festival shooting for one of Australia’s national radio stations, triple j. I’d heard one or two of their jams on the radio and I decided to go check them out. WOW! From start to finish lead singer Haydn Ing’s high-octance buzz on the mic and around the stage had the moshpit shaking.

Ing’s commitment to the cause was demonstrated at Sydney’s Big Day Out last year, when the CAC frontman was knocked out cold for 10 minutes by an accidental elbow after diving into the crowd and had to be rushed to hospital. Copped a few blows to the jaw in the pit myself back in the day & it’s not fun (does anyone remember Goo Thursdays at the Metro? Alternative music at its best! :D), but where would rock & roll be these days without a lead singer or lead guitarist unafraid to attack the stage, drum riser, foldbacks and amps with reckless abandon?

HOT TIP for all you wanna-be rockstars out there.. chances are that if you’re in front of the mic, you’re already baring your heart & soul through your music, so whether it’s a positive or negative vibe don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.. I’m not saying if you’re Gotye that you should jump into the crowd with an epic body slam.. you’ve got to be you, but even a personal story or a cheeky anecdote to show the crowd that you’re a real person made of flesh & blood just like them will endear and connect you more to your audience than your music ever will.

As social media has shown us, now more than ever with the likes of social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, everyone with a smartphone is the storyteller of their own lives and artists of their own world; give your audience an experience to remember and they will not only reward you by listening to your music online, but they will share your art with their world. So if you’re in front of the mic and make that human connection, then chances are that if they haven’t come here to see you, they will be back. 

Stagecraft is a key opportunity to interact with people.. to make an impact. Even just one new person per show to start with, can be all it takes. After all the global music market is a saturated one, social media littered with wanna-be rockstars (incl. yours truly :p) and you need to capitalize on every opportunity to stand apart from the herd.

I can still tell you the very first time I saw Calling All Cars and the image featured at the top of this article remains one of the favourite images I’ve shot in my lifetime, music or otherwise. Every time I see it I’m captivated.. my eyes glaze over as the emotions and memory of that snapshot in time seep back through my soul..

Next time, but you step out on that stage.. take a deep breath, take a step & set yourself free!

Dan Wilkinson

Hot & Delicious.. music news & sick live photography from around the planet:

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Calling All Cars latest jam ‘Standing In The Ocean’ is the 2nd single from forthcoming album Raise The People due out March 7.

Instagram launch brand new video feature – Hot & Delicious trial it for you

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Instagram have launched their latest, exciting new feature to combat the likes of Vine, Snapchat & Cinegram.. video! Addicted to Instagram, Hot & Delicious remain at the cutting edge of social media tech, so bleary-eyed I rolled out of bed this morning to do some quick research for y’all. Here’s the skinny:

Facts:

  • 15 seconds per video.
  • 13 Instagram filters built specifically for video.
  • Cinema feature – built to combat shaky videos shot on the go (iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 only).

Positives:

  • Mini movies – you can record (incl. Stop/Start) consecutive mini-grabs of video content to make them into a short short film 🙂
  • Screen flip during recording – Win. Unlike Snapchat you can stop & flip the camera mid-video to switch from capturing yourself to shooting your surroundings.
  • Saved videos – yep, once you’ve shot your vid it automatically saves to your smartphone for use on other social channels incl. YouTube, Facebook, etc.

Negatives:

  • Instagram video only – you can’t upload your own videos shot outside of the Instagram App.
  • Glitches/distortion – at times when Instagram uploads your photos/video it uploads with distortion to the image quality which isn’t present in original photo/video content. Believe this is due to interruption to data flow via Wi-Fi. Check out our original version
  • Tagging – can’t tag your friends in vids on Instagram just yet, but no doubt it’s coming.
  • Cover Frame – can’t choose an image shot outside of video content as cover image for video like on YouTube.

A wanna-be Rockstar, a puppy & skyporn.. Hot & Delicious Group’s first attempt at Instagram video:

So where does a first-time user start? Instagram video FAQ

Instagram for iOS version 4.0 is currently available for download in Apple’s App Store and Instagram for Android version 4.0 is now available on Google Play.

More magic from Hot & Delicious on Instagram

What we’re hoping to see in the future from Instagram (not just in video format):

    • Scheduled posts – for those of us who work in social media strategy, content creation & community management we report news/post immediately as content comes to hand, but it’s also important to be able to schedule content at keys times when we’re not connected digitally.
    • Clickable URLs that enable us to direct Instagram user traffic to our website, blog and other URLs.

Hot & Delicious ..for sick live music photography & music news from around the planet:
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