Social media for business

social media
Posted under: From the Blog 28th of January, 2013

If you’re a Gen X, you probably grew up on Triple J Hottest 100.

For the uninitiated, for the last 20 years the Triple J Hottest 100 is an annual music poll, based on the votes of  Triple J listeners for their favourite song of the year. In the last 10 years, voting is done over the internet and begins roughly two weeks prior to the new year for the previous year’s songs. The 100 most popular songs are then progressively counted down on Australia Day weekend – usually Australia Day itself. The poll attracts over half a million votes every year growing to 1.3 million last year, to the extent the online betting sites get in for punters to bet on the results of top songs.

This year, Triple J used social media allowing participants to share their votes by posting to sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest using a button on the Triple J voting site – with unintended consequences. Some bright young things discovered the resulting post contained a link to that user’s unique vote page, showing all ten of their votes. They used the search mechanisms of the various social platforms to see how many votes they could find.  “I got 80 percent of the votes from Twitter.” They decided to set up their own version of the “Warmest 100“. After the story broke on the main media  - Sydney Morning Herald , The Age, Brisbane Times, nervous bookmakers halted online betting on the Hottest 100.

The result was a pretty spiffy website and other bright young things obliged by calibrating the differences between Warmest 100 and Hottest 100










Takeaways from this story?

1st take – Defensive – If you’re going to use social media aimed at demographics likely to include bright young things, then it’s not just a case of let’s use social media because everyone is but make sure you understand the technical implications and what it’s capable of. Perhaps it would be a good idea to become a lot more familiar with it by using it, or engaging those with the necessary capabilities.

2nd take – Opportunistic – How many of these bright young things are on your staff? Have you considered mining social media for business intelligence about your competitors? You might be surprised what possibilities they could come up with, given the right encouragement. (Hint: Big data anyone?)

Oh BTW the ABC will be “making a few changes” for next time.


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