Five uniquely Kiwi factors to build into your social media strategy

The rise of digital media has given more power to the consumer and it is now imperative that the story your content tells about your company is in alignment with your customers. One of the ways you can do that is to think local, act local. After all, you want your customers to buy local too don’t you? (Or support local if you are an organisation or not-for-profit.) Here are five factors to bear in mind when you are at the planning stage of your social media strategy.

Kiwis are totally into Social Media

In a media trends report published by Nielsen last year, it was estimated almost 90 per cent of Kiwis over the age of 15 use social media with Facebook and Youtube being the most popular.

While it’s important to use more than one social media channel to promote your product or service, Facebook has risen head and shoulders above them all and it’s a must for just about every company or organisation from your local coffee shop to huge corporations.

According to a Stuff article updated in March 2017, around 61 per cent of New Zealanders use Facebook with 2.3 million logging in every single day. On a global scale that’s more than the UK where just over half of the population use Facebook and similar to users in the US and Australia. In fact, Facebook is so popular that our newspapers are losing traction with advertising budgets increasingly swinging towards the digital giant and away from traditional media. It’s not necessarily the world we wanted to create if we’d have stopped and thought about it (more dollars flying offshore) but it’s now an entrenched behaviour and the upshot is that, if you’ve got something to say to New Zealanders, you need to be on Facebook.


Twitter started competing for our advertising spend in 2015 (as reported in this article on Stuff) and Snapchat is beginning to open its advertising to the Kiwi spend this year – it’s expensive but might be worthwhile for young audiences, says an article by online marketing specialists Adhesion. 

Our landscape is campaign ready!

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and amazing photography of Aotearoa will help get across the message of being a very New Zealand company. As far as pictorial opportunities go the options in New Zealand are endless. As a nation we are pretty proud of our clean green pure NZ image and despite most of us living in cities, we are essentially an outdoorsy nation. Using photography from all around New Zealand shows you know the country and will also appeal to those outside of the major cities. Your company might be based in Auckland but your customer base might be in the South Island so don’t annoy them by only ever featuring Auckland in your content.

Find a way to celebrate the New Zealand countryside in your posts. This is obvious territory for travel companies or campervan hire but there are lots of ways to celebrate our amazing scenery. Lewis Road Creamery have a signwritten car and regularly post a ‘guess were we are’ post which gets impressive engagement levels – 454 comments on this example below.


New Zealanders CARE about each other…

…show you care too and you’ll be rewarded with engagement. New Zealanders are a generous bunch rating second in global generosity ratings last year. These days, consumers don’t just want to know what products or services your company is offering, they want to know what your beliefs and values are so that they can decide if they will align themselves to your brand. Keep abreast of major news items and events to show you are invested in the success of New Zealand and its people. That you care at a local level.

This post by Holden mentioning the company’s contribution to the relief effort after the Edgecumbe floods is one of the highest performing posts on their wall this year.


Micro-influencers matter here

Social influencers are a rising trend globally as consumers kick back against traditional advertising. Social Media Examiner reported last year that Influencer marketing campaigns are on the rise and New Zealand companies are well and truly getting on board. But it’s worth noting the differences our small population brings and also thinking hard about who it is you want to influence.

There are now several companies who solely exist to put companies and influencers together – a new form of online matchmaking.  One of these is The Social Club and they define an influencer in New Zealand as anyone with a 1000 or more followers.

Co-founder of the Social Club, Georgia McGillivray, told Idealog in December last year that, provided company and influencer are a match, these smaller influencers can often yield better results.

“The country’s so small we only have a handful of macro-influencers, and they’re being used by brands on repeat, so micro-influencers are a lot more organic.”


We’re innovators and we reward clever thinking

In my last blog I talked about the NZ Fire Service’s Escape My House campaign which was a world first. New Zealand is good about thinking outside the box, creating innovative content and getting the message out in new ways. When it’s done well there can be real engagement rewards on social media.  While I was on the Holden page I noticed a post that outperformed any other content on its page (2.1k likes and crucially 256 shares which increases the reach of the post exponentially). A reverse-April fools stunt, swap your Mullet for a new car, no one knew if it was a joke or not. “Worse case scenario it’s a free haircut” said Daniel as he made the big sacrifice.


The post was entertaining and heartwarming – delivered by video which has been proven to yield higher engagement rates. Crucially, it was also very Kiwi, aligning Holden, a luxury brand, to everyday Kiwis who are struggling. It said ‘we know New Zealand’ and ‘we care about New Zealanders’.

I’ve embedded the video for your enjoyment below as a sign off to this post.




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