Browsing articles in "Word Of Mouth"

Infographic: Facebook vs. Google, Who is Winning?

Clients often ask us whether to go with Google Plus, Google Adwords or Facebook. Facebook is still more useful in many ways – in South Africa – and reaching out to a brand evangelist or influencer communities requires a holistic strategy that surpasses platforms.

To the question of who is winning who winning the technology and social media war, this infographic from whoishostingthis gives a detailed picture.

Facebook vs. Google


Get social and get paid for it

Yesterday saw the official public launch of IceBreaker, a platform that lets you connect with new people who want to meet online and extend that to in-person connections. In most instances, the social platforms that you use reward you with more connections and the right people’s attention.  You rarely, almost never get anything more than that.

The deal we struck with IceBreaker is about to change that.

 Own your social life

What’s in it for you?

We are looking for 10 people to try out the platform and start their own groups, where you can then meet other groups of people. Whenever you meet with a group, you’ll need 25 points which is the equivalent of R25.

As a WordStarter, and we can only accommodate 10 people, where you’ll get 1000 points for FREE. You can use your points to meet as many groups of people that you and your friends think are worth having an outing with. You can also be part of as many groups as you want.

Your one group of friends may be into indoor activities, others may like outdoor adventures and the other may be into travel or backpacking around the world. The last thing you want to do is force someone who’s terrified of spiders to go camping in the bush. Okay you might, but we don’t encourage it.

Get paid to connect people

We also understand that you are a connector and you should get rewarded for it. You are one of the people who invited your friends to Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and maybe even Google+. This time, as you invite your friends to join you on IceBreaker and they meet people, we’ll pay you for it.

WordStart has teamed up with IceBreaker so that when a friend of yours gets their first 25 points, you get R25 in cash.

For example: If 100 of your friends meet up with groups of interest to them, IceBreaker will pay you R2 500. Plus you don’t have to do anything other than invite friends using a link that we will send you, which you can share.

Friend rewards

What kind of a friend would you be if you got everything and you didn’t share?

Starting this week, whenever your friends buy their first 25 points, they’ll get another 75 points for free. That means you all get to meet new groups of people together.

Are you in and know some people that may want to get paid, as the first 10, for connecting as well? Send us an email to info [at] and we’ll get you started.

Alternatively, tell us in the comments below and we will get in touch with you.

Nov 21, 2013

Tools to Spread Word of Mouth

In October, the Enterprise Technology Show Africa organisers invited us to share some ways to spread the word. There are many tools on offer in the market and here, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we share three of our favorite ones.

When working on building buzz for your product or organisation, you have to be clear on what the objective is. You may want to generate the word on mouth on your Facebook page, through contact with bloggers or by understanding customer conversations and sentiment, then contributing.

The tools in a nutshell:

  1. Shortstack is an easy-to-use Facebook application tool. It allows to run competitions with user-generated voting and content. We regularly use it for various purposes. Create a free account and try it out.
  2. Grouphigh combines SEO and social search to enable you to engage with the blogger community that you are interested in interacting with. You are then able to think through how you would like to position your content on various platforms and you understand what those blogs are interested in. Have a look at the 30-day free trial or request a demo to engage blogs for you PR and Marketing.
  3. Traackr takes influence beyond blogs and helps you find brand advocates by topic of interest and helps you build your influencer engagement efforts. Have a look at their plan options

Below, have a look at the presentation.

What are some of the tools that you use?


Sep 16, 2013

Infographic: Spread the buzz

There are many channels available for brands to market themselves and start conversations. How do you choose one platform over another and cut through the ever increasing noise?

This infographic from 4imprint shares valuable statistics from Twitter, Facebook and how you can harness the buzz.

Word of Mouth Marketing – An infographic by 4imprint

Aug 15, 2013

How do you seed your brand or product to influencers? Q&A with Sarah Britten

The conversations people have on social networks entice brands to want to be part of that space. Companies spend hours and put financial resources into getting talked about by influencers, where the brands may potentially end up on the Top 100 lists of different networks.

If you are putting money into billboards, newspapers and other forms of media, social media seems an obvious box to tick. When seeding your experience to influencers on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, how should you do it? How do people with substantial followers – the ones brands want access to – perceive the brands who want their 140-character spaces?

Enter Sarah Britten who goes by @Anatinus on Twitter and works as a communication strategist. Sarah also spends time creating artworks using lipstick and ranks up there with some South Africa’s most active Twitterati. We asked her about all things related to brand mentions, sharing experiences and how sacred her 140-character space is.

Sarah Britten

WordStart: How do you use social networks, mostly Twitter?

Sarah Britten: I use Twitter to connect with others. So while I know I have over 9 000 followers and many of them are presumably entertained (or irritated!) by what I tweet, my objective is connecting with others and having meaningful conversations. Everything else flows from that.

WordStart: Do brands approach you to talk about them?

Sarah Britten: Occasionally, yes. Usually it’s in the form of an invitation to an event. For example, I attended a Ford launch a couple of weeks ago and naturally I tweeted about my experiences.

WordStart: What, for you, is the best and worst way to get approached by brands?

Sarah Britten: I am fairly relaxed about being approached by brands. That’s perhaps because I work in advertising and write on the side; if I were a journalist I might be more wary. In general, the best way to approach people like me is to work out what we are interested in and passionate about and work from that. If I already care about what you’re doing, it makes it easier for me to tweet about your brand without eroding my own credibility.

WordStart: We heard you were at a meeting once and were typing away on your phone without even looking at it, and you didn’t even lose track of the conversation. Is it true?

Sarah Britten: I’m not that good at multitasking! Autocorrect terrifies me too much to not double check.

WordStart: Would you charge brands to tweet about them? Why? Why not?

Sarah Britten: I know of people who are paid – a lot – to live tweet events, and I’ve done one job in the past where I was paid for my time. But the idea of being paid cash per tweet does not sit well with me – I’d rather attend an interesting event and tweet about that. My followers are valuable to me and I would not want to abuse them by tweeting too much about something that isn’t relevant to them.

WordStart: In instances when a brand pays you talk about them, would that influence what you say about the brand and/or product experience?

Sarah Britten: It’s very difficult not to let that influence you, because you’re performing a service when a client pays you and you have to eat (going Paleo is expensive, what with all those nuts). I have a policy with clients: I never tweet negative comments if they are paying me. It’s just simpler that way. So I make that clear, that they are a paying client, and then my followers can draw their own conclusions.

WordStart: If any marketers were listening, what would you tell them about the approach they use for you to mention them, or to get mentioned by others in your network and end up on your timeline?

Sarah Britten: Do interesting things. Create social objects for us. Social connection needs a starting point, so the best way for brands to get talked about is to create those focal points and allow conversation to flow from there. (Never try to control conversation too much – this is PR more than paid advertising.)

WordStart: We know you are speaking at TEDx Johannesburg on 15 August, tell us a little about  your talk.

Sarah Britten - TEDx

Sarah Britten: My talk was quite literally inspired by a tweet. I had linked to a lipstick painting inspired by the Twitter egg; someone asked about the chicken, and it grew from there. The story brings together the theme of genes and memes – the egg as both a store of genetic material and a powerful symbol throughout history – and winds this in with my experience as someone who does not have children, but who creates ideas for a living. The core theme is randomness and creativity, and how we never know what will lead from one thing to another.

With an estimated 135 000 people signing up on Twitter, 58 million tweets per day and about 819 million active monthly users on Facebook, it makes sense that every brand wants a piece of the action. Have a look at Sarah Britten’s art here and catch her on Twitter for more updates. Her presentation at TEDx Johannesburg will be streamed and we’ll also tweet the action. Login here to catch the whole TEDx Johannesburg. What are your thoughts engaging customers in the age of social and being part of the conversation?


Build a Global Brand Advocate Movement: Insights from Martin Bjergegaard

Over the past few months, we have been doing more research into collaborations and how to make them work effectively. Some of our findings led us to Martin Bjergegaard, or did Google lead them to us. Anyway, that’s just detail. Martin Bjergegaard is  a serial entrepreneur, co-author of Winning Without Losing and the co-founder of various successful global companies.

He co-founded Rainmaking which is a company factory and a startup accelerator known as Startup Bootcamp. One of the key similarities among the companies, as well as Winning Without Losing, is that behind all these initiative are movements of people who spread the causes. He and his co-founders find a message that people care about, create a movement and let that movement with the core team leading from behind.

I was interested in how he builds these brands and whether he finds people who care about the causes and initiatives first, then they proceed to build.

WordStart: When you co-founded Rainmaking and later Startup Bootcamp – which now has 500+ mentors and investors – did you start out wanting to get people to spread the initiatives by themselves? Or did the spread occur without you planning it that way?

Martin B: I think that spread happens when you find something people truly care about. And when your format is inclusive, meaning that you basically allow everyone to take part in some way. Of our projects, the three that receive the most global attention are; Startup Bootcamp, Winning Without Losing and our latest initiative, the Rainmaking Loft – which is a big co-working hub in London. People like these projects, I believe, because they can take part in the movement. Some of our other businesses are more traditional, in the sense that we sell a product and charge a price. These can become very profitable, but less of a worldwide movement. We like to have both kinds of projects and to let them benefit from each other.

WordStart: When people connect with and end up being advocates for your cause, do you know and understand why they do it? How do you leverage that to get more people to spread the word for you?

Martin B: Basically, we just try to be helpful. People can have many different interests or angles when they get in touch. I just try to figure out how to help them best through a connection, advice or an idea. I think it is very simple; if you deliver value to others they will want to help you too. They will spread the message you evangelize and thus become part of the movement. If you don’t help or inspire the people who connect with you, they will look somewhere else.

WordStart: What are some of the most effective tools you use to collaborate across borders? How and why these tools?

Martin B: Mostly Skype, Dropbox, Google Docs and Podio.

Podio is a Danish startup that has moved on to become a huge success story and a global brand. On Podio, you can have a virtual office and collaborate really efficiently – even if your team is spread out all over the world.

We also use Asana and HipChat . We also use Doodle, Yammer and WordPress. Simplicity, efficiency and user-friendliness are the key criteria when we choose in the tools we use.

WordStart: How do you test the effectiveness of your message? What do you do when and if it doesn’t appeal to people after you’ve started marketing that message or product?

Martin B: We had our fair share of absolute failures. Only we don’t see it is failures, rather just as learning and feedback experiences.

The key is, as you say, to test. We test everything. That includes a new feature, a new team member, a new marketing message and a new partnership. It is almost always possible to take small steps, test the waters, and then go full speed ahead – only when you know that what you are doing resonates with the market. Big companies often carefully plan a campaign, carry it out at full steam and lose millions. As a startup you need to work smarter, leaner and more flexible than that.

Martin Bjergegaard will be in South Africa launching his book Winning Without Losing in Johannesburg – on 9 July and in Cape Town on – on 12 July. We have collaborated with them to kickstart their South African movement. Would you like to join us and win these shiny new books?

Apart from considering ourselves as a bit of a startup, we love starting things (hence our name) and we love startups. Yes, we love startups. There you have it, that four-letter ‘L’word.

As a startup working towards making an impact in your industry and the world, you want to read and know as much as possible. We’ve got your back. We have some copies of Winning Without Losing to give away.

Share your thoughts on Twitter about what it means to collaborate effectively, or to build what you love in business and life without losing either one. Make it less than a 100 characters, add @WordStarters and #wwl_jhb. We’ll let you know if you’ve won on Monday. If you are joining us at Jozi Hub, you get bonus points with a signed copy of your shiny new book and awesome pictures taken by Vimage Media.


WordStart is looking for a young sales rockstar

WordStart is in search of a rockstar to join us, someone who can close deals and get large companies signing new campaigns. If Glengarry Glen Ross’s “coffee is for closers!” grabs you half as much as it does us, then you may be the person we are looking for.

About WordStart

We are a word of mouth startup, with a growing community of young upwardly mobile and savvy South Africans. We get cool brands and products talked about by influencers, through blogs and social media platforms. We also track and measure conversations for our clients.

We recently WordStarted Gareth Cliff’s book, which reached over 105 000 people through conversation and became a bestseller in 2011.

What we have

In the first year, we developed the business from an idea, to an early stage startup that is still at proof of concept. Now we are working on growth and that’s where you come in.

As part of our team you get:

  • Social media and campaign strategy.
  • Access to a network of early adopters and influencers.
  • Awesome internal campaigns that connect you with some of the coolest experiences ever.
  • Exposure through popular and industry specific platforms.
  • A constant flow of campaign ideas.

We are in search of a sales director who will be involved in early campaign ideation, setup our sales management and create new networks.

Stuff you need to know before taking the leap:

The first prize for us is the ability to learn and adapt rapidly.

  • You will facilitate access to networks, clients and agencies to collaborate with.
  • Sell campaign ideas and pitch for new business.
  • You need to think on your feet and be able to brainstorm campaign ideas.
  • Manage deal flow for new and existing campaigns.
  • You have basic social media knowledge.
  • Someone who can confidently ask for the dough.

Does this sound like sound like you, or someone you know? If so, make that call. Put that coffee down!

Contact: Mongezi on mo at or on 083 757 3163.

Jan 31, 2012

Calling all early adopters: Get the latest stuff you want

Your friends and the people in your network trust you. When you recommend a night club, phone, a pair jeans and even a car; they are most likely to get it. Or tell someone. Chances are, you are an influencer, an early adopter, the kind of awesome person we want to give access to things.

Do you ever think companies and brands should reward you with early access to the latest products you want? Well, now you can get rewarded.

WordStart is looking for people with clout in their networks, rockstars like yourself who:

–          Dig having the latest products to test.

–          Make an impression in their network.

–          Talk honestly about what they like or don’t want in new products.

–          Tell their friends about the latest and best things out there.

We’ll make it simple for you to get the latest phones, clothes, test-drive new cars and whole lot of things you want. You’ll tell us.

First things first:

The first thing is to get to know you. The last thing you want is to get access to a test-drive when you own a chauffeur-driven stretch limousine. So, to get the process started click here and let us know who you are. We’ll take it from there.

Look out for the latest gadgets, books and experiences.

Tell us what you like below in the comments and click here to get started.


Image by: Gothick_Matt on Flickr