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Australia: Social Media Engagement on YouTube


This video has nearly 8,000 comments.

A lot of companies, governments, brands, famous people think that creating some content (in isolation) shoving it up on a social media channel and never looking at it again (unless there is a negative comment, cos y’know, we have to protect our ‘image’) is engagement. Well, for me it’s not. Look at the last part of the this video where she responds to some comments left on her channel. Can anyone name a corporate video on YouTube that does responds actively to comments?  I think one of the American politicians did – last year?  Actually, which major Australian companies have actually responded on a YouTube video, anyone got an example?

A nice positive article from Asher Moses, Sydney Morning Herald, with some stats on Natalie Tran, most viewed Australian on Youtube. She has 150,000 subscribers to her channel (slightly more than a morning TV show in Australia), she ranks #37 in Australia. Her videos cumulatively have 64 million views, spread over 118 videos.  She’s not interested in advertising, promotion, fame or anything else.natalietran

Is social media something created by an agency to generate “buzz” (discussion) or is it user generated content that is created as part of an authentic voice? If a company whacks their material up online, only responds to negative comments with a “thank you, we’ll pass that along” or to “top” bloggers and otherwise doesn’t play, is that social media engagement or is promotion and public relations. What do we actually want from companies?

Funny, I watched Natalie’s video and couldn’t help thinking how great she would be, public speaking at a customer service offsite/conference. Or maybe as a guest on the TV comedy/improv show,  Thank God You’re Here. But she doesn’t want that – she wants to work in retail, and do her videos, and her digital media studies.

NOTE: I can’t tell you how many bloggers and MySpacers and YouTubers turn down mainstream media interviews, because they have an audience that they are happy with. An ABC producer told me that she was “stunned” when a MySpace personality wouldn’t return her calls, because of negativity by the press to MySpace. That’s the writing on the tenement walls, right there, no?

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

15 thoughts on “Australia: Social Media Engagement on YouTube

  1. I met Natalie at the YouTube Australia launch. She was lovely and even funnier in person, making self-deprecating remarks while working the balcony.

    Do you suppose the “surprise” from the ABC producer is because traditional media think they are still the centre of the universe?

    My brother jokes constantly that you should never sell your story to Today Tonight or A Current Affair, because they are fickle. They might support you tonight but they will call you a con artist when they flip the story and run it again the following week. lol

    I’ve never been contacted by any media outlets, though I was contacted by a UK University because of my YouTube involvement.

    John Lacey’s last blog post..Number Of The Tweet

    1. I’m not sure, John, it was the Hack or one of those shows.
      I’ve learnt to ask the tone (not topic) of the discussion. One journo swore up and down that it was a “neutral piece” yet called it “Bloggers are Losers”. First line “Papworth says that blogger are egomaniacs” or similar. Funny didn’t remember saying that. No wonder these kids don’t want to be roped in – they have their 15 gig of fame well under their own aegis.

  2. “But she doesn’t want that – she wants to work in retail, and do her videos, and her digital media studies.”

    Wow, does she really want this Laurel or are you putting words into her mouth?

    1. “Also unlike many internet celebrities, Tran has never courted fame, regularly turning down TV shows and journalists …” Article also lists off what she DOES like doing.

  3. The old cntrl c, cntrl v.

    Suggesting that she would rather work in retail than go on Thank God You’re Here is taking the comment wayyyyyyy out of context. Not everyone is scared of television Laurel!

    If you would of watched her channel you would of seen that she has talked about trying to tee something up with Hamish and Andy a number of times and is looking to make a model around selling merchandise, seems to me that she is doing more than just “you know, like um” working retail and not being interested in television.

    1. So either she lied in the article “…Tran said money and fame did not concern her.” and “”I don’t think internet fame holds very much in the real world,” she said.” (and then skipping off to try and do a TV deal) OR Asher Moses lied. Interesting.

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