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?