Innovating on Social Media? Take It from a Badger

If you are reading this blog, chances are, you already have your own Twitter account, or you might be paying community managers to tweet for your company. This is a good practice, since consumers are into social media. But come to think of it: what makes your company's Twitter account stand apart from the rest?

This week, while doing my usual industry scanning, I was amazed at how one Twitter account set the world on loose. This Twitter account proved that almost nothing is impossible in this age, especially in Marketing. And guess what institution made the excellent social media execution-- you won't believe it at first, but it's a zoo. Yes, a zoo!

Johannesburg or Joburg zoo is a popular tourist attraction in Jan Smuts Ave., Parkview, Johannesburg, Gauteng. According to its official site, Joburg Zoo is "committed to playing an important role of conservation projects of both indigenous and worldwide endangered animals". They created a Twitter account. Now what's innovative about that?  Well, their 'Twitterer' embodies what the zoo is all about-- an animal.

Meet BG, the Tweeting Badger. A selfie badger, BG tweets about his usual roundabouts. And after just 50 tweets, he (or her or it, haha) already has a whopping 8000+ followers... not bad for an animal in Twitter. According to Marketing Update, BG was already featured in ABC News, Fox2 and 6, and Good Morning America, on the Timeslive website and Twitter feed, and has been mentioned by Huffington Post, NotCot, Buzzfeed and Perez Hilton's blog. BG already has fans in America, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Russia and China, aside from his TV, radio, print and online appearance. And as of the moment, he is already the topic of 16-page search engine results internationally.

Now, you might be asking, how on Earth was a badger able to tweet? According to BetweenLands, "the team created a high-tech animal enclosure with specially designed sensors that pick up BG’s location and automatically trigger tweets from his Twitter account. The motion-triggered, animal-friendly sensors have been installed at several places in the spacious enclosure and connect wirelessly to an on-site base station located outside the enclosure. The base station is itself connected to the agency’s server, which hosts a database of pre-written tweets. As BG moves around his camp, he trips the sensors which then send relevant tweets. If he is munching at his food bowl, he’ll be sure to trigger a food-related tweet, for example." quoted Kerry Friend, ECD of Hellocomputer JHB, who said that this initiative "was a collaborative result between creatives and technologists after our quarterly hackathon, again positioning Draftfcb and Hellocomputer at the forefront of innovation in the communication space in South Africa."

So the next time you go the zoo, think of what the animals can be saying about your behaviors. Who knows, one of this days, there will be more BGs on FB and Twitter.

If you still can't believe that this is possible, check out how a badger was promoted from a resident to the zoo's social media manager:

You can also follow BG here. Have fun learning, Busycrats! 

Between Lands


Isabel Lachica said...

Hi mam, I'm still hoping for the Jellybean write-up you promised us :) Good luck keep writing good articles

Isabel Lachica said...

Hi mam, still waiting for the Jellybean article keep on posting your good write-ups :)))))

jennifer jimenez said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Isabel. I'll keep you posted about the release of that article.