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All posts by Mike Sharman

Mike Sharman
Mike Sharman is a co-founder of Retroviral, an award winning digital communications agency that creates online word of mouth spread for brands using bespoke strategy, social media, and web tactics. He is also co-founder of Webfluential – a new platform that establishes relationships between consumers and brands through influencers. Mikewas named one of the Mail & Guardian’s top 200 young (under 35) South Africans in 2013. Mike likes pink drinks, sunny side up eggs and being the small spoon. Mike loves making ‘stuff go viral’; you will have seen his work on Nando’s as Retroviral was the brand’s digital agency from 2010-2013. Retroviral does the online comms for all the #5GumExperience parties and most recently, it was the seeding agency behind the Douwe Egberts yawn-activated coffee vending machine. From strategising the Kreepy Krauly Wrangler concept, to writing, shooting and seeding the BraaiPhone for Castle Lager, Retroviral has created some of the most memorable local, digital campaigns over the past four years. Clients have included Miller South Africa, for whom we managed its social media channels. Our proactive engagement in the online space resulted in more than a 300% increase in the Miller Rock the Boat Facebook page over a three week period in October 2010. The community grew to more than 11,000 members prior to the departure of the boat in December 2010. In November 2010, Nando's briefed us to make its 'Cell C parody' campaign go viral. Utilising our online network of bloggers and social media influencers on Facebook and twitter, we became the first agency in South Africa to proactively seed online video content that surpassed the 100,000 view mark in less than 5 days. This year we have been responsible for the online component of the #NoRegretFriday movement that encouraged people not to drink and drive for SAB's Reality Check brand, and we broke records for Nando's once again with our seeding of the 'Last Dictator Standing' campaign. The content went global on the first day it went live and has currently been viewed on YouTube more than 850,000 times after only six days of being live. Mike Sharman is also an industry speaker. He has presented his thoughts and campaign findings on local social media execution to Brand students at Vega, at the Digital Academy at the Campus in Bryanston, at the IMCC at the Hilton in Johannesburg, and the WTFMedia Conference in the Western Cape
  • Zellyco: how a 55-year-old Joburger used Facebook to launch an ecommerce play

    With the merger of South Africa's two online retail behemoths (takealot and Kalahari) and the evolution of some of the most successful local brands -- Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Mr Price - to focus on their internet sales and logistics, our country is a veritable hotbed for e-store activity. From niche players to established brands, backed by corporate Randelas, ecommerce is one of the most exciting spaces and a fantastic horse to back for the course of 2015 and beyond, especially in South Africa as internet penetration surpasses the 50% mark. Read more: Takealot-Kalahari merger gets the official...

  • Online shopping on the rise: Price, convenience, security key

    According to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey, online shopping has increased significantly and continues to show potential for growth, with price, convenience and security key factors to consider making a purchasing decision. The survey revealed that even in an emerging market like South Africa shopping online has steadily increased over the past two years, with 58% of respondents in a survey of active internet users saying that they use the internet for shopping. This is an increase from the 53% that said that they shop online in 2010, and the 44% that gave the same answer in 2009. When...

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