Home Technology Interesting Tweople: Mike Sharman

Interesting Tweople: Mike Sharman


In his 10 years out of school, @mikesharman has earned a degree in marketing, done standup comedy in LA and South Africa, written and produced a one-man show for the National Art’s Festival Fringe edition and National School of Arts’ Festival of Fame, managed a multi-million Pound LG Electronics account in London, and most recently, started the digital communications agency, Retroviral.

His motto is ‘Life is short. Play naked!’. I had the privilege and the pleasure of meeting @mikesharman at Rocking the Gardens in Johannesburg in 2010 (on the same day that I met @lea083). This interesting individual has been selected to be featured in the Interesting Tweople section of the Technology category on Running Wolf’s Rant for today.

We recently had the opportunity to interview @mikesharman. This is what he had to say:

Would you say that you’re a Twitter addict?

I’m an information addict. Twitter has become my means of info-gathering; it is my source of news, trends, and entertainment discovery. This dynamic platform is my ‘tik’.

Do you think that Twitter has had a huge impact in South Africa since its launch?

It’s definitely had a huge impact on my life and the way that I interact and engage with friends and people I respect from a business perspective, as well as brands. I feel that Twitter has assisted in me becoming an online individual as opposed to an irrelevant account number.

In the greater scheme of things, Twitter penetration in SA is still very low, but it’s fascinating watching trends explode from the Southern tip of Africa and have them evolve into international memes. @melattree and I worked on a Nando’s campaign recently that saw us seed Black River FC content online, prior to the ATL execution of the Cell C parody ad campaign. The consumption of this content was phenomenal. We had 100,000 YouTube views in less than 5 days and #NandosCEO became an international trending topic – with viewers in the UK and US questioning what Cell C was.

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What is the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced on Twitter?

I was invited to attend a sushi class at Indulgence Café. I was tweeting my heart out, demonstrating that I could indeed master the maki and produce award-winning handrolls. I was the youngest member of the class and some of the older attendees were being shouted at by the chef because they were unwrapping their sushi mats.

I tweeted: ‘The retired geezers in my class are getting cussed by the chef’ and then proceeded to twitpic the action. A few minutes later, one of the older guys in the class pulled out his phone and asked who @mikesharman was. His daughter had SMS’d him to tell him that she follows me on twitter, she’d seen the pic, and her old man was not retired, but quite a successful businessman. I proceeded to go a bright shade of beetroot… The world has become a lot smaller thanks to Twitter. So be careful what you say online folks 😉

If you could recommend anyone to follow who would it be and why?

@melattree, one of the smartest people in SA in terms of social media, general communications consultancy and my partner in crime on a lot of brands that I consult to. For general awesomeness you should follow @deanoelsch, @bangersandnash, @slicktiger (to name a few…)

What do you actually do for a living when you are not Tweeting?

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Tweeting and Facebook updates do comprise elements of my day job. I am the owner of Retroviral Digital Communications. We consult to brands about online communications, and how we recommend they communicate to their target markets, using online media. Social media is just one channel.

The most important thing for brands to realise is that communications needs to support business objectives and not the other way round. We work with advertising / PR / brand agencies to ensure that a brand’s messaging is consistent throughout all media and develop relevant content to increase brand awareness / exposure. It is cheesy, but I love the craziness of what I do!

Running Wolf’s Rant would like to take this opportunity to thank @mikesharman for the  interview. We wish him all of the best with his future ventures and campaigns. Follow @mikesharman on Twitter for some awesome tweets and also check out his blog at http://sharmanandhobbo.co.za/blog/ and the Retroviral website at http://retroviral.co.za/

Watch this space for more Interesting Tweople posts in the Technology category on Running Wolf’s Rant. The previous post in this section featured @musicalmover (from Cape Town).

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