Social media agency Collab Digital are true digital storytellers, offering management, content creation and training nationwide. Here, their Tauranga-based founder tells what they’ve been up to lately.


It’s hard to believe we’re marking Collab Digital’s third birthday in July! It’s been a busy three years in which we’ve grown in leaps and bounds to include five full-time staff and moved into new offices in Tauriko. It’s been quite a trip, and exciting to be at the leading edge of what’s happening, but in some ways, what we do has remained the same – and at our heart what we do is things a bit differently. 

Collab Digital founder Brent Ireland.


In May, I flew to Christchurch for another of our social media events – our 34th and a really great one. It was cool to see such a range of people attending, from CEOs of big companies to work-from-home staff of smaller businesses – it means people are recognising the importance of getting informed advice on their digital strategies. Until recently, way too many people have relied on what they’ve heard on the grapevine but seriously, folks, it’s time to stop guessing or googling for answers on a social media strategy, and time to get real. 

As a Facebook Agency Marketing Partner, we know what works for different clients and it’s really rewarding to see them getting the results they want and cutting through all the background noise that fills the online space. Rather than just hearing someone talk about best practices, ideals and standards, people want to be upskilled in a way that empowers them. Facebook and Instragam specialists, we’ve trained 6000-plus people all over New Zealand on social media, and we’re constantly measuring the performance of what we do and passing that on in our training. 

At the end of these sessions, we see the look on people’s faces. They’re asking themselves why they’ve been left behind on social media until now or ignored its potential because it seemed so confusing, when it now makes so much sense and they see what they can achieve. That’s always pleasing to note and shows us we’re on the right track.


Social media is all about content, but it has to be great content, and a good example of this is the awesome stuff we’ve been doing with The Bastin Group from Tremains. They’d been doing things differently for a while but needed to change tack and sharpen their online presence, so together we’ve come up with a new strategy to carry that forward – and we’re pretty confident no one else is doing anything like it. 

Instead of just doing property walk-throughs, we’ve taken inspiration from the best of the best in the Aussie property market and produced some content for Bastin that looks fantastic. Because we know what content needs to look like, we made sure these clips look great and have an engaging style, but are also sharp and to the point. In the first month we had more than 100,000 views from the Bay alone, so it seems to be working! 


There’s been a lot of talk about Facebook in recent months, but it remains a very important platform for most businesses and also allows them to really push the boundaries and try new things. An excellent example of this is the nationwide campaign we’ve been working on for Alison’s Pantry, a brand that has been around for ages and can be found in your local New World and Pak’nSave. 

Alison’s Pantry have traditionally done in-store promos, but have come up with something fresh to promote their range of nuts, dried fruit, snacks and treats. With Facebook now prioritising groups, we wanted to create a challenge-based campaign that would really get people involved, instead of just adding to the endless stream of info we all scroll through each day. The result was the Eat More Plants campaign, with top celebrity foodies getting on board and stuck into weekly cooking challenges. This campaign isn’t just creating a Facebook group, it’s creating a community and starting a conversation, which is cool for the company and for the consumer. 


Delivering campaigns differently is what Collab Digital is becoming known for – and it’s what we love. Last year, we helped get the word out about the Bay of Plenty Wedding Show, which was the first time they’d done some proper promotion on social media. This year, we worked with their 100-plus exhibitors to take it to a whole new level. 

The Wedding Show team consider it one of the best in the country, so it’s a fantastic place to showcase a company, but to do that, once again, you need great content – you have to get it right. It was a blast working with so many people on the Wedding Show. Just like the Alison’s Pantry campaign, the show’s strategy is about promotion and also building a community – and what better occasion to build one around than getting hitched in the beautiful Bay.