15 September

Leveraging Social Media for Jobseekers

We all know how difficult it is to find a job and in the current climate it’s even more challenging. It’s easy to get disenchanted with the whole process and get distracted by social media. But did you know that these days, social media might be one of the keys to getting your next job? 

In this case study, we’ll show you how you can leverage social media to your advantage, helping you stand out from the crowd.

Read on to learn the tips and tricks to improve your social media network. (more…)

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10 December

Digital Donations #12Days of Christmas App

Christmas is fast approaching and our elves have been busy in the workshop creating something extra special for this year’s holiday season. We have created an app to harness the power of social media that will enable 12 Irish charities to spread their messages further and faster this Christmas.

We are inviting you to help lead the movement for a really important campaign. Christmas is a time of joy and happiness, or so says all of the advertisements that started in October (yikes), but let’s not forget that Christmas can also be a hard time for so many and we want to give a helping hand. Will you join us?

We are starting a digital donations campaign urging the online community to give a helping hand this Christmas. We are asking Facebook and Twitter users to donate their online influence to help spread the important messages of various Irish charities over the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

Coming together as a community is more important the ever at this time of year and we want to encourage the gift of giving through a simple Facebook post or Tweet. We have created an app that posts a different charity’s message each day to your Facebook or Twitter feed for the 12 days running up to Christmas. By banding together through our social networks we can ensure that important messages from charities are heard and spread quickly throughout the online community, encouraging others to reach out and show a bit of Christmas spirit this holiday season.

So how can you help us? With your influence of course! We are encouraging you to sign up and join the cause. It’s the time of year for sharing and caring and we want to get as many people as possible to donate their online space through using the app and helping those in need the Christmas.

Charities we are supporting are all worthy of support and are the Irish Youth Foundation, Irish Cancer Society, UNICEF, Goal, Barnardos, Jack & Jill Foundation, WALK, ARC Cancer Support Centre, Gay Switchboard, Irish Kidney Association, PAWS & Console.

Please support the #12days Digital Donation Campaign here

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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08 November

Engaging Nonprofit Volunteers through Social Media

Volunteer Ireland are hosting the National Volunteer Management Conference today so naturally our interest spiked when they asked a member of our team to give a workshop on engaging volunteers through social media. We jumped at the chance, as here at connector360 we have a special place in our heart for nonprofit organizations and the great work they do.

Our whiz kid project manager Sarah was chosen for the task due to her background working with The Irish Cancer Society. She got the head down and immersed herself in research on how nonprofits use social channels successfully. What did she find? They are pretty darn good at it!

She packaged up her findings into a lovely presentation which you can find on Slideshare below:

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Some of the major insights she uncovered was the volunteers today are young, they’re generous and they are your online influencers. They share, share and keep on sharing the good work of the organizations they are involved with.
So, connector360 is sending a call out to all young people out there to get involved with a charity that is close to their heart. There’s no comparison to how rewarding the work is but more importantly you are helping others.

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31 July

The Social Media Screw-Ups Collection

 

Social media can prove an evil mistress at times. More of a frenemy then a best pal. One minute you are reaping the rewards of the online movement, the next you’ve got every damage control procedure underway. A simple term-of-phase or accidentally using your business account instead of your personal one can backfire causing a serious negative impact on your business.

You can find yesterdays presentation from the Cork Chamber of Commerce  below which outlines some of the ultimate ‘oopsies’ that have occurred through businesses using their social media channels. Enjoy!

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Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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19 July

Longitude Festival – The Social Media Battle of the Bands!

MCD’s Longitude Festival throws open its gates today for three days of music and fun with some of the world’s top acts performing.  The music, the weather, the people, the whole weekend is made for sharing!  Social media will be in overdrive with discussion, opinion, pictures and videos of fan’s experiences.

The common thread to most of this sharing will be the bands.  We have drawn up battle lines and pitted the acts performing against each other by their popularity and fan engagement through social media.  We have created this infographic to highlight the social media superstars that will have their fans tweeting and sharing their experiences well into the night and beyond!

Feel free to share your experiences with our team too, you can tweet any stories or pictures to us @socialmedia_ie  or post to our Facebook wall.

We’ll see you in the front row, enjoy #Longitudefest!

SocialMedia - Infographic - Longitude Battle of Bands

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27 June

Instagram Video battles with Twitter Vine – which is best for marketers?

Instagram Video launched on June 20th to much fanfare and media attention.  Now the dust has begun to settle, we ask how has it been received and look at the inevitable Vine comparisons.   Also, what value can it create for marketers in future?

Instagram Video – The Vital Statistics

Instagram Video arrived with a strong array of user functions.  It promised 15 second clips, easily created via any IOS or Android device.  Instagram maestros were delighted to hear that it contains 13 filters, which is arguably the killer app for their existing photo platform.  To place a cherry on top, the on board stabilisation technology ‘Cinema’ is truly impressive function within a free product.

Instagram users can now create quality video and have it online within minutes.  Great news for everyone, from the #catstagram documenters of everything furry and feline, to brands and businesses looking for an easy to use, cheap way of creating visual content and sharing with their audience.  With millions of existing subscribers ready to use this new addition, has Instagram Video changed the game?

Instagram Video vs Vine

Not only are these two video apps vying for your attention, but they are steered by the two social media behemoths – Facebook own Instagram while Twitter are behind Vine.  Vine has a six month head start and now has over 13 million users. Instagram has over 100 million users who (with a simple app update) instantly have video at their fingertips.

The debate over which platform may triumph is mainly centered around the functionality of both and the 6 seconds of Vine content versus the 15 seconds Instagram offers in particular.  Getting your message or story across in these small times is a challenge, but this allows creatives types to get creative!  TechCrunch asked a professional photographer and Viner (who builds Vine content for some of America’s biggest brands) to shoot the same content via both platforms and then polled her followers over which offered the best aesthetic results.  The verdict?   Vine has the edge…  An interesting early blow in this clash of the titans.

Interestingly, just prior to the Instagram video launch, on June 8th, Topsy Analytics noted that the amount of Vine shares via Twitter for that 24 hour period surpassed Instagram for the first time ever, with 2.37 million Vine links to Instagram’s 2.17 million.  We now know that Instagram were biding their time until their video launch but Vine’s growing presence means they will not be going anywhere soon.

Instagram Video For Digital Campaigns

Instagram Video has great applications for business – from the biggest brands to small and medium enterprises too.  You can move from a campaign concept to launch in mere hours, and share your video online with your followers and fans to build social engagement (and maybe even virality if you are lucky!).  Without needing big marketing budgets or specialist expertise to create, shoot, edit and share a visual idea, both Instagram Video and Vine bring content creation into the hands of businesses of any size.  We expect to see more instances of visually creative and quirky story-telling, behind the scenes footage, ‘how-to’ guides and even customer created video content appearing on brand’s social media feeds soon.

The Early Adopters – Brands Taking the Instagram Lead

Burberry Instagram Video

Already there are many big brands active and experimenting with the new platform.  Jamie Oliver (a brand unto himself) announced the launch of his new restaurant via Instagram Video, while Starbucks show you around their first ever cafe (opened in 1912).  Many of the early adopter brands and businesses using Instagram Video are doing so to give a ‘behind the scenes’ view of their business.  This humanises brands and in Starbucks case especially so, they show that even the biggest corporations had humble beginnings.

Other brands have already released slickly edited and gorgeously shot ‘advert’ style content, none more impressive than Burberry.  Just click the image to the left to take a look.  This example is but an early indicator of the stylistic promise that this medium holds in future.

National Geographic Instagram Video

 

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We leave you with the finest examples of Instagram Video so far that we have given a well deserved standing ovation to – Burberry’s slick statement of intent, and then National Geographic’s quirky, fun, made for social sharing approach that we are sure will become a popular use of this medium in future.  Click on the photo to the right to view (Instagram have not allowed off-site embedding for their video, not yet at least).

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If your business would like assistance and guidance in creating and using video as part of a great digital campaign, we would love to offer our advice.  You can get in touch with us at team@socialmedia.ie.

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24 April

The Death of HMV – Why social media killed the music store

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There are many reasons why a business can fail but the majority of them are due to a failure to change the business to changing consumer needs.

It’s affects can be seen in businesses of any size, be it a startup or a large corporation, like HMV or Kodak, that just failed to innovate and change with their consumers. These failures could have been avoided had they been prepared to capture and act on the market intelligence.

The Death of HMV - Why social media killed the music store

HMV is an organisation that chose to ignore the disruptors. Despite their huge customer base and access to a treasure trove of content, they failed to innovate and accept that their product range was ideal for online distribution and marketing via social media and digital channels.  They were destroyed by changing consumer behaviours and the emergence of many new music players like iTunes, Spotifty and Last FM.

kodak-logoThe Death of Kodak – Gone in a flash

A series of bad decisions sealed the fate of Kodak. Despite knowing that change was coming down the line they failed to respond. While their competitors were grappling with disruptive technologies, they chose to ignore them, despite being the ones who had developed the technology in the first place. From a company who had coined the phrase ‘Kodak moments’ they had indeed missed theirs. The irony of Kodak’s sorry tale was the fact that the company’s initial success had come about as a result of their founder George Eastman’s ability to respond and innovate. He had the foresight to move away from the company’s core product and take a short-term hit for the long-term gain.

The evolution of Toyota – From strength to strength

Fortunately for the business world not every organisation chooses to take this ‘head in sand’ approach. Toyota, for example, ensured their continued success by listening and responding to the demand for products that were kinder to the environment and the US Government’s call for better fuel efficiency. In the face of breakthrough technology they were prepared to make the switch from one culture to another. 

engagement-smListen to your target market – Adapt and survive

Reinvention and diversity came too late for companies such as Kodak and HMV. Their inability to be flexible and respond to change ensured that they were overtaken by the march of technology. The good news for organisations who have taken their businesses online is that this doesn’t have to be the outcome. The real strength of social media channels and digital marketing lies in it’s data and our ability to monitor & measure everything happening online.

By gathering and analysing global data from blogs, social media channels and websites you are able to:

  • identify areas for improvement
  • devise appropriate strategies based on your findings
  • gives us an insight into the needs and problems of your customers
  • anticipate a shift in the market and respond accordingly in a timely fashion
  • make better business decisions based on data, not intuition

In addition to this, by examining your metrics we can determine the level of awareness, influence and engagement your brand is having on the target market. By utilising free and paid tools such as Google Alerts and Social Mention we can manage your brand in realtime.

If you would like some help to understand what your target consumers are talking about and how you can listen and act fast, we are happy to help you. Contact team@socialmedia.ie today to discuss how we can help you avoid the same fate as HMV.

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23 April

Irish Political Parties – Social Media Analysis #BOTB

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Continuing our SocialMedia.ie ‘Battle of the Brands’ social media analysis series, this week we’re looking at the Irish Political Parties. We’ve analysed their data and their communication styles, seeing if we could spot trends, patterns or differences. Have a read below to see what our data analysts found out.

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What we discovered

  • Fine Gael and Labour use Facebook as a promotional tool for the party, often posting press material relating to the party and Ireland’s economy
  • Fine Gael and Labour often get negative comments on posts, which they ignore
  • Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein use Facebook to comment negatively on the current state of the country/government
  • Sinn Fein is the clear winner in terms of engagement
  • Sinn Fein is the only party to mention the death of Margaret Thatcher, which strikes a chord with their fans

Key Insights

A lot of people are unhappy with the current political and economic situation in Ireland. They know we’re in trouble and they are wondering what our leaders are doing about it. This is further reinforced by the media, with the news and newspapers frequently telling us about all the problems that the country currently faces.

This is why the least effective accounts are those that project a positive image. Their posts are always positive, which followers seem to view this as misleading, causing annoyance and negative comments. Conversely, people react positively to the accounts that criticize the current government. Both Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail use Facebook to complain about the current state of the country, which seems to resonate strongly with their fans. Fans feel like they are being told the truth, or at least part of it.

Of all the parties, only Sinn Fein is actively talking about the death of Margaret Thatcher. Her death strikes a chord with their members, leading to a significant increase in their fans. Sinn Fein are the clear winners on Facebook, consistently posting engaging content. They frequently post images and videos, with very few  plain text status updates. Other parties could learn from this.

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What we discovered

  • Parties are consistent in their tweeting, with regular tweets put out every day.
  • Fine Gael and Labour use Twitter the exact same way as they do Facebook, all their messages are positive
  • Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein tweet about problems and issues with the current state of the country/government
  • Limited engagement with followers, Twitter is used as an information source, not an engagement tool
  • Limited use of Hashtags across all parties 
  • Margaret Thatcher’s death is a hot button at the moment, Sinn Fein are using it effectively to drive engagement

Key Insights

Irish political parties use Twitter and Facebook in the exact same way. They have clear messaging strategies which they broadcast across both channels.

There is a clear pattern emerging. If the party is in power, they will post mainly positive material. We believe this is  because they want to project a positive image and don’t want to say anything that could paint them in a bad light. Those not in power will post mostly negative material which  comments on how those in power are doing a terrible job. They will occasionally tweet positive content about themselves. This is used to reinforce the idea that the current government is incompetent, while they are competent and would do a better job.

Yet again, Sinn Fein wins hands down. They have the most followers, they have the most retweeted content and they are the most consistent in their tweeting.

More to come soon!

That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll be looking at cosmetics sector in Ireland, looking at who’s doing the best and who needs some work.

If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on the latest Digital Marketing news, tips and trends, then signup for our newsletter here!

 

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08 April

Irish Bank Sector – Social Media Analysis #BOTB

Continuing our ‘Battle of the Brands’ social media analysis, this week we’re looking at the Irish Bank Sector.

We’ve compared the biggest Irish banks across Facebook and Twitter. We then analysed their data and highlighted some interesting insights, have a look below to see what we found.

Facebook Analysis

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What we discovered

  • Only 2 banks are actually on Facebook, RaboDirect and Bank Of Ireland while AIB have a GAA site
  • BOI posts about sponsored popular culture like Leinster Rugby & Dragons’ Den
  • Rabo posts financial tips & advice, which engages fans and helps build trust
  • Posting is often inconsistent, a week will frequently pass without content

Key Insight

For banks, Facebook is an effective channel for creating a human connection with customers.

RaboDirect is very adept at creating that connection. Their posts are engaging  and helpful to their members. They don’t push promotions or products, instead they educate their fans in the area of finance, offering tips and tricks. This helps to build trust with their fans.

Bank of Ireland uses Facebook to promote what they do, trying to engage with fans via sponsored popular culture. While this is good for brand awareness,  perhaps fans will view them as a source of popular culture, not as a trusted financial institution?

Twitter Analysis

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What we discovered

  • The most retweeted message was from Ulster Bank, regarding their technical problems
  • Twitter accounts are mostly used to field complaints and questions
  • Most successful accounts educate with news and advice (RaboDirect, Danske Bank)
  • Least successful accounts only tweet when things go wrong (Ulster Bank)

Key Insight

Twitter makes a great channel for educating or talking. Most banks use their Twitter account as a customer service desk, ie. talking. However, a lot of customer tweets sent to the banks are complaints.

Ulster Bank is currently receiving the most complaints due to their recent technical problems. Our sample indicates that there is a lot of negative sentiment around the brand on Twitter. Followers are annoyed that the service was down, but they are more annoyed that Ulster Bank is not giving them any information on what’s happening, why it’s happening and/or when it will be fixed.

It appears that banks are treating Twitter like a public announcement desk. They keep their messages clean, cold and lacking in information, the same kind of messages they give to newspapers and reporters. They aren’t engaging in the group conversation which is what Twitter does best. In essence, they don’t seem to “get” Twitter or are nervous about being too open to customer complaints on Twitter.

The exceptions to this are RaboDirect and Danske Bank. They use Twitter to educate and their content is frequently redistributed, leading to a high engagement rate. Other banks could learn a lot from these these two banks use of Twitter.

More to come soon!

That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll be looking at Irish politics, looking at who’s doing the best and who needs some work.

If you’re interested in learning more about market analysis, or you’d like a analysis performed for your sector, click here to contact us.

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22 February

The Rise of Digital Video and Moving Pictures

kony_2012_In 2012, a short documentary about an African Warlord made history by becoming the fastest spreading online video. The phenomena broke records by reaching more people its first week of release than the highest rated TV series. Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, the African Guerilla movement using child soldiers, became the most talked about villain in America.

Amazingly all this was made known by a small charity who posted a 30′ minute video on YouTube. Almost immediately ‘Kony 2012′ went viral gaining attention from icons such as Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey. Kony 2012 had sparked the rise of Online video and is one of the compelling reasons why we need to embrace this medium.

Approximately 44% of Irish Companies are using YouTube in their digital strategy and with a staggering 800 million visitors worldwide, online video has the potential to be priceless. Video share your content by engaging the senses and emotions of the viewer. Plus it has minimal investment, which is always attractive. Videos can be shared across all social networks, communicating complex messages and enhancing your engagement with a wide audience.

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According to Brightcove, B2B companies experienced a 36% annual sales increase after using Video. With 183 million Americans watching 37 billion Online videos in September 2012 alone, what’s keeping you?

There are many ways of creating that perfect video, whatever your budget. Screen Capture is a cost effective method of putting your content on YouTube. Free tools like screenr.com allow you to talk your way through a presentation as if to a roomful of people. What you show on your desktop becomes your video content and your voice narrates.

For higher budgets working with production companies can produce some pretty impressive results. Animation can show your target audience exactly what you do, illustrating old and new methods, ending with a clear call to action. Video testimonials are a growing trend, filming customers opinions about your product or service. Testimonials are a reassuring push for potential clients.

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If you’re interested in video and would like some expert advice, or even want a video made, please Contact Us.

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