31 March

Happy Mother’s day to all mums from connector360!

Our Mums are wonderful and next Sunday will be a special occasion to show them our affection – we hope all our readers have been making their plans to look after their mothers this Sunday!

If not, you still have a few days to buy a gift and even win tickets for a Garth Brooks concert for herby participating to a fantastic competition we helped organised for our new partner EuroGiant!

Click here to enter the competition

Think about your mum, tell us how lovely she is and get people to vote for her!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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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

Teens turning to Snapchat to avoid prying eyes of Facebook

Snapchat has been in the news recently by turning down an offer from Facebook to acquire it for $3 billion, but why? Many of us of have heard of Snapchat but don’t use it, let alone understand it. So why is Facebook prepared to shell out this much cash for such a young start-up?

What we can see is a counter flow movement where teenagers are leaving Facebook basically because of success, with almost 1.2 billion active users the social network has also attracted mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and ceased to be a place of free expression, Facebook has ceased to be a place where teens can call their own. Facebook is no longer the space where the teenage user can be free and share all their dirty little secrets.

Read the full article on connector360.net

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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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30 July

Social Media Screw Ups at Cork Chamber of Commerce

Our CEO Conor Lynch is speaking today in Cork as a guest of the Cork Chamber of Commerce.  It is a great event called Social Media Wake Up Call and Conor looks forward to meeting all his Cork cousins!  He is speaking about Social Media Screw Ups!

 

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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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28 June

How to manage your Facebook Privacy Settings and safeguard your reputation

It is crucial you manage your online reputation if you use Facebook for personal or professional reasons.  Here we share some great advice on how to do this – please share with your friends and look after them too

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More Resources

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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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20 June

Select The Right Digital Channels For Your Next Campaign

For any type of campaign or marketing plan your business has run in the last few years (and certainly in future), digital channels may be playing an increasing role.  They make your audience easier to reach, providing instant delivery and the chance for rapid response.  Any offer or update you deliver digitally also allows easy sharing over social media and possibly best of all, digital marketing channels are so easy to measure.  Digital can now stand shoulder to shoulder with traditional marketing channels in the majority of businesses.

The various types of digital marketing channels all hold different strengths that will make some more important for your own business to focus on.  The mix you select depends on your own goals for your online marketing plan, the type of message you hope to deliver, and of course the audience you hope to reach.  Let’s start with a quick look at some popular uses of different channels.

Digital Channels – The Usual Suspects

Email – For lengthier announcements like new product launches, monthly newsletters, email is often the channel of choice

SMS – Great for bite size offers and updates.  Often includes a prompt or code to redeem on another channel (e.g. purchase online with voucher code).

Website – With the rise of content marketing, a company website often houses important areas like the company blog.  It is now usually the hub for many digital marketing campaigns.

Mobile Apps – Often used by existing customers. GroupOn, Booking.com, eBay are some of the companies keeping customers ‘captive’ while browsing this way.

Social Media: Facebook – Great for awareness based campaigns.  Allows brands to humanise themselves and improve interaction with their audience.  Useful for promoting offers too.

Social Media: Twitter - Useful for building interaction, and for improving customer service satisfaction.  Suited to important announcements, breaking company news and pop-up sales.

Don’t Overload Your Digital Audience

SocialMedia.ie consumer digital overload

As you can see above, some digital marketing channels are more suitable for certain messages than others.  It is important to bear in mind too that many members of your audience may have simultaneous access to several of these channels at once.  The smartphone means that your offer could be received by SMS, email, Facebook and Twitter all at once to the palm of the owner’s hand.  This can reduce the effect of the message you hope to deliver so consider this when planning a campaign across multiple digital channels.

 

The Power Of Measurement

Digital marketing channels offer a reliable, instant and easy to digest measurability that can be key in monitoring performance during and after a campaign.  You can actively monitor digital metrics such as responses and shares, viral reach of your social media posts, click-through rate and many more. We explored metrics such as this in a previous post.  Match what you are measuring to your own marketing goals and all can be useful signposts on the road to a successful multi channel marketing campaign.

Always be testing

It could be seen as conventional wisdom to say that younger consumers, especially ‘digital natives’ are best contacted through digital means.  Will they eagerly share an offer posted via social media, or any digital medium that pops up on their SocialMedia.ie digital metricssmartphone?  Then consider older consumers, do they still prefer the tried and tested ways, loving a letter in their postbox to offer them a discount or bonus?

If you assumed this is the ‘norm’ for these different types of consumer, this may be a good guess, but what about your customers, can you be so sure?  Don’t rest on your laurels and assume you have everyone figured out.  Your own audience will tell you by previous behaviour how they can be tickled with an offer and what digital channels they are happiest to respond by.  Your own findings may even surprise you.  Launch, test, refine, repeat!

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In Summary

Whether your next digital marketing campaign is primed to raise awareness, build customer interaction, increase sales or to generate new leads, you have many marketing channel options to ensure you can deliver your message successfully.  Match your channel mix to your own campaign focus, always be aware of what your customers are telling you by their previous responses.  Don’t be afraid to evolve the process over time.

The next time your business has a new product or offer ready to promote by digital means, delivering it appropriately to your audience is a big step in turning a good campaign into a great one.

 

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06 June

Match Metrics To Your Strategy – A Focus On Facebook

We have looked at the main success factors in great digital marketing last week, so today we’re going to laser in on one of the social media giants: Facebook.

Besides your own website, Facebook is arguably your online shopfront.  With this in mind, using Facebook to build customer satisfaction is key but monitoring your performance is just as vital.

 

Facebook – Made to Measure

Okay, so you have built up a healthy following and you feel you are engaging your fans well.  Regular updates and the odd cat meme?  Excellent, but remember that every aspect of your Facebook interaction with fans can be measured to hone your efforts further.   One point to note however, is to link these metrics with your Facebook strategy.

The basic (and the most popular) metrics to note are fan count, likes & comments.  As these grow, they provide many a marketer with a warm and fuzzy feeling of success!  Simply speaking, a rise here is a positive step but if not allied to your objectives they mean surprisingly little.

Measure Against Your Goals – An Example

A brief example that this humble writer can recount was from time spent working with a local visual arts festival.  One early objective was a campaign for artistic submissions launched worldwide to give the festival an international flavour.   The net was spread wide to forums, Facebook & Twitter communities etc to attract them.  After this big push, the event’s Facebook friend count increased by 400% in three weeks!   Cue the celebrations, until the next phase of marketing began.  This was centered upon promoting ticket sales and attendance, where local fans are the obvious target.   The discovery was sobering – our hyper-inflated friend count revealed that most of these new fans were international, from Asia, South America, even Australia…  None exactly in a position to attend a festival in Dublin!

Ready, Take Aim, Measure

What to take from here is that while basic Facebook metrics often highlight positive trends, they may not be the right ones for your aims.

Looking to spread great content?  – Look for number of shares of your links, or its ‘viral’ spread

Promoting an event? – Measure if fans are primarily in your area, promote posts to local users only

Increasing leads & referrals? – Check Google Analytics, are clicks from Facebook to your website growing?

If you want to use social media to improve your business, you’re in for the long game.  Returns may not be rapid, or easy to pinpoint at first but keep your objectives in mind and stay the course.  Growing your Facebook presence must be a means, not an end.  Whatever your business is looking to achieve, use Facebook to assist these goals and measure to suit.

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