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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24 October

connector360 – Clients & Projects Continue to Grow

connector360, creative agency and sister company to SocialMedia.ie, continue to grow their portfolio with the addition of clients such as Pair Mobile, Flogas, Ridge Consulting and Martino’s Trattoria as well as ongoing work with Eurocycles and Euro Baby, Griffith College and CIS Ireland.

connector360 Case Studies

Pair Mobile - Smartphone covers and accessories: View Study

Allianz GAA – Sponsorship of GAA: View Study

Griffith College Dublin: View Study

Eurotrek Group – Eurocycles & Euro Baby Stores: View Study

Flogas – Natural gas providers in Ireland & the UK: View Study

Visit us at connector360

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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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21 May

Under The Hood – The 6 Key Parts Of Your Digital Marketing Engine

Today we will look at what separates an old, run down marketing strategy from the sleek, supercharged digital engine that drives a clued-in company.  Let’s pop the hood and see what makes souped-up digital marketing tick!

share1. Create Useful and Shareable Content

The web is chock full of companies and brands advertising their wares. Being heard in the digital space with just an advert or sales pitch is a sure fire way of being lost in the ether.  To attract the new and empowered online customer you will need to grab their attention and make them come to you.

How? Create content that is relevant and useful to your customer base.   This will encourage them to return to your site again and again and improve customer perception of your brand.  This can be hugely effective and cost efficient way of increasing leads and sales opportunities.

2. Build Your Community & Fanbase

Now you have a strong and active web presence. To borrow a classic movie quote “If you build it, they will come”?  Not necessarily!  Ensure you get your message heard, if people are sharing your content, find out where and how.  Encourage these behaviours further amongst your customer base. Common examples here are clever uses of polls, questions, contests and competitions.

3. Interact With Your Audience, Build Trust

Social media marketing has allowed mass conversation between companies and consumers.  Brands can now reach out and make real connections with their customers.  Use social media to humanise your brand, start conversations and spark debate.  This will help create enthusiastic customers and in time, brand evangelists.

4. Maintain a Sales Focused Website

Your website is your crown jewel online, the one part of the web where you control every aspect of your brand’s message.  Test your own site from a customer perspective, is the search and purchase process clear and easy to understand?  If customers have to jump through too many hoops to purchase, they will simply leave and never come back.

goingup5. Measure Your Effectiveness

Behold the altar of metrics!  Whatever your digital focus is (increasing fans, engagement, increasing sales leads) ensure that you are tracking the effects your strategy across your various web and social platforms.  Measure before, during and after any campaign, that way you can adjust your behaviour to repeat successes and avoid repeating failures.

6. Re-evaluate Objectives, & Go Again!

Of course, the road goes ever on regarding your brand’s performance.  Whether a campaign has met your goals or not, strive to create an action plan for any peaks and valleys in your performance that you may have noticed along the way.  Learn any lessons, refine your technique and get back into the fray.  Digital never sleeps!

If you’d like to know more about any of the topic discussed above, or how they can affect your business, please drop us a message.

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15 May

Become a Monitoring Master and Generate Leads

Listen to your competitors customers, you might learn something! Getting honest and unsullied opinions from consumers regarding your competitors has never been easier.  In fact, you don’t even need to ask them!  Traditionally, surveys and focus groups have always been useful sources of measurement on customer sentiment. Neither, however, offer the currency and (arguably) the honesty of some discreet social media monitoring.

By now many businesses are using social media monitoring tools.  The most obvious application is what some call ‘Ego monitoring’.  ’Ego monitoring’ is listening for any mentions of your own company online, be it positive or negative. This style of monitoring can be useful, but instead, why not take things up a notch?!

listen-300x300-resized-600Become a Monitoring Master

If you read yesterday’s blog on determining your competitor’s KPI’s, then  you have a perfect framework for zoning in on their strengths and weaknesses. One example we enjoyed reading about was from Harley Manning’s book ‘Outside In’.  Accor Hotels (owners of the Novotel and Sofitel chains) prepare daily reports from head office for their individual managers, these reports contain up to the minute customer sentiment online.  This way they can detect potential problems, branch by branch, and can then act to nip them in the bud before they snowball.

A savvy social media manager would have the same reporting set up, except they’d report on other chains in their market, such as the Radisson Group, Best Western and Marriott Group.  The company can probe for weaknesses in the competition across different territories.  Now armed with this easily sourced, hugely insightful customer data they can base a marketing or ad campaign around highlighting these shortcomings.  Cheeky yet highly effective!  All from gold plated, freely sourced competitor information.

David Vs Goliath – smaller size equals nimble reaction

A 2012 study by Conversocial has shown that a mere 13% of customer complaints delivered to the door of America’s biggest brands (including Footlocker, GAP) are responded to. They receive so many @mentions per week (over 8000 in some cases) that even the largest brands are buckling under the weight of this volume.

At home, with high streets containing empty shop units like missing teeth, independent retailers that are determined to grow could use this to their advantage.  Maintain a laser focus on the big players in town for these type of complaints and service gaps, filtered by geography.  A clever, smaller retailer could jump into the conversation, offer to fill the gap in experience the customer has suffered and hey presto!  You’ve got yourself a lead.

Now, just ensure when they enter your store that you have the means to deliver on any promise you’ve made.  But that’s a project for another day.  One step at a time!

 

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14 May

Enterprise Ireland Start-up to watch: Boss Metrics

Boss Metrics has been named the Start-up to watch in this months (May 2013) Enterprise Ireland Newsletter. See the full article here.

The article talks about CEO Conor Lynch’s previous work with Guinness, Toyota and Vodafone and how the prospect of helping companies navigate the new digital frontier was not something he could ignore.

‘BOSS Metrics is a brand’s best friend when navigating the sometimes choppy and uncharted waters of social media and digital marketing.’

They go on to talk about the Boss Metrics Competitor Analysis reports saying “The jewel in BOSS Metrics crown is possibly its ‘digital espionage function’.”

If you wish to learn more about Boss Metrics please email us at: team@socialmedia.ie

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14 May

In the social media fitness centre, are you fitter or fatter than your competitors?

In the digital age, marketeers have the power to measure their performance more effectively than ever before. Well defined and measured KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are the key to measuring your performance in your own marketplace.  Did you know that you can look at your competitors KPI’s and compare them against your own?   Here are 3 ways you can gauge your social media fitness against the competition using freely available data.

The Basics:  Followers & Visibilitylike

  • Follower/fan count
  • Post/tweet totals
  • Reach/exposure

These are the easiest to find and compare.  They provide a general overview of competitor performance.  But beware!  They can be misleading…  A company could be gung-ho to gain thousands of followers through Facebook ads, but have no meaningful interaction with any of these fans.  That’s why you have to go deeper…

Advanced: Interaction

  • Retweets
  • Shares
  • Replies/comments
  • Mentions
  • Contributors (who is retweeting you, and how many impressions they created)

Now we’re getting somewhere. Social media is about interaction, you need to know how your conversations and content stack up against your competitors. If they are gaining more retweets, shares etc, look into their style of interacting with their audience.  Maybe they are the kings of clever #hashtagging?   They turn everything into a question that simply must be answered?  If there are lessons to learn here,  incorporate their strengths into your own model. Don’t worry, all they can do is shake their fist at you as you make up the lost ground!  If they are trailing in your wake, don’t ease up as there is no finish line in social media…

social-media-analysisExpert:  Content style – Frequency and Source

  • Facebook updates
  • Tweets
  • Blog posts
  • eBooks
  • White Papers
  • Video

Quite simply, look at their content.  Check for times when your competitors channels were most active.  Did this result in spikes in engagement?   Were they posting their own, original content, or mainly links to outside material?  Look at what content worked best with their customers.  This will inform your own social media team on what works best for your particular market.

HOW TO MEASURE UP

As you know, using relevant KPI’s to measure your social media fitness is vitally important.  The real edge though, is using the same criteria to spy on your competition.   This practice, taken regularly, will ensure you don’t fall behind or get into bad habits when dealing with your customer base through social media.

If you’d like to learn more about competitor analysis, then please contact us at team@socialmedia.ie.

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13 May

Interview with CTO Barry O’Sullivan on Dublin City FM’s The Persuaders Marketing Show

Alex Gibson from Dublin City FM’s The Persuaders Marketing Show talks to CTO Barry O’Sullivan about the history of SocialMedia.ie and how Boss Metrics came to be through the NDRC’s Launchpad programme. You can listen to the full interview here from 3.50.

Barry at Dublin City FMBarry tells Alex how he recognised that many applications were being developed with the customer in mind, yet these companies had not conducted sufficient market research or spoken to the customer. This meant that upon release of the product they have been met with ‘a negative  reaction’ from the customers they set out to help.

After listening to customer needs, SocialMedia.ie developed their software and a service model, which adds an extra layer of interpretation in top of traditional analytical platforms. The 3 step process consists of an Audit, Analysis and Action plan. The audit is performed by the software, then the analysis and Action Plan is developed by the team in order for the client to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Barry also talks about the importance of sharing and creating relevant content that must be aligned to overall business goals. Once this content is published across a companies social channels it goes into the ‘Shared content feedback loop of fan generation’. The people who interact with the post will extend the reach of the brand page. However, when analyzing social channels its more important to look at the number of brand advocates you are creating opposed to the overall number of people that follow you.

Barry goes on to give some examples of research which SocialMedia.ie has conducted including an analysis of Ireland’s Banking Sector who have a social presence and who are Ireland’s most social political parties.

 

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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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