07 July

5 tips for running a successful blog

Business blogs are always started with the best intentions, but somewhere along the way, the posts become scarce and eventually dry up altogether.

The Daily Business Post asked Conor Lynch, CEO of SocialMedia.ie for his tips to create a great business blog that will attract readers and turned them into customers.

1. Choose a simple, responsive theme

Creating a business blog, you should bear in mind that not everyone will be looking at it from their laptop or PC — which means you’ll need to choose a theme that is digitally responsive and displays perfectly on mobile, tablets, laptops and desktops, Lynch said.

“Design is one of the most important factors for your blog. It has to have a user-friendly navigation and be visually appealing,” he said.

Your main goal is to communicate with potential customers — so keep it simple, accessible, interactive and shareable.

2. Integrate your blog with social media

It’s absolutely crucial to connect your blog with your main social network pages, Lynch said. You can do this easily using plugins or widgets which you can set up to post to your pages automatically as soon as a new post is published, minimising the amount of time you need to spend on sharing across platforms.

“Your blog should be the hub and engine room of your social media activities,” Lynch said. “It’s where you should upload and manage your content before sharing it on social networks.”

Writing good content is just the first step — unless you promote it to your readers across a wide range of platforms, there’s no point.

Once you’ve shared on all the relevant platforms, try to engage your readers in conversation.

“Encourage readers to leave a comment or to start a discussion and ask questions. Readers love to show off their knowledge too,” he said.

3. Create shareable content

Blog readers love quick, insightful posts that teach them something they didn’t know — but aside from the content, your posts will need a catchy title or your readers will be less likely to share them.

Lynch advises to write titles the way you would write a tweet. An added bonus is that when posting across to social media, you won’t need to waste time making the titles more Twitter or Facebook friendly.

Additionally, use a relevant image in the posts so they don’t look like big long tracts of boring text.

“Blogging is not just about text; you should incorporate video, photo or audio content into your blog posts. Choose the format that works for you and which will have the biggest impact on your audience. Your blogging strategy can include multi-format content,” Lynch said.

“If your blog shows your business as offering intelligent and informative blog posts, readers are more likely to hang around to check out your products and services”.

4. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation

A well-organised and optimised business blog will be a valuable source of extra traffic to your website, Lynch said. People who never otherwise would have landed on your page will find themselves there to read your content.

Make sure you tag your posts properly with relevant keywords and categories. It will help readers and search engines find your content more easily.

5. Attracting readers

If your blog shows your business as offering intelligent and informative blog posts, readers are more likely to hang around to check out your products and services.

It is not a good idea to just write a blog post without spending some time finding readers by promoting your posts on social networks. If you are a B2B business, it is advised to share your blog post in relevant LinkedIn groups of people interested in the subject area.

Building a community of readers is something you should strive for so connect with readers on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.  It is hoped that they will see your next blog post in their newsfeeds and come back for more of your great stories!

Do you want some help with your business blogging? Contact us or follow us on Twitter

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12 May

2014 Social Media Awards – Sony Mobile campaign nomination

As featured on connector360, our little sister website. We are delighted to have been shortlisted for an experimental marketing award at the 2014 Social Media Awards.

Our work with Instagram for Sony Mobile at the St. Patrick’s Day festival will hopefully will pick up an award in June!

Awards sony

Please see all nominations on Social Media Awards

For more stories follow us on @connector360

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03 May

#SocialMedia #Political #Revolution – The Public Sector Magazine [Article]

The Public Sector Magazine, April 2013

Social media is the media of the people and successful politics is of the people too. In this article Conor Lynch, CEO, at SocialMedia.ie, aims to show you the reason why successful political organisations are embracing social media and shares some of their secrets.

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30 April

Digital Marketing Review – Irish Newspapers Market Sector by NUI Maynooth students

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A competitor analysis of the Newspaper Industry was conducted. The five newspapers considered were; The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, The Examiner, The Irish Sun, and The Daily Star.

The market background and the individual profile of each paper were taken into account. The papers were examined through a website review, a social media review and a mobile review. Sites like Facebook and Twitter were used to evaluate for the social media review. The mobile apps were critiqued and also a site called howtogomo.com was used for the mobile review.

We also employed BOSSmetrics.com, an analytical tool, to assess the newspapers use of social media. We found out information like which one has the most followers, at what time of day they publish their posts on Facebook, what kind of content achieves the most likes, etc.

Following the information discovered we promoted our findings through; WordPress, Slideshare, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

We will monitor the responses to our postings to see if our findings comply with the public perception. As an example of some of the work we’ve been doing, see below for a Youtube video about the topic and a presentation from Slideshare.

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19 April

Should social media be handled by a young tech-savvy intern? [Article]

Irish Independent, 11th April 2013

In the on-going debate about hiring an intern to handle your social media presence, a panel of social media and digital marketing experts, including our very own Conor Lynch, CEO, at SocialMedia.ie, spoke with Katie Roche, of the Irish Independent about the pitfalls, benefits and options available when it comes to managing a company’s online presence.

Conor highlights the necessity to have a digital marketing strategy that ties to a business strategy with careful controls in place. He also promotes a working environment where “digital native” juniors can bring their senior colleagues up-to-speed with regard to the latest online tactics or trends.

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12 February

Social Media Advertising Options on Facebook

Welcome back for part 2 in our series on advertising your business through social media. This week I’ll be looking at Facebook and showing you why it’s such a good option for your organisation.

Facebook

Facebook Ad

Ads appear on the right-hand side of your Facebook profile and newsfeed. They take the form of ads from the specific company and require no social interaction. It’s very simple and can be used to transport the user to your organisation’s website or even your Facebook business page. This can easily be initiated from: https://www.facebook.com/advertising

When promoting your Facebook page, you’re able to select where the user wll end up when they click on your ad. To get the most Likes, sending them to your timeline is usually the best option; there they can see the summary of your organisation and easily Like your page. On the other hand, if you want to promote another part of your page, you can easily send them to another area of your page. Be careful to make sure the user knows where they are going before clicking on the ad; it might be considered annoying and unwanted otherwise. If people expect one thing in the ad, and land on a page unrelated to what they saw in the ad, they’re much less likely to remain on the page and engage with your content.

Sponsored Story

These work as  a result of someone interacting with your ad and what you are promoting. Usually they appear as “John Doe Likes your organisation”. Sponsored stories can be beneficial because they appear on all this user’s friends’ newsfeeds; bringing awareness of your brand to there conscious, that they might not have been the case otherwise. Many companies track higher clickthrough rates from this medium than other types of Facebook advertising; just goes to show the power people have on influencing others, even through social media.

Promoted Posts

Another nifty tool the wonderful people of Facebook have created is promoted posts. These allow you to promote a post that already exists on your page. The idea is raise awareness or draw attention to specific offers or announcements on your organisation’s Facebook page. You can promote any post that has already been posted to your page (you just might need to look back a bit if it’s an old one).

Please note: when you’re posting something to your page with the intention of promoting it in the future, you cannot change the copy of the ad generated. All this means is that the first line of your ad will be the promoted part; so keep it exciting and eye-catching so that it engages with your target audience. A lot of companies use this method of advertising to draw attention to some piece of corporate social responsibility work they took part in or to advertise their latest deals.

Sponsored App

If your business has an app on Facebook, you can sponsor that app to get new users or increase it’s engagement with other users. When you click on the app settings, it will offer you the option to ‘Get New Users’. Here Facebook will generate an ad for you app and you can edit it to reflect the app’s benefits, before it goes out to new users. If you select the ‘Increase App Engagement’ option, your ad will be shown to current app users to increase their engagement with the app. It’s a simple way of promoting the app aspect of your company’s Facebook page.

Event Sponsorship

Ever wanted to increase the attendance of one of your company’s social functions to the public? Event sponsorship is a very handy tool to do just that! Here Facebook creates an ad and shows it to people who are likely to attend your event. This has been proven to increase attendance rates at certain public events organised by organisations. A lot of people need to be reminded that upcoming events are there and available for them to attend. A little ad here and there can plant the seeds in their mind and chances are they’ll bring a friend!

Targeting & Optimization

I’d like to finish off by talking a little bit about targeting and optimization of ads on Facebook; I mean what’s the point in creating the message if it’s not effective and reaching the people you want it to reach, you know? So here are some targeting and optimization tips:

  1. Facebook allows you to target by location country (and sometimes city), as well as by gender. So keep this in mind when targeting a specific market for your ads.
  2. You can also target by interest! Simply pick the applicable interests to your ad and away it goes. Facebook can manage this because they track the interests people have stated they have, as well as following the pages people Like.
  3. Facebook know how many people are attached to each interest, location, or gender so you can check if your targeted area is too small and whether or not you should expand your niche.
  4. Facebook have also released Sponsored Results which allows marketers to sponsor their results in the search bar on Facebook. This means that when people search for something related to your sponsored result, your page, app, or event will appear in the search bar.

To get some help with your Facebook advertising, please contact us.

Felix McCabe (LinkedIn)

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14 January

Social Media Advertising Options on Twitter

Advertising your organisation has always been essential in business. Through the various social media outlets this can achieved and managed very easily and with little effect to your bottom line. Over the next few weeks I will be exploring the various methods available to you and your business; looking into the finer details and explaining the nitty gritty bits. This week we’ll be starting with Twitter, so let’s dive right in.

Twitter

- Direct Advertising
(1) Twitter Promoted Tweets
These are tweets, paid for by advertisers, that appear at the top of twitter search results or members’ timelines when he/she logs in. They look like regular tweets with a “Promoted” label and are relatively unobtrusive. They have the advantage of  reaching consumers who might not necessarily follow the brand being promoted. Promoted Tweets are quite cost effective as they operate on a cost per engagement (CPE) basis. This means that the advertiser doesn’t pay unless someone replies, retweets, favourites, or clicks on it.

(2) Twitter Promoted Trends
These are trending topic links that appear on the Twitter home page and reflect what Twitter considers to be the most popular, real-time conversations on Twitter. Advertisers pay a flat fee to promote their brands. When people click on a Promoted Trend link, they see a Twitter search results page listing all the tweets related to that topic. A highly relevant tweet from the advertiser, with the “Promoted” label, appears at the top of the search results page.

(3) Twitter Promoted Accounts
Similar to the “Promoted” tweets and trends, Twitter Promoted Accounts are specific Twitter account links that appear at the top of profile search results pages and at the top of the “Who to follow” section on Twitter. They cost a flat fee, include a “Promoted” label, and can be targeted by country. When people click on a Promoted Account link, they are taken to Twitter profile for that account and can decide whether or not they want to follow the brand.

- Third-Party Network Advertising
There are a quite a few advertising networks that enable companies to pay Twitter members to publish tweets on behalf of a brand. You can find just about any celebrity (like Kim Kardashian) to publish a tweet for your brand through a third-party advertising network. The most popular ones include Sponsored Tweets and TwtMob. This method allows some ease as someone else handles all of the logistics, payments, and so on. There are specific disclosure policies that publishers must comply with in order to stay out of trouble with Twitter and the law; so make sure to pay attention to these.

- Publisher Direct Advertising
Brands can approach individuals who have significant influence on Twitter and offer to pay them for publishing sponsored tweets. Advertisers can reach out to the publishers who already have the trust of their target audiences. Brands use direct advertising to raise awareness, drive specific actions, and attract new customers. Brands can negotiate price, timing, and messaging with individual tweeters and tailor tweets to the appropriate audiences.

To get some help with your social media policy, please contact us.

Felix McCabe (LinkedIn)

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19 December

SocialMedia.ie Labs – Re-mixing marketing, media and technology!

social media labs

SocialMedia.ie Labs were designed to help co-create innovative digital marketing campaigns with our clients.  Our goal is to create world class digital & social media campaigns for our clients in 2013.

We bring a team of marketers, developers and creatives together to work on new ideas with your marketing team.  We will come up with stories about your brand and dream up the perfect mix of technology and media to get the word out there for you.

Organisations with great strategies and campaigns are gaining considerable competitive advantage as more and more of our lives are happening online. Our collaborative approach is hugely beneficial and in these labs real campaign ideas are conceived and planned out for our clients to implement.

SocialMedia.ie Labs can be booked by an organisation, be it commercial, educational or purely recreational!  From the team behind Connector Events, you can be sure this will be a valuable experience on many levels.

OTHER SOCIALMEDIA.IE LABS

-          Campaign Lab – Campaigns co-created by a team of marketing and technology specialists

-          App Lab – Create really useful applications using Facebook Apps, Web Apps & Mobile Apps

-          Digital Video Lab – Bring your stories to life with our video planning, creation and promotion

-          WordPress Lab – We help you build great web sites and blogs to power your social media

To find out more about SocialMedia.ie Labs, please call +353 1 906 0006 or email team [@]socialmedia.ie

 

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17 December

How Social Media influences Film and Entertainment industry

Social media has transformed how people and businesses communicate. With billions of pieces of content being added to the world wide web every year it can be very difficult for people to identify what is relevant and interesting to them. In this article I am emphasizing the potentially huge role of social media in the entertainment industry, specifically cinema.

The first article I was looking at has been written by Mark Banham, who approached the subject of social media and cinema by talking to leading players in cinema about how brands and their agencies raise up to the potential of social media. As we all know, the format of movie advertising is slowly changing, and distributors like Warner Bros reach their audience via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, where they freely advertise and promote their movies. For example, the “Likes” recorded on the Harry Potter page reached up to 29 million during the run up to unveiling of the last film in the series. In the week before the July premiere the Harry Potter Facebook page gained nearly 100,000 Facebook friends per day. Unfortunately,many advertisers have been missing out on great opportunities created by crowdsourcing tools, what has created an emerging gap between social media and film releases.

Charlie Yeates, associate director at MediaCom and head of cinema said:

“To try and get people to talk about your brands in association with films [through social networking] … I’ve hardly seen anyone do it, but the amount of people in social networks talking about films is absolutely massive. … It’s very difficult for outside brands to get in on these conversations like they would normally on Facebook and Twitter, without a doubt”.

How then social media impacts on TV and Film ratings?

Kay M. Madati, head of entertainment and media and global marketing solutions at Facebook, discussed this and the effect of social media on entertainment at Mashable’s Media Summit. She told Mashable reporter Zoe Fox that social media is critical for content producers to tap into the power of friends and the influence they have on each other, for example via Facebook which allows people to share their thoughts on a new piece of entertainment. In addition to word of mouth, social media is conducive to innovative, eye-catching campaigns that keep viewers interested through the show’s airing. For example;  Madati said that Argo have maintained the audience base over the past few weeks, due to the word of mouth  drawing people to it week by week through social media.

Contrasting with usage of social networks by film brands, I would like to talk about Social Media Film Festival, which this year took place in Mirage hotel in Las Vegas. The Social Media Film Festival is an international film festival with films about social media, social change and technology.  The Social Media Film Festival envisions thought-provoking smaller budget films, show  how we use technology to communicate.  As technology is ever-changing, artists, filmmakers and individuals connect with each other in business and their personal lives via social media.

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So what is the future for social media influence in film industry? According to social media guru Brian Solis, Social media is more than a digital water cooler for TV and movies, where via global conversation people share their experiences, what teaches us about consumer preferences. More importantly, their activity influences behaviour, which in marketing counts for everything. The Hollywood Reporter recently published an exclusive poll about social media led by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland. According to the study, 88% of respondents view social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook as a new form of entertainment. The report found that 79% of connected television viewers visit Facebook while watching TV. Additionally, 83% surf the web while viewing TV and 41% tweet about the show they’re watching.

Digital Influence proves that it can change behaviour. For example,  those who Tweet about movies actually influence the behavior of those who follow them; viewers have become participants in real-time experiences; many are also becoming critics by simply sharing their thoughts online. The study found that 72% of respondents post about movies on social networks after watching a film. The study found that even through social networking is playing a significant role in movie watching and shared experiences, traditional marketing is still king in how consumers make movie going decisions.

Looking at some examples in the above case study, we could observe that the role of social media is growing in everyday lives, but it seems to be still emerging to industries like film and entertainment. Thankfully, due to the high volume of market and social usage, businesses are starting to realise the potential role social media can play or even should play in their marketing strategies. Promotion via social media is inevitable, and even though it seems that word-of-mouth is the best way of advertising and raising awareness, it is important that the entertainment sector really joins the conversation and shares their stories on social media via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.

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27 November

Social Media Tribes – Sunday Business Post Article No.9

Check out the Sunday Business Post today for our second last article in our series of 10 articles. Read about Tribes / online communities today.

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