26 May

Experimental ideas – The future of Retail

As featured on connector360, our little sister website, we will now bring you a collection of innovative ideas from retail industry.

To receive our full list of retail case studies, please email team@socialmedia.ie

1.  Avenue Imperial created a digital retail experience which makes you feel like you are shopping in a store while you are browsing on your computer.

2. Technology helps to improve customer service in many ways – the interaction between iBeacon and Google Glass could be the future of retail and may change customer shopping experience forever.

3. Thanks to this Pizza Hut digital table you will be able to create your personal pizza like a real chef!  You will never be bored while waiting for your meal again.

4. Are you confused when buying clothes as there is so much choice? C&A helps solve this problem with its Facebook “Likes” campaign.

For more stories like this, please follow us on Twitter @socialmedia_ie

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20 May

iBeacon revolutionises the fashion retail world

iBeacon is a new technology created by Apple that is intended to replace the old Near Field Communication (NFC) system. NFC is used to exchange data between two mobile devices without contact. NFC allows your smartphone to act as a credit card, loyalty card and more besides.

iBeacon is a new improvement of this technology. It enables users to make payments without any network connection. The good news is that iBeacon comes with all devices that operate iOS 7.

iBeacon allows companies to push offers and promotions straight to the consumer (providing they have downloaded the company’s app first).
This opens the way to loads of innovation in digital marketing and has already been adopted by many companies.

Macy’s the famous US department store has been using iBeacons to alert customers of current special offers when they enter the store.

American Eagle Outfitters also uses iBeacon technology to send customers a welcome message as they enter the store and inform them of location specific rewards.

iBeacons may be the solution for retailers to finally bring the online offline.

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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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15 April

SocialMedia.ie Whiteboard Masterclass No.1 – Targeting Social Media Influencers.

This is the first in our series of videos explaining Digital Marketing concepts. This week we’re explaining Targeting and Influencers, two of the most important concepts for a focussed marketing strategy.

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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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02 January

2012 Social Media in Numbers

It is time to wrap up social media activities of 2012. Check out this brilliant video in which author of Socialnomics Erik Qualman reveals the truth about Social Media Revolution

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07 December

5 Tips for making your own Social Media Policy

With the advent of social media, every business from your large, multinational corporation to your small, family-run business needs to have an online presence in order to create and sustain their future interests. Social media is so prolific that you might not even realise how much you and your business are already affected by it. Starting to build your own online presence can be aided greatly with a social media policy.

Here are some tips for making your own policy:

1. What does social media mean for your organisation?

Define what social media means to your organisation. Set out to your employees what the organisation’s online goals are. How they plan to achieve these goals and what their role is in it all.

2. Guidelines for representing the organisation

Guide your employees on how to represent the organisation. This can be used to familiarise employees with different digital communications tools (facebook, twitter, etc.) and teach them how to represent the organisation approriately.

3. Be Polite offline and online

The main thing when dealing with any person in business is to be polite. Just because you’re online and not in person does not change this. Clients appreciate and expect polite staff in all communications from the organisation. Employees should be made aware (even though this one’s a no-brainer).

4. Stick to the law

Your policy should note, and make known to the employees of the relevant legislation involved with social media. This includes data protection, copyright and fair use legislation.

5. Give tips on how to deal withsticky situations

Guidlines on how to handle difficult social media situations e.g: public criticisms of the organisation through social media, should be outlined to the employees to help avoid any public incidents which may damage the organisation.

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

Felix McCabe (LinkedIn)

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19 October

SocialMedia.ie and DMI provide Social Media Training to ITAA

Conor Lynch and Cian Corbett of SocialMedia.ie had the pleasure of conducting training sessions with the ITAA on behalf of the DMI yesterday. The Irish Travel Agents Association are embracing Social Media as a way of engaging with their customer base and growing their business.

Irish Travel Agents Association Logo

 

Social Media is proving to be the perfect medium for Travel Agents as holiday makers love sharing their holiday photos through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Blogs. More importantly, Social Media channels are a huge source of information for customers to research  a holiday destination and holiday provider.

We look forward working with the ITAA again the near future.

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22 August

Social Media Skillnet Training

COURSE: Digital & Social Media Strategy

DATE: 14th September, 2011

TIME: 9:30am-4:30pm (Registration from 9:00am)

VENUE: Clarion IFSC Hotel

TRAINER: Conor Lynch (SocialMedia.ie)

COST: Cost €105pp *(FREE to unemployed)

* We also offer a number of free places to jobseekers. Those interested must meet eligibility criteria.

COURSE_CONTENT:

  • Optimise your website for Search Engine Optimisation/Marketing
  • Examine all consumer online/offline touchpoints for social media opportunities including your website, social media, email marketing, sponsorship, PR, events, retail & traditional media
  • Learn to create relevant shareable digital content for your audience

COURSE_BENEFITS:

  • You will engage with bloggers and social media communities
  • You will be provided with the practical tools & techniques to start creating your own social media & digital strategies
  • You will increase your sales & revenue via digital & social media
  • You will acquire the 10C’s Strategy Model – a framework for planning, creating & measuring your social media strategies

REQUESTS:

Participants must bring laptops. Wifi facilities available in hotel.

For further information or to book, please contact Maggie on 052 6126500 / 086 7776476, alternatively you can e-mail.

Maggie O’ Brien:  maggie@socialmediaskillnet.com

Twitter: twitter.com/SocialSkillnet
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/SocialMediaSkillnet
Facebook: facebook.com/SocialMediaSkillnet

 


 

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