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The Future Of Retail

When a retail giant like Penny’s, whose market strategy has traditionally been pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap, suddenly takes a leap into the eCommerce arena, you know there has to be something to this online retailing.

From Tesco to Amazon, these massive retailers have recognised a shift in consumer behaviour. Customers no longer have the luxury of an hour for lunch with which to wander around the shops or time after work with which to do the grocery shopping. Nowadays lunch invariably consists of a hastily inhaled sandwich while manning the phone-lines and absorbing the latest updates through social media platforms, while grocery shopping is ordered sitting in traffic dreaming of dinner but making your way to the gym instead. Retailers have to fit into this new fast paced world to prosper. The manner with which they do this will be the difference between making enough to put bread on the table, or, making so much they manage to give the whole family gout.

A company could be fortunate, like An Post, where this tidal wave of change carries them from one era to another seamlessly; as snail-mail dies a death, parcel delivery from online purchasing has increased dramatically, and looks set to continue into the future. Postmen are no longer shoving unwanted bills into spider infested post-boxes, but rather are more akin to Santa’s elves asking people to sign for little parcels of joy.

However, if you are not so fortunate, you must then be a little creative.

Online shopping offers the small and agile retailer a chance to reach the hearts and minds of their customers, and through that, their wallets. There have been leaders in this charge; C&A allowing the number of virtual likes to be shown above the product in their physical stores, Urban Hitlon Weiner giving credit to customers for posting selfies, Kate Spade creating a digital storefront.  These strategies take advantage of activities in which their customers are already engaged and capitalise on them. They convert product interaction into purchase opportunity, turning the passive consumer into an engaged advocate.

All around us the traditional tools of retail are being adapted and modernised. “Customers who purchase this item also purchased…” has become the online version of sweets at the till. “Share this purchase” is the online equivalent of parading the bargain you picked up at lunch to your co-workers. “What other customers are looking at right now..” induces the same panic of a half empty shelf holding this Christmas’ must-have item.

Communication is moving forward, and retail is moving with it. The new era holds untold opportunity to those who embrace it, ask HMV what happens to those who don’t.

Written by Cathy Clarke

Cathy Clarke is the driving force behind the Irish Lifestyle blog A Home Made By Committee. Based in Ireland, she has over ten years’ experience writing within the Archaeological, Financial and IT industries. When not writing she will be found either designing, dancing, digging or doing DIY.

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Viral Marketing – Creating the buzz

With over 5 trillion display ads viewed online every year, 400 million tweets posted daily, nearly 145,000 hours of video uploaded to YouTube daily and nearly 5 million updates shared on Facebook every day, marketers need to ask themselves how do you break through all that noise. The answer? Viral marketing.

What makes a good viral ad? People want a short video that suits their current mood and attention span. The essence of a great viral video is to capture the audience’s attention quickly. If you want to get people’s attention, give them something that is worthy of their time and emotional investment. It takes great content, execution and promotion to get videos noticed and to go viral. Massive exposure and a good buzz on social media are essential for a viral video.

In a recent Ted Talks video, YouTube director Kevin Alloca examined “why videos go viral” He identified three key reasons:


1. Taste makers & trend setters

These include social influencers like Jimmy Kimmel, late night talk show hosts, presenters, and others in the public eye. Such people can greatly influence video virality by showing them to not only their audience, but millions of viewers worldwide.

2. Participatory creative communities

These are the people who spread the viral videos

3. Complete unexpectedness

For a video to stand out and go viral it needs to be unique.

Credits: http://blogs.hbr.org

Credits: http://blogs.hbr.org


A great example of a truly viral video comes from Blendtec, a once small local blender company whose ‘Will it Blend’ video series – in which they blend anything from credit cards to iPads – made them world famous.

As a marketer you must target your viewer early with strong emotions. Common emotions used in viral content are curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment, uncertainty and admiration.We have seen this in a number of ads that have gone viral throughout the years. The Volkswagen ‘The Force’ advertisement combines these emotions to present an engaging story about a young boy trying to use his Star Wars skills. The ad both surprises and delights the audience which is one of the reasons it has gone viral so quickly. Dove is another great example of a brand which has successfully tapped into people’s emotions. Their most recent “Dove Face Sketch” campaign plays on the emotions of astonishment that these women have such low self confidence and amazement at the difference is the sketches of how they described themselves compared to others.

Why do people share viral videos? Because people love to share the feelings they get from watching a great viral video. People love to share their feelings online. The cuter the babies or animals in the video the higher the chance of the video getting shared is. I think this is because it’s a nearly guaranteed way of brighten up another person’s day.

The ultimate goal of any company venturing into the world of viral videos should be to build a long-term position for your brand.By including video content as part of your inbound marketing mix, you can stand at the forefront of people’s minds and cement your customer’s status as your company’s brand ambassadors. Viral video marketing is no different from any other marketing tactics – the goal is achieve brand loyalty amongst consumers.

Written by Alison Hatt

Alison is a currently working for an exciting start up in Dublin. She holds an MSc in Digital Marketing and a BComm from University College Dublin. She is passionate about all things social media and omni channel marketing. Alison is a garlic enthusiast and a dog lover, particularity her own dog; Indie. You can find her on Twitter @alisonhatt

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From Butchers to Funeral Homes; The Growth and Relevancy of Social Media for Traditional Businesses

State of the Nation

In a recent study, Facebook was declared the most popular social media platform in Ireland, with 1.3m people using the website. The research was conducted by global digital behaviour analysis firm GlobalWebIndex. The study concluded that when compared with global trends, Ireland’s usage of social media platforms such as the aforementioned Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, shows greater penetration rates than global averages.

Social media has infiltrated the minds and lives of every major demographic group on our island. Exposure to these platforms can occur at our desks, on our televisions and even from our pockets!

Some quick facts

The 2012 Social Media Marketing Report provided information that businesses operating in today’s world dare ignore to their detriment:

1. 94% of all businesses with a marketing department used social media as part of their marketing platform.

2. 85% of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure.

3. 58% of businesses that have used social media marketing for over 3 years reported an increase in sales over that period.

But not every business has the means to support a marketing department…

BakeryAt first, it may be a bit perplexing to see a local butcher, a corner-shop or even an establishment as reverent as a funeral home donning the iconic symbols of Facebook or Twitter on their storefront, imploring customer or passersby to “Like” our page or “Follow us”. When looking at the above statistic from The 2012 Social Media Marketing Report, one might deduce that such small and traditional businesses need not bother themselves with digital marketing as they do not operate sophisticated marketing departments. And besides, what interesting subject matter Beauty Parlourcould a local accountancy firm or a florist possibly want to project to the online masses.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, offer an attraction to small businesses as it is a quick, easy and free means of creating an online presence and exposure. The necessity for coding and HTML skills is eliminated. Having a website designed for small, localised businesses can be prohibitively expensive and very unlikely to attract hordes of new customers, so such businesses can use Facebook to build up a local community of fans who may be customers, future customers or other local supporting businesses. It is a very easy way to get your phone number and address out there, and also a forum for reaching out to your customers.

The butcher wishing the local GAA team all the best in their upcoming final, a small accountancy firm posting an explanation about a new government tax scheme, a local shop promoting the discounted goods of the week or a fishing equipment store posting information about the tides. The possibilities for content which interests and benefits your customers is endless.

As previously mentioned, joining these social media platforms is quick, easy and free. However, harnessing the true potential of these social networks to enhance the profile of your business and fully utilise the tools available can be challenging. By devising a focused digital marketing strategy, small businesses can reap huge benefits ranging from increased exposure and sales to being associated with local community initiatives to ensuring your business stands out from the crowd.

Contact us today to enquire about our tailored digital training courses which are geared towards businesses of all shapes and sizes!

 

Written by Martin Gaffney.

Martin currently lives, studies and works for a large multinational in Cork City. He holds a Higher Certificate in Business and is currently studying a Bachelor of Business in Management at Cork Institute of Technology. Martin is an avid technophile and his interests range from engaging digital content to market research. Electronic music and Cork City FC are Martin’s other love interests. You can find him on Twitter @GaffKiiid.

Credit for header image: Dean Meyers under CC License.

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Develop The Spookiest Marketing Campaign For Halloween

Since our whole Connector team is really brave and not frightened by ghosts or zombies, we are the perfect digital agency for you to work with this Halloween.

In our secret laboratory we have a team of highly skilled crazy professors who can help you with concepts, design, videos, games and all your social media requirements.

Last year, we did a spooky ‘Halloween Pumpkin Run’ campaign, where we delivered purple pumpkins filled with sweets to twenty lucky Dublin based agencies. See the photo below. Each and every pumpkin had the connector360 personal touch – hollowed out, painted and filled with treats by our very own minions. A QR code inside led to a special Trick or Treat page with our credentials and a party invitation. What a treat! We think we did a spooktastic job! ;-)

We can create campaigns for you right up until last minute but why not talk to us today about your Halloween campaign! Boo!

You can contact us at team@socialmedia.ie or call us on +353 1 906 0006.

Pumpkins

 

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Social Media Presentation at the Dublin Food Chain

Social Media Presentation at the Dublin Food Chain

We were really delighted to talk this morning at Dublin Food Chain.

Please visit Dublin Food Chain Breakfast Workshop for the full list of speakers and details about the event.

We hope you liked our presentation on How to serve up tasty social media for the food sector.

If you missed it you can find the presentation below

 

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Aware’s #BeatTheBlues campaign brings colour to the darkness of depression

Some projects give us so much pride and happiness for contributing in some way to something bigger, like changing lives. That is the case of the latest Aware campaign which features their ambassador Dublin GAA star Bernard Brogan :)

Each year Aware currently delivers its Beat the Blues programme free to over 30,000 Irish students aged 15-18. With almost 75% of all serious mental health difficulties first emerging between the ages of 15 and 25, Aware believes it is vital to get in early and educate young people about how to recognise symptoms of depression and where possible prevent it from spiralling out of control.

Our campaign video features street art and the theme is bringing colour to the darkness and underlining the common issue of surviving which connects us all. This two-minute video – a collaboration with graffiti artist, HyerografX – is intended to highlight something that is fundamental to each and every one of us: our mental health. The video also highlights Aware’s work in schools, helping teenagers to understand the importance of looking after their own mental health and helping them to build resilience and develop coping skills :)

Be part of the change. Please join the #BeatTheBlues conversation, share our video or text BeattheBlues to 50300 to donate €4 to Aware.

Digital strategy

Digital marketing career opportunities @ socialmedia.ie and sister brand Connector

About Us

Founded by Conor Lynch in 2009, Connector is a leading Irish digital business agency supporting clients as they face up to digital, social & mobile challenges and opportunities. All sister brands, Connector, connector360, SocialMedia.ie and BOSS Metrics offer a wide range of specialist services for those who want to manage digital in-house or to outsource to a trusted partner.

We are passionate about helping SMEs, government agencies, organisations, startups and individuals create their digital destiny. We create ideas that turn into campaigns, campaigns that become content, content in social and digital media that generate awareness, positive sentiment, connections and great return on investment.

Connector/socialmedia.ie is always on the lookout for talented people to join our team in Dublin. Please find our current open opportunities below.

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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. Read more

5 Top Tips for Super Social Customer Service

5 Top Tips for Super Social Customer Service

Great customer service is the key to keeping everybody happy but in our changing world where customers are increasingly online, gone are the days of in store help desks, telephone helplines and even email assistance. Customers want their customer service online on social media and wise businesses know that wherever your customers go, you should follow. Enter social customer service.

Social customer service means transferring your customer help desk from your store to your social media profiles. A recent report by Accent Marketing revealed some staggering facts about social customer service – that nearly a third of customers use Facebook to contact a customer service representative, that half of those people believe Facebook is the fastest way to solve customer service issues and that nearly half of those expect to have their comment or query answered within an hour. With statistics like that, any business that does not consider social media a customer service tool should be changing their tune and getting on board with social customer service – fast. But how do you do that? Read more

6 Steps to Successful Digital Listening

6 Steps to Successful Digital Listening

In today’s world, the customer is king and just like traditional kings, the customer will tell you exactly what they want, so you better listen. To listen, you have to find out what your customers are saying, and in today’s hyper-connected world, customers are talking online. But how do we listen to them online? Through digital listening.

Digital listening means locating and analysing what is being said about a company, brand or individual on the internet. The listening can and should take place across many channels – as many as your customers are located on – to get a full, balanced report of how people view your company, brand or product.

Getting started with digital listening can be intimidating. Venturing on to the internet unprepared and finding that there’s a whole conversation going on that you weren’t involved in until now can shock even a veteran marketer. So, where do you start? Read more