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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.

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.

Read more

leveraging-social-media-jobseekers

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

Business blogging masterclass

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

Competitors research

SocialMedia.ie Digital, Social & Mobile Training

Since 2010, SocialMedia.ie offers group training and 1-1 consultative training sessions online and offline. We have trained more than 3,000 professionals in Digital, Mobile & Social Marketing.

We are pleased to introduce to you our training portfolio to have an overview of the masterclasses we deliver.

Don’t hesitate to contact us and tell us how we can help you. Follow us on @socialmedia.ie

The future of Retail

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

Digital audits

SocialMedia.ie seeks experienced freelance #WordPress developer

WordPress web designer & developer required to develop WordPress websites on a freelance basis for SocialMedia.ie, a Dublin 8 based company.

Proficiency is required in WordPress, HTML, CSS, plugins for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media integration. Excellent business English communication skills is a must.

SocialMedia.ie is a specialist social media marketing agency with services including consulting, training and digital content creation. We have worked with an impressive list of clients including start-ups, SME and large organisations from Ireland & the UK. We also have a sister business, connector.ie

Please email team@socialmedia.ie with your commercial portfolio.

iBeacon

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.

connector360 Instagram Plan #Instaplan

connector360 Instagram Plan #Instaplan

So you want to use Instagram for business but don’t have a plan? Well as we are so generous, we are sharing our little sister connector360 Instagram research and plan aka our #Instaplan! We would like to present our planning for our new Instagram account. It shows marketing, art, music, entertainment and a bit of our lives into the office. We do everything thinking of you, clients, friends and Partners. We hope our content is engaging images, reviews, tips, tools and trends.

Follow us @connector360 and get to know more about this Irish based  family called connector360.