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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.

Social Media Training – Special Offer for May

Training

SocialMedia.ie is continuing to train more and more people every day in the basics of social media. That’s why we are launching a multipart, introductory course to Social Media.

These days you need to be engaged with social media programs and platforms to stay up to date with the latest tools, technologies and trends especially if you work in business.

Choose from one of the three options:

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
May 8th May 8th and 15th May 8th, 15th and 22nd
Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube in more detail plus Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, mobile media and online strategy. Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube in more detail plus Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, mobile media and online strategy.
 You will also learn about budget software tools for measurement, monitoring and managing social media like a pro.
€55 €95 €145

If you’re interested in this offer then please call us at  +353 (0) 1 906 0006

All classes starts at 6:30pm and finishes at 9pm.

The classes will take place at the Digital Depot on Thomas Street, part of the Digital Hub.

 

Three-Week Social Media for Business Masterclass for only €99

21bda25c-f0a7-4710-a5f7-f227c4eac0d4-540_q80_-jpgFor those that don’t know their Facetube from their Twitsbook, the new world can feel a bit #EpicFail. But the online world is where the party’s at so allow SocialMedia.ie to update your social and business status for €99 (at €295 value), with a three-week social media masterclass.

What you’ll get

  • Get tips on perfecting the art of blogging, digital video, maximising the impact of your online content, and much more.
  • You’ll also get access to the SocialMedia.ie’s ’10 “Step Strategy Model” to help you plan, create, and measure strategies.
  • The fun and interactive workshops will help you interact with online communities and use real-life examples to help you learn.

Don’t let your skills get stuck in the dark ages — today’s deal is your click-through to another blogosphere.

Click the following link to take advantage of this fantastic offer.
http://www.livingsocial.com/ireland/cities/68-south-dublin/deals/647918-three-week-social-media-masterclass

Social Media Academy is launched

Over the last few months we’ve been working with the Digital Skills Academy to produce some amazing content, and here are the results!

SocialMedia Academy

Yesterday the Digital Skills Academy team, BLab, unveiled and launched our new SocialMedia.ie Academy. This web app allows users to learn all about social media and digital marketing. This academy will be updated regularly by the SocialMedia.ie team. So if you want to become a digital marketing master and get kept up to date with the latest trends, then why not visit our academy.

If you’d like to be one of the first to “enroll” in our new system, then simply click this link, or the image below!

socialmedia.ie Academy

Digital Skills Academy Launch Day

The launch day was held in the NDRC and it was a huge success. With lots of guests from all over the digital business landscape, the WebElevate BLab team had the perfect opportunity to showcase their hard work.

Here’s a sneak peak of what the event was like.

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Finally we’d like to thank the BLab team from WebElevate that put this together.

They did an amazing job and they were a pleasure to work with. Thanks for everything guys!

To check out the promotional video they made, click here.

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.

[hana-code-insert name='Paulina Film Video' /]

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.

Why Irish CEO’s must use social media

 

In today’s digital world, social media has become an increasingly important communications channel for building a connection between brands and their most vocal fans and critics. While many companies understand the important role that social media plays in brand building, most have not yet realized its potential to raise the profile of corporate executives to establish industry thought leadership and strengthen the credibility of the brand.

According to a recent report, 50% of consumers stated they were more likely to purchase from a company and recommend a brand to others after following the company’s tweets.

“People want CEOs who are real. They want to know what you think. Can you think of a more cost-effective way of getting to your customers and employees?”- Bill George Harvard Business School.

In this day and age Social Media cannot be ignored, and we at SocialMedia.ie are here to help. We can help with Social Media Training, Campaigns, Audits, Analytics and much more. So call today +353 (0)1906 0006 or team@socialmedia.ie

 

Ross' Top Shares #1 – Social Media Campaigns Review

Hello! And welcome to the first of Ross’ Top Shares. Every week I find something new and share it to my network of friends across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, so I have decided to set up this blog to highlight my top shares of the week to you here on SocialMedia.ie

In my inaugural blog I have picked 4 pieces; The birth of Baby Jesus- the social media version, a great viral piece by Red Bull, Ben and Jerry’s capitalising on Instagram’s increasing influence and an interesting response to customer criticism from Bodyform. Hopefully you will enjoy what you see and feel free to share this yourself and leave a comment. So let’s get started!!

  • The Nativity 2.0

In a digital spin to the traditional Nativity tale, Portuguese digital technology company Excentric produced a video narrating the story of Jesus’ birth through through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, G-Mail, Foursquare and Amazon. Just a reminder folks, 37 days left to get that shopping done!!

[hana-code-insert name=’Nativity’ /]

  •  The Athlete Machine- The Red Bull Kluge

Fresh on the heels of Felix Baumgartner breaking the speed of sound by free-falling back to earth Red Bull keep the cool stunts coming. It is hard to find the words that will do this justice. This is 5 minutes and 58 seconds you will love and be astounded by, with some cameo appearances from Sean MacCormac (Skydiver), Joey Brezinski (Skateboarder), Rickie Fowler (Golfer), Danny MacAskill (Trials Biker) and Ryan Sheckler (Skateboarder) to name a few.

[hana-code-insert name=’Red Bull Kluge’ /]

  • Ben and Jerry’s #CaptureEuphoria

Ben and Jerry’s is jumping on the rising popularity of Instagram with a promotion that challenges fans to take photos that capture the “euphoria”. The winning photos will be featured Ben and Jerry’s ads in that person’s neighbourhood.
Ben and Jerry’s has nearly 124,000 followers on Instagram and are encouraging them to submit photo’s that “best capture the euphoric feeling that comes with eating Ben and Jerry’s” and tag them with#CaptureEuphoria,
Between November and January, Ben and Jerry’s will select 20 of the photos and will turn them into “thank you” ads.

  • Bodyform Responds: The Truth

Something I have noticed in recent months is that my Facebook News Feed is becoming more cluttered with tongue in cheek comments on Facebook business pages. The comments are generally conveying a negative message towards a brand, followed by hundreds and sometimes thousands of “likes”.
Richard Neill wrote a cheeky Facebook post which received over 86,000 “likes” (below).

Bodyform had two realistic options; ignore the post, like so many companies do, or respond. They responded with a video uploaded onto their YouTube Channel, a video that has amassed over 3 million views in less than a month. I’ll pass you onto the CEO of Bodyform Caroline Williams!

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I hope you enjoyed the first of Ross’ Top Shares. I’ll be back with more soon! For more shares follow me on Twitter @RossDoyle29 or follow @socialmedia_ie

 

Socialmedia.ie Tweets of the Week

Just in case you missed them, here are five of our top tweets from the last seven days. Make sure to follow @socialmedia_ie to get top social media news and content as it happens.

For more great Social Media news as it happens be sure to follow @socialmedia_ie

Google Plus Continues to Up Its Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week, Cian wrote about Google Plus’ new strategic move by using the Google Plus Hangout feature to attract more users. Fresh from signing a new two-year contract with the LA Galaxy, David Beckham was the latest celebrity to let fans ‘Hangout’ with him. Beckham enjoyed it so much that he has vowed that it won’t be his last and is already planning his next ‘Hangout’ at Google HQ. So who will be next to participate in one of these live video chats? Surely David Beckham is a tough name to beat?

Read more