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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

 

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

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

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

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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

Trendy New york restaurant serves up instagram menus #comodomenu

Trendy New York restaurant serves up tasty Instagram menus #ComodoMenu

We all love to take photos, with our friends, with our houses, with our favourite places, with flowers, animal, drinks but most of all, we like to take photos with our food. Because we need to communicate with each other and because we like to share things, some smart guys decided to develop Instagram. We all know the photo-sharing app and we like it. But a man still has to eat and Instagram can’t help you find food, right? What would you say if I told you that you can go into a restaurant and you can use your smartphone to decide what you want to have from the menu?

A couple from New York decided to make their dream come true and they opened a cozy restaurant in the Big Apple. They wanted to ease their clients’ lives when they have to decide what they want to have from the menu. Besides this, the owners wanted to be different. Mission accomplished. Comodo Restaurant from New York came up with a new and great idea – to use Instagram to make their restaurant menu. You can sit at the table and search through The Instagram Menu by using the #ComodoMenu hashtag. All the guests in the restaurant can add photos of Comodo’s courses and dishes. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Next time you can’t decide what to order you can search for #ComodoMenu and see what your friends recommend, simple as that.

by Anca Geangala