Social Media Trends

5 Social Media Game Changers You Can’t Afford to Miss in 2015

It is clear that old digital strategies and individual channels are being overhauled due to the need to create a common brand experience across the digital environment. Customers expect to access information across platforms, apps and devices and in order for brands to “be the best answer” wherever buyers are, they will need to evaluate what’s next and where to focus.

Considering one quarter of the world’s population use social media, it’s in the interest of brands to take the changes into account. There are several social media game changers to look ahead in 2015 that relate to running a business. Dig in, learn and enjoy:

1- “Buy” button finally comes to social media

This year, people will finally be able to purchase products seen in their Twitter and Facebook feed without ever leaving those networks.
This is a handy way for the user to purchase new products, but especially a very big opportunity for the seller to get more conversions. Imagine promoting your short-term deals in Twitter and Facebook having the best call to action: a “buy button”! There will be no distraction between your marketing and sales efforts. This tool could be particularly effective for time-sensitive offers, to entice consumers to act quickly and seal the deal.

Twitter Buy Button

An example of the Twitter “buy” button from the company’s website. Twitter

2- Mobile apps as a priority

More than any other channel, mobile allows brands to generate attractive micro moments at different stages of the purchase process, either through push notifications or in-app product recommendations.

Considering the evolution in geo-targeting and geo-fencing, brands are advised to put mobile apps as a priority in their marketing plan, providing their audience with timely contextual messages on a one-to-one basis. A significant 65% of social network activity comes from mobile devices and major social networks are constantly improving their mobile presence. 2015 will certainly witness optimised social media networks becoming increasingly geo-targeted (allowing advertisers to showcase relevant ads based on location), with related real-time content, indispensable in every online marketing plan.

Mobile App

3- Smart devices will be more social

Everything from home appliances like bathroom scales and refrigerators to wearables like fitness bracelets and smart watches are now collecting data and transferring it easily to the web. Also, many of them are pushing notifications to social networks like Facebook, a trend that will continue in 2015.

The challenge this year is how to improve the social intelligence of these devices. This will probably start with tapping into users’ exclusive network of friends and followers in smart ways. By tracking users’ interactions with their contacts, then responding subsequently, smart devices will become even advanced in 2015.

Sony Smart Watch

Sony Smart Watch: a mini version of a smartphone

4- Private messaging reveals big potential

Private messaging has been around for some time, but brands are still not fully embracing its potential for customer interaction. The most interesting aspect of messaging apps lies in the diversity of content forms and media companies, for instance, are starting to use the likes of Snapchat and WhatsApp for live media coverage. A good example is Durex’s activity on WeChat allowing users to ask confidential questions about taboo subjects in China.

Durex and WeChat

Private messaging is crucial in many people’s lives. In 2015, more brands will focus on this strategy, including it on their social media marketing plan, starting with sharing icons and slowly moving to elaborated campaigning.

5- The rise of snackable content

2014 saw the rise of a number of shared pictures and videos with “snackable content”, especially between younger audiences. According to the latest comScore report, Instagram is the second most used social network for people between 18 and 34 years, with 43.1%, while Snapchat comes in third with 32.9%.

ComscoreThat’s because more and more this audience wants to consume, produce and publish information quickly, just with a simple click.

Lately, Instagram has added in-feed advertising to their videos. The ads can target users based on age, gender and country. This is a great way for marketers to get their message in front of their target audience. For Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” for example, the film’s animated characters are posting selfies of themselves, fitting in with what normally appears on Instagram.

So, brands should bet on concise content, like photos published in Instagram or Pinterest, or even short videos, such as Vines, that communicate efficiently and boost the audience.

Looking closely to changes in all social networks, it is clear that a new approach should be studied by the companies who use them as a sales channel. Now it’s time to listen to the needs of the consumer and social networks are the best tools for it!

Which trends do you see dominating 2015? Leave us a comment or tweet us @socialmedia_ie – We would appreciate hearing about your expectations!

Written by Juliana Pereira

Bio: Juliana Pereira, a Brazilian living in Dublin. A Public Relations and Marketing Specialist. She is very passionate about social media, technology and innovation.

Find Juliana on Twitter @juliana_rp

Nudels by Roisin

Roisin Hogan Shows How Social Media is Perfect for Personal Branding

SocialMedia.ie is delighted to be working with Roisin Hogan as a new client this year.  Roisin is definitely one to watch – she is the recent “The Apprentice” UK Semi-Finalist, a Public Speaker and up and coming Dublin business woman.

We have just created a brand new website for her, showcasing her profile, experience and the new product she is about to launch: “Nudels by Roisin”! SocialMedia.ie stepped up to the plate (pardon the pun!) and designed a new website for her that effectively showcases her excellent business profile and up and her coming product launch. We have also been helping her with getting her social media set up which is the perfect way to build up a personal brand.

“Nudels by Roisin” is a chilled ready meal range that uses an innovative ingredient to eliminate stodgy carbohydrates and their associated high calories at mealtime, yet maintain all the satisfying elements of yummy, indulgent comfort foods.

All of the products are produced in partnership with Nature’s Best. The product is about to be launched soon, so, as it was said in the Nature’s best blog: “even if your New Year’s Resolutions to eat healthier are beginning to wane, “Nudels by Roisin” will help you get straight back on that bandwagon.” If you care about your health, this is the right choice!

Click here to visit the website we built for Roisin Hogan whom you can see on The Late Late Show tonight.  Don’t miss it as she is an inspirational Irish businesswoman!

To view more of SocialMedia.ie and Connector´s work, please visit our portfolio.

Veterinary Surgeons and Social Media

Irish Vets to Get a Social Media Injection at Annual Conference

As you may know, our intrepid online and offline explorer Conor is always out and about speaking at events across Ireland, from Bandon to Belfast, to help people and organisations create and implement world class marketing strategies with a focus on digital, social and mobile.

Coming soon, Conor Lynch from SocialMedia.ie is delighted to speak at the VICAS Winter Conference (Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society) which will take place in the Radisson Blu Galway from the 30 January to the 1st February 2015. With exciting lectures on Business, Ethics, Social Media & Orthopaedics, the conference will be a great opportunity for education, networking and fun.

Social Media Marketing offers a new and inexpensive way for Vets to get their name out there amongst the community. But with so many social networks to choose from, businesses have to make sure they are using the right platforms in the right way. They need to know how, and where, best to reach and engage their audience, in the most cost-effective way possible.The vets present will learn the unique selling points of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Blogs. They will be shown how each platform can be leveraged to help acquire and retain more customers, through highly targeted social media and social ads. They will also see how they can make the most of social media, regardless of what the budget is.

Watch out soon for Conor’s presentation which we will share here in our blog.

Click here and have a look at some Conferences and Workshops clients. Please get in touch to discuss your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirements or call us on +353 1 906 0006.

Merry xmas SocialMedia.ie

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year From SocialMedia.ie

We would like to thank you and all our clients for giving us the opportunity to delight you with our digital marketing campaigns. This year we have accomplished so much and all it was because of you!

Our latest project is a half day Instagram Masterclass – if you book before Friday, 26th December, you will receive a Christmas Special Price. Remember that there are limited places and bookings are filling up fast!

Book your Instagram Masterclass now!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Conor and SocialMedia.ie team.

Conor Lynch From Connector in a 2014 Overview Video

Conor Lynch, founder and CEO of Connector, talks about the company history and also the main projects developed in 2014 in this Overview Video, produced by The Digital Hub.

Founded in 2009, Connector is a leading Irish digital business agency supporting clients as they face up to digital, social and mobile challenges and opportunities. The team create ideas for campaigns and these campaigns are then crafted to include unique and engaging content. It is this content in social and digital media that generates awareness, positive sentiment, connections and great return on investment (ROI).

With sister brands like connector360, SocialMedia.ie and BOSS Metrics, the company offers a wide range of specialist services for those who want to manage digital in-house or to outsource to a trusted partner. Connector have worked with local and global brands such as Sony Mobile, Allianz Insurance, UCD, Digital Marketing Institute, Whelans and Aware.ie.

Sony Mobile 

Our goal with Sony Mobile was to help increase their brand awareness and customer engagement as well as building their community.  We set out to drive more likes and followers to their Facebook and Twitter channels and we achieved this through influencer engagement, creative campaigns, digital PR, social ads, content creation and promotions.  We also extended their social media presence into new channels like Instagram and Snapchat.

One of the main campaigns took place on St Patrick’s Day with the ‘Selfie Studio’. In this campaign, we took photos of the festivities and had people pose for photos with our giant Xperia Instagram frame and lots of Paddy’s Day props. Our activity helped Sony Mobile launch their Instagram account and reach 1,500 new Instagram followers by the time the campaign ended.

Aware.ie

We have created a video campaign for Aware.ie using the theme “bringing colour to the darkness” and featuring street art. Using social media and online advertising, within just two weeks of the campaign we attracted more than 100,000 views on the video and additional online donations for Aware.

Latest Projects

Connector has been working on projects such as the Connector MatchMaker app. This app helps large enterprises to identify and “match” with startups of their sector and encourages innovation. Another project is Futurology.ie, which is a service to help clients future proof their business with a look at emerging technologies and the Internet of Things.

SocialMedia.ie are now offering a half day Instagram Masterclass that will teach you how to effectively adopt and leverage Instagram to increase your social media engagement. We will also show you how to effectively integrate Instagram into other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Book your Instagram Masterclass now!

If you book before Friday, 26th December, you will receive a Christmas Special Price. Remember that there are limited places and bookings are filling up fast!

Instagram - King of Engagement

Facebook is Dead! Long Live Instagram!

The Demise Of Facebook

At one time, long ago, businesses were able to enjoy an average reach of 16% on their Facebook pages. It was a time when businesses could organically promote themselves by creating entertaining content and using fan-engaging apps. And not only did Facebook allow businesses to do this, but it also rewarded them for interacting with and providing value to their followers.

However, this might as well be a thing of legend, as businesses can no longer see these possibilities. Most are lucky to see a reach of 1% today, a peak that analysts like Social@Ogilvy say will soon dwindle to zero. With the Facebook ship all but sunk, businesses are now on the lookout for a platform where they can actually be seen and heard.

Facebook is dead

Instagram: The New King Of Engagement

Recently, Forrester studied more than 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks. Their study showed that one platform stood high above the rest: Instagram.

The image sharing network boasted a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%, 58 times more engagement than Facebook, and a whopping 120 times more than Twitter. But if we look at the user statistics, this should come as no surprise.

Every day, 55 million photos are uploaded, 86.4 million comments are posted, and 691.2 million users like various photos in their feeds on Instagram. The network has a 41% daily user rate, second only to Facebook (71%), and its popularity continues to grow. In Ireland alone we can see that the number of Social Network Account Owners with Instagram has risen steadily from 15% in November 2013, to 18% in August 2014.

Instagram - King of Engagement

Instagram Masterclass

SocialMedia.ie are now offering a half day Instagram Masterclass that will teach you how to effectively adopt and leverage Instagram to increase your social media engagement. We will also show you how to effectively integrate Instagram with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram’s community has grown to over 200 million monthly active users over 75% of leading brands are already present on the platform. With so many conversations taking place on Instagram every day, many brands are now getting involved and adopting Instagram to create meaningful interactions with online communities.

Instagram Masterclass

Case Studies

We have been using Instagram in many different and innovative ways to help brands and companies reach a greater audience. Here are some examples:

St Patrick’s Day Campaign: We took to the streets on St Patrick’s Day with the ‘Selfie Studio’, taking photos of the festivities and getting people to pose for photos with our giant Xperia Instagram frame and lots of Paddy’s Day props. Our activity helped Sony Mobile launch their Instagram account and end up with 1,500 Instagram followers after the campaign ended.

Taste of Dublin 2014: Sony Mobile wanted to activate their sponsorship so we developed a foodie strategy and created SonyFood.ie. This was supported by the Sony Gigapixel Campaign which featured a giant image made up of thousands of fan photos taken at the food festival, all tagged in Facebook & Instagram applications which had a viral impact. We generated 50,000+ website visits and more than 7,000 new Facebook likes in 4 weeks.

St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick´s Day Campaign – Selfie Studio

Book your Instagram Masterclass now!

If you book before  Friday 26th December you will receive a Christmas Special Price. Remember that there are limited places and they are booking fast!

social media for charity case studies

5 Top Social Media For Charity Case Studies Including #icebucketchallenge

We all know social media is great for getting a message out there. And for charities, spreading the word can be a key part of what you’re all about.

As a not-for-profit, though, you have special needs when it comes to your social media campaigns. Sure, in an ideal world, raising funds from your followers online would be a dream come true. But charities also have something else, something much bigger, driving their digital campaigns: hope for a better world. And their message for change is key to who they are and what they represent. Feeding more people, cleaning up the environment, war, illness – whatever the topic, people need to hear it, and hear it now.

All pretty complex stuff. And all important. But social-media friendly?

On the surface, probably not. Overburdening your supporters with bad news stories and policy papers is not going to grab their attention; not in a world where concentration spans online diminish quicker than you can type ‘YouTube cute cats’.

Sometimes you need to get above the noise by doing something different. There are great success stories out there of not for profit’s using social media to really grab and engage supporters that we can learn from:

 

1. The ALS Ice-bucket challenge

The ALS Ice-bucket challenge

The ALS Association has to be mentioned for its incredibly successful campaign with the Ice Bucket Challenge (even my Granny’s heard about it).  The ‘challenge’ gave grown adults a chance to regress to childhood by playing with water, and then getting their friends to play too. All in the name of charity. Better still, it cost the ALS Association basically nothing to run the campaign #icebucketchallenge, and has brought in over €100 million in funds (yes that’s One Zero Zero million), along with thousands of new Facebook and Twitter fans for the charity.

2. Macmillan Cancer Support  

Macmillan Cancer Support

The Macmillan organisation offers support for people with cancer, and they provide lots of really useful information through their website. On social media, though, they are really rocking it, with loads of support videos on YouTube and very active Facebook and Twitter pages. The true key to their success, however, lies in how they connect day in day out with supporters. For example, a comment from any one of their whopping 500,000 Facebook fans on how cancer has affected them personally will almost always get a personal reply online, along with an encouraging message and options for a next step. Instead of being just about engagement and raising funds, Macmillan goes one further and uses social media as an extension of their support services. Unsurprisingly, they’ve garnered several awards for digital engagement as a result.

 

3. Greenpeace International

Greenpeace International

 

Greenpeace International has the digital world really working for them. Their social media activity spans all platforms including Facebook and Twitter but also Vimeo and Instagram. Regular mixed postings are made up of hard-hitting news items, new Greenpeace campaigns, and feel-good motivational quotes (very share-friendly). But their real strength lies in their use of videos and photos to draw the reader in – who doesn’t like watching Lego videos even when they are talking about the evils of petrol-producing companies? Pulling together some photos with a good soundtrack and a clear, inspiring message can brighten up any social media account and increase shares and new followers.

 

4. Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch

Human right violations are a difficult topic to talk about, and certainly not one that lends itself to the vagaries and whims of social media. And yet, Human Rights Watch do one really great thing with their social media – almost all of their staff seem to be active and representing the organisation online. Their personal accounts, glimpses into what a day in the HRW office looks like, and interesting news articles all shared on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube really help to humanise the brand and add a real, personal connection to their cause – social media gold dust.

 

5. Oxfam

Oxfam

 

Oxfam are active on all the mainstream social media platforms. But they get extra-special mention for their engagement with Pinterest, where to date they have over 1,600 pins and close to 5,000 followers. By developing visual material around food, one of the most popular topics on Pinterest, they are engaging supporters one of their key issues whilst reflecting the light informative tone typical to Pinterest feeds. They’ve also offered space on their Pinterest account for followers to include their own ‘Pins’, further strengthening engagement and increasing content with less effort.

 

Social media offers great opportunities for charities to reach people and spread a message – take note above. Who else in the charity world inspires you with their social media campaigns?

Written by: Aine Rickard

How top brands are using Instagram

How Top Brands Are Using Instagram

More and more, Instagram is illuminating our social media lives with eye catching content and captivating illustrations of the world around us.

Figures released by Instagram in November 2014 show registered accounts at more than 200 million monthly actives, with 65% of whom are based outside of the United States showing its global penetration.

In an Irish context, 18% of Irish adults have an Instagram account, with trends showing growth of 1% per quarter since November 2013, according to the latest Social Networking Quarterly from IPSOS MRBI. Of these Instagram users, 41% claim to visit the network at least once per day.

From Instagrams humble beginnings in 2010, top brands quickly identified the platform as a powerful and creative means of reinforcing their identity and increasing their exposure to customers. Instagram has empowered companies to experiment with different ways of visually expressing themselves by embracing the mantra “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Brands are telling stories to their followers with images, combining light-hearted content with business related postings.

Major global companies such as BMW, Adidas and Starbucks feature in the top 20 most successful brands on Instagram. Companies are using Instagram, in conjunction with other social media networks, to run exciting, visually stunning campaigns to launch new products.

Nike

Sitting pretty on top of the list for most successful brands on Instagram with 8.4 million followers, Nike has firmly established itself as the undisputed blue-ribbon brand on the platform. The key to their success lies in their understanding of the psychology behind Instagram. Upon visiting the Nike Instagram page, Instagrammers are hit with a blend of awe-inspiring landscapes with people in situ using their products.

Nike also reaches out and engages with their Instagram devotees and created arguably the most successful ever Instagram campaign, Nike PHOTOiD. The campaign centred around encouraging fans to design a colour scheme for their shoes and then upload them with a background image of their choosing. Nike integrated the competition across other social networks also, with many entrants sharing their compositions with friends. The best submissions were collated and published on Nike’s Instagram feed.

Nissan Europe

A household name in the car industry, the European operation for this leading Japanese car manufacturer launched an innovative campaign to promote their “Juke” range of cars. This was Nissan’s first foray in to the world of Instagram campaigns and has proved a launchpad for the success of their brand on the platform.

Instagrammers were able to take a picture of themselves, upload the photo to Instagram using the hashtag #JukeDNA and in return Nissan Europe would retweet a custom image of the uploader with the new Nissan Juke.

This was a very fun project which allowed fans of the car to have their “15 minutes of fame” by being retweeted by a huge brand like Nissan, and of course Nissan received a huge volume of exposure from people sharing their custom Juke image with their friends.

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Even on our own shores, traditional Irish brands are using Instagram to project their image and promote their products to both the Irish and global market. A company established in 1780 embracing Instagram, is a true indicator of the importance in innovation to remain relevant in today’s world.

When people think of whiskey, they can often conjure up the image of old men imbibing the spirit. Jameson’s Instagram page does a fantastic job at challenging this preconception. Their gallery contains many posts featuring young people enjoying Jameson. Content showing photos from Jameson sponsored music events and posts celebrating the arrival of the weekend resonate with a younger demographic than traditionally associated with whiskey drinking.

Jameson’s hugely popular annual “First Shot” competition which showcases the talent of emerging filmmakers is also given promotion on Instagram. Hollywood A-list actor and director Kevin Spacey is an ardent and continued supporter of the event. Using the hashtag #jamesonfirstshot, Jameson’s Instagram page highlighted Spacey’s association with the First Shot initiative by showing an image of the star attending the awards event. By aligning themselves with a celebrity of this calibre, and supported with a visual evidence, Jameson were able to bring some gloss, validation and Hollywood feel to their filmmaker awards.

Join the party!

We are only scratching the surface of what can be achieved through the magic and potential held within Instagram. Some of the world’s leading brands are taking advantage of this untapped digital marketing resource, isn’t it about time your business got in on the action?

Contact us today to enquire about our Instagram Masterclass which is aimed at educating businesses large and small on how to utilise Instagram to its fullest as part of your digital marketing strategy.

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.

Pixels and Palates Cook Academy

Pixels & Palates Event at Cooks Academy

Cooks Academy is celebrating their 10th birthday party.

If you are a food writer or food blogger and are interested in celebrating with us please send us an email to team@connector.ie with the subject Pixels & Palates Event.

This event will take place on Monday 1st of December at 6.30pm on 19 South William Street, Dublin 2

The theme is Pixels & Palates which includes:

  • Fun competitions like our ‘Cook Off’, ‘Molecular Gastronomy Challenge- Guess That Taste’.
  • A Foodie Social Media talk from digital experts SocialMedia.ie, with the inside scoop on new trends, building your profile and mastering tools like Instagram.
  • Unique prizes include a 4 week Certificate course worth €2,950, a full day pass to use our Sony Mobile Pop-Up Photo Studio, a Digital Audit for SocialMedia.ie and more.

You’ll have the opportunity to win these amazing prizes, enjoy an evening of mingling, great conversation and digital discovery. Food & drinks are on us so come and meet fellow bloggers, food writers and digital gurus.

Looking forward to seeing you in Cooks Academy for their birthday party!

Please follow @cooksacademy and #cooksacademy10 on Twitter and Instagram

Post Banner copy

How to use amazing Instagram content to boost your digital marketing

If you don’t care about the future of your business or customers, stop reading now.

Instagram is a tremendously powerful platform and it’s your duty to leverage it for your business. User engagement levels are 15 times higher than Facebook, and over 75% of leading brands are already present on the platform.

Maybe you already knew that or you are already using Instagram.

But are you using it like the pros?

Most people are going in blind and then wondering why that photo of John’s leaving drinks didn’t get any likes; or why that whiteboard brainstorming session didn’t get any feedback; and don’t get me started on stock images of the product. The images aren’t appealing, and who wants to follow an assortment of photo garbage?

People want to engage with you, but most of the content you upload doesn’t relate to them.

It’s key that you get involved, start with a good foundation, create meaningful interactions with your community, and fine-tune your message to improve your brand’s visibility.

What’s the best way to do that you ask?

I’ve been playing around and experimenting with Instagram for the last two years. With ups and downs I’ve built a strong following by captivating and engaging my audience. I won the ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign by Tourism Australia, helped their marketing team with one million Instagram followers, and was a finalist in the first ever Insta-Film Festival.

These experiences have taught me a number of ways to organically grow and maintain a strong following. Yet nobody teaches these things in school.

I want to share with you a few examples and techniques that have helped me along the way. Here’s a teaser to skim the surface.

Examples:

————–

1. Pick Your Topic
Cats, food, fashion, nature, portraits, sunsets, selfies. Whichever you select, your photos need to be centred on that topic. Consistency is key.

If you have a talent (everyone does) you could showcase that. Be it dancing, drawing, literature, fashion trends, great cooking or an obscure interest. There are bound to be people searching for the same interest.

Pick a topic that you’re most happy with and stick with it. It will define who you are.

If all else fails, just take photos of your pet.

 

pick

 

2.  Hashtags (Done Right)
Ok so people (usually always) say you need to tag your photos. Each photo is allowed a maximum of 30 tags. But wait!

Stop hash tagging so much! You’re annoying people.

As you’re posting you can tag your photo with some relevant tags (zero to eight maximum), then wait and put the remaining tags as a comment so that not many people will see them, but makes your photo still findable in search.

 

hashtags

 

3. Reaching out to Accounts
To take you photos to the next level you need to get them in front of a huge audience.

There are hundreds of accounts with huge followings that repost other peoples photos. If they pick your photo you’ll get credited, and get great exposure.

 

accounts

 

Your job is to find accounts that post similar photos to you. Tag your photo with their name, tag their account and hashtag in your caption or in a comment under your photo, and hope they love your photography.

The more accounts that feature your photos the more likes and followers you get. In order to be featured your photos need to be epic.

———–

 

Here’s your chance to learn a lot more.

We’re offering you a course in the coming new year 2015 with some amazing material that will definitely help your business succeed. If you’re interested then drop us a line.

I’m @daxon on Instagram, or tweet me @daxon