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Engaging Nonprofit Volunteers through Social Media

Volunteer Ireland are hosting the National Volunteer Management Conference today so naturally our interest spiked when they asked a member of our team to give a workshop on engaging volunteers through social media. We jumped at the chance, as here at connector360 we have a special place in our heart for nonprofit organizations and the great work they do.

Our whiz kid project manager Sarah was chosen for the task due to her background working with The Irish Cancer Society. She got the head down and immersed herself in research on how nonprofits use social channels successfully. What did she find? They are pretty darn good at it!

She packaged up her findings into a lovely presentation which you can find on Slideshare below:

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Some of the major insights she uncovered was the volunteers today are young, they’re generous and they are your online influencers. They share, share and keep on sharing the good work of the organizations they are involved with.
So, connector360 is sending a call out to all young people out there to get involved with a charity that is close to their heart. There’s no comparison to how rewarding the work is but more importantly you are helping others.

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Match Metrics To Your Strategy – A Focus On Facebook

We have looked at the main success factors in great digital marketing last week, so today we’re going to laser in on one of the social media giants: Facebook.

Besides your own website, Facebook is arguably your online shopfront.  With this in mind, using Facebook to build customer satisfaction is key but monitoring your performance is just as vital.

 

Facebook – Made to Measure

Okay, so you have built up a healthy following and you feel you are engaging your fans well.  Regular updates and the odd cat meme?  Excellent, but remember that every aspect of your Facebook interaction with fans can be measured to hone your efforts further.   One point to note however, is to link these metrics with your Facebook strategy.

The basic (and the most popular) metrics to note are fan count, likes & comments.  As these grow, they provide many a marketer with a warm and fuzzy feeling of success!  Simply speaking, a rise here is a positive step but if not allied to your objectives they mean surprisingly little.

Measure Against Your Goals – An Example

A brief example that this humble writer can recount was from time spent working with a local visual arts festival.  One early objective was a campaign for artistic submissions launched worldwide to give the festival an international flavour.   The net was spread wide to forums, Facebook & Twitter communities etc to attract them.  After this big push, the event’s Facebook friend count increased by 400% in three weeks!   Cue the celebrations, until the next phase of marketing began.  This was centered upon promoting ticket sales and attendance, where local fans are the obvious target.   The discovery was sobering – our hyper-inflated friend count revealed that most of these new fans were international, from Asia, South America, even Australia…  None exactly in a position to attend a festival in Dublin!

Ready, Take Aim, Measure

What to take from here is that while basic Facebook metrics often highlight positive trends, they may not be the right ones for your aims.

Looking to spread great content?  – Look for number of shares of your links, or its ‘viral’ spread

Promoting an event? – Measure if fans are primarily in your area, promote posts to local users only

Increasing leads & referrals? – Check Google Analytics, are clicks from Facebook to your website growing?

If you want to use social media to improve your business, you’re in for the long game.  Returns may not be rapid, or easy to pinpoint at first but keep your objectives in mind and stay the course.  Growing your Facebook presence must be a means, not an end.  Whatever your business is looking to achieve, use Facebook to assist these goals and measure to suit.

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Under The Hood – The 6 Key Parts Of Your Digital Marketing Engine

Today we will look at what separates an old, run down marketing strategy from the sleek, supercharged digital engine that drives a clued-in company.  Let’s pop the hood and see what makes souped-up digital marketing tick!

1. Create Useful and Shareable Content

The web is chock full of companies and brands advertising their wares. Being heard in the digital space with just an advert or sales pitch is a sure fire way of being lost in the ether.  To attract the new and empowered online customer you will need to grab their attention and make them come to you.

How? Create content that is relevant and useful to your customer base.   This will encourage them to return to your site again and again and improve customer perception of your brand.  This can be hugely effective and cost efficient way of increasing leads and sales opportunities.

2. Build Your Community & Fanbase

Now you have a strong and active web presence. To borrow a classic movie quote “If you build it, they will come”?  Not necessarily!  Ensure you get your message heard, if people are sharing your content, find out where and how.  Encourage these behaviours further amongst your customer base. Common examples here are clever uses of polls, questions, contests and competitions.

3. Interact With Your Audience, Build Trust

Social media marketing has allowed mass conversation between companies and consumers.  Brands can now reach out and make real connections with their customers.  Use social media to humanise your brand, start conversations and spark debate.  This will help create enthusiastic customers and in time, brand evangelists.

4. Maintain a Sales Focused Website

Your website is your crown jewel online, the one part of the web where you control every aspect of your brand’s message.  Test your own site from a customer perspective, is the search and purchase process clear and easy to understand?  If customers have to jump through too many hoops to purchase, they will simply leave and never come back.

5. Measure Your Effectiveness

Behold the altar of metrics!  Whatever your digital focus is (increasing fans, engagement, increasing sales leads) ensure that you are tracking the effects your strategy across your various web and social platforms.  Measure before, during and after any campaign, that way you can adjust your behaviour to repeat successes and avoid repeating failures.

6. Re-evaluate Objectives, & Go Again!

Of course, the road goes ever on regarding your brand’s performance.  Whether a campaign has met your goals or not, strive to create an action plan for any peaks and valleys in your performance that you may have noticed along the way.  Learn any lessons, refine your technique and get back into the fray.  Digital never sleeps!

If you’d like to know more about any of the topic discussed above, or how they can affect your business, please drop us a message.

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.

 

Irish Political Parties – Social Media Analysis #BOTB

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Continuing our SocialMedia.ie ‘Battle of the Brands’ social media analysis series, this week we’re looking at the Irish Political Parties. We’ve analysed their data and their communication styles, seeing if we could spot trends, patterns or differences. Have a read below to see what our data analysts found out.

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What we discovered

  • Fine Gael and Labour use Facebook as a promotional tool for the party, often posting press material relating to the party and Ireland’s economy
  • Fine Gael and Labour often get negative comments on posts, which they ignore
  • Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein use Facebook to comment negatively on the current state of the country/government
  • Sinn Fein is the clear winner in terms of engagement
  • Sinn Fein is the only party to mention the death of Margaret Thatcher, which strikes a chord with their fans

Key Insights

A lot of people are unhappy with the current political and economic situation in Ireland. They know we’re in trouble and they are wondering what our leaders are doing about it. This is further reinforced by the media, with the news and newspapers frequently telling us about all the problems that the country currently faces.

This is why the least effective accounts are those that project a positive image. Their posts are always positive, which followers seem to view this as misleading, causing annoyance and negative comments. Conversely, people react positively to the accounts that criticize the current government. Both Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail use Facebook to complain about the current state of the country, which seems to resonate strongly with their fans. Fans feel like they are being told the truth, or at least part of it.

Of all the parties, only Sinn Fein is actively talking about the death of Margaret Thatcher. Her death strikes a chord with their members, leading to a significant increase in their fans. Sinn Fein are the clear winners on Facebook, consistently posting engaging content. They frequently post images and videos, with very few  plain text status updates. Other parties could learn from this.

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What we discovered

  • Parties are consistent in their tweeting, with regular tweets put out every day.
  • Fine Gael and Labour use Twitter the exact same way as they do Facebook, all their messages are positive
  • Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein tweet about problems and issues with the current state of the country/government
  • Limited engagement with followers, Twitter is used as an information source, not an engagement tool
  • Limited use of Hashtags across all parties 
  • Margaret Thatcher’s death is a hot button at the moment, Sinn Fein are using it effectively to drive engagement

Key Insights

Irish political parties use Twitter and Facebook in the exact same way. They have clear messaging strategies which they broadcast across both channels.

There is a clear pattern emerging. If the party is in power, they will post mainly positive material. We believe this is  because they want to project a positive image and don’t want to say anything that could paint them in a bad light. Those not in power will post mostly negative material which  comments on how those in power are doing a terrible job. They will occasionally tweet positive content about themselves. This is used to reinforce the idea that the current government is incompetent, while they are competent and would do a better job.

Yet again, Sinn Fein wins hands down. They have the most followers, they have the most retweeted content and they are the most consistent in their tweeting.

More to come soon!

That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll be looking at cosmetics sector in Ireland, looking at who’s doing the best and who needs some work.

If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on the latest Digital Marketing news, tips and trends, then signup for our newsletter here!

 

Should social media be handled by a young tech-savvy intern? [Article]

Irish Independent, 11th April 2013

In the on-going debate about hiring an intern to handle your social media presence, a panel of social media and digital marketing experts, including our very own Conor Lynch, CEO, at SocialMedia.ie, spoke with Katie Roche, of the Irish Independent about the pitfalls, benefits and options available when it comes to managing a company’s online presence.

Conor highlights the necessity to have a digital marketing strategy that ties to a business strategy with careful controls in place. He also promotes a working environment where “digital native” juniors can bring their senior colleagues up-to-speed with regard to the latest online tactics or trends.

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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

SocialMedia.ie – Social Media Masterclass – 25th April 2013

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Everyone knows that these days you need to constantly up-skill yourself in social media programs and platforms.

SocialMedia.ie continues to train people every day in the basics of social media, so you can stay up to date with the latest technologies and trends.

The next Social Media Masterclass will take place in the Digital Hub on Thursday 25th April from 9:30am to 5:30pm.

At the end of the course you will be able to set up and manage social media accounts. You’ll be comfortable with Blogging, Tweeting, Facebook and Youtube. You’ll also understand the basics of social media strategy.

You can book your seat online here. For further information, please get in touch with us by Phone: +353 (01) 906 0006 or Email: team@socialmedia.ie

Follow us on Twitter @SocialMedia_ie 

 

 

Social Media Advertising Options on Twitter

Advertising your organisation has always been essential in business. Through the various social media outlets this can achieved and managed very easily and with little effect to your bottom line. Over the next few weeks I will be exploring the various methods available to you and your business; looking into the finer details and explaining the nitty gritty bits. This week we’ll be starting with Twitter, so let’s dive right in.

Twitter

– Direct Advertising
(1) Twitter Promoted Tweets
These are tweets, paid for by advertisers, that appear at the top of twitter search results or members’ timelines when he/she logs in. They look like regular tweets with a “Promoted” label and are relatively unobtrusive. They have the advantage of  reaching consumers who might not necessarily follow the brand being promoted. Promoted Tweets are quite cost effective as they operate on a cost per engagement (CPE) basis. This means that the advertiser doesn’t pay unless someone replies, retweets, favourites, or clicks on it.

(2) Twitter Promoted Trends
These are trending topic links that appear on the Twitter home page and reflect what Twitter considers to be the most popular, real-time conversations on Twitter. Advertisers pay a flat fee to promote their brands. When people click on a Promoted Trend link, they see a Twitter search results page listing all the tweets related to that topic. A highly relevant tweet from the advertiser, with the “Promoted” label, appears at the top of the search results page.

(3) Twitter Promoted Accounts
Similar to the “Promoted” tweets and trends, Twitter Promoted Accounts are specific Twitter account links that appear at the top of profile search results pages and at the top of the “Who to follow” section on Twitter. They cost a flat fee, include a “Promoted” label, and can be targeted by country. When people click on a Promoted Account link, they are taken to Twitter profile for that account and can decide whether or not they want to follow the brand.

– Third-Party Network Advertising
There are a quite a few advertising networks that enable companies to pay Twitter members to publish tweets on behalf of a brand. You can find just about any celebrity (like Kim Kardashian) to publish a tweet for your brand through a third-party advertising network. The most popular ones include Sponsored Tweets and TwtMob. This method allows some ease as someone else handles all of the logistics, payments, and so on. There are specific disclosure policies that publishers must comply with in order to stay out of trouble with Twitter and the law; so make sure to pay attention to these.

– Publisher Direct Advertising
Brands can approach individuals who have significant influence on Twitter and offer to pay them for publishing sponsored tweets. Advertisers can reach out to the publishers who already have the trust of their target audiences. Brands use direct advertising to raise awareness, drive specific actions, and attract new customers. Brands can negotiate price, timing, and messaging with individual tweeters and tailor tweets to the appropriate audiences.

To get some help with your social media policy, please contact us.

Felix McCabe (LinkedIn)

D.I.T and NUI Maynooth students use BOSS Metrics social media analytics tool

At D.I.T. Aungiers Street, Dublin and NUI Maynooth, Kildare; 2nd Year Marketing Degree students and final year Business and Management Degree students have had the opportunity to gain practical experience working with 20 Irish Companies on Social Media projects.

Student teams have recruited business owners that have permitted them to manage their social media accounts, monitor and measure social media performance using analytics tools and provide recommendations for the business owners going forward in their digital marketing plans.

The team are being trained and guided by Industry professional Conor lynch; founder of socialmedia.ie and BOSSMetrics.com. Conor’s team recently developed their own analytics software (BOSS Metrics) that he provided open access to for participating students.  The use of tools and the knowledge gained from class gives students a hands-on understanding of social media strategies and techniques to be used by both individuals and businesses.

Here is what some of the NUI Maynooth students had to say about their projects so far:

“Our team found BOSS Metrics analytics tool very convenient to be able to measure all social media platforms in one place. BOSS Metrics has a very clean and bright interface with colour coding that really helps when navigating. It’s very useful to be assisted with goals that help you to understand how you can improve your social media campaigns. It is easy to use; tools like “Reporter” and “Comparer” have saved us a lot of time and energy when preparing a report as it creates all the graphs and comparisons for you, therefore making our experience enjoyable.

 Name: Sofja Careva
 Course: BBS in Business and Management; 3rd year

“Over three years of academic studies, it has only been through our Social Media module that we have had the opportunity to get industry experience using practical tools. The use of BOSS Metrics social media analytics tool in the classroom, with real company data, has given us a unique insight into how businesses can reach their goals through social media. With businesses moving into social media in their droves, these skills give us a sure edge on what we can offer to an organisation when applying for a job upon graduation.”

Name: Annelli Nealon
Course: BBS in Business and Management; 3rd year

 

            

If you would like to get a 14 day free trial of the BOSS Metrics social media analytics tool; simply go to http://www.bossmetrics.com and apply. We wish everybody a successful and efficient social media expedition!