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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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Aware’s #BeatTheBlues campaign brings colour to the darkness of depression

Some projects give us so much pride and happiness for contributing in some way to something bigger, like changing lives. That is the case of the latest Aware campaign which features their ambassador Dublin GAA star Bernard Brogan :)

Each year Aware currently delivers its Beat the Blues programme free to over 30,000 Irish students aged 15-18. With almost 75% of all serious mental health difficulties first emerging between the ages of 15 and 25, Aware believes it is vital to get in early and educate young people about how to recognise symptoms of depression and where possible prevent it from spiralling out of control.

Our campaign video features street art and the theme is bringing colour to the darkness and underlining the common issue of surviving which connects us all. This two-minute video – a collaboration with graffiti artist, HyerografX – is intended to highlight something that is fundamental to each and every one of us: our mental health. The video also highlights Aware’s work in schools, helping teenagers to understand the importance of looking after their own mental health and helping them to build resilience and develop coping skills :)

Be part of the change. Please join the #BeatTheBlues conversation, share our video or text BeattheBlues to 50300 to donate €4 to Aware.

Introducing SocialMedia.ie 2013

Over the last few months we’ve been working with the Digital Skills Academy to produce some amazing content. One of these pieces was a video.

Introducing SocialMedia.ie – 2013

This video shows the importance of social media and the services that we offer. Can you tell where this was filmed? Here’s a clue, it’s popular music venue with a top notch social media presence. Watch the video and try to figure it out!

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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!

Supporting Talented Digital Students

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

The 49th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition held it’s BT bootcamp this week. The event lasts four days and aims to give 30 lucky second-level students experience of the world of innovation and entrepreneurship. SocialMedia.ie was represented by Conor Lynch and Barry O’Sullivan who delivered presentations on the importance of social media and met some of the young scientists.

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Conor Lynch (right) and Barry O’Sullivan (left) from socialmedia.ie with Larry Taylor of BT at the BT Young Scientist Bootcamp.

Eircom Junior Spider Awards

Yesterday Eircom held the 2013 eircom Junior Spider Awards which sees the awards enter their fourth year.  Hosted by RTE’s Aidan Power the awards recognise and reward primary and post primary students for the innovative ways they use the internet. Conor Lynch was on the judging panel again this year and he was at the ceremony to congratulate the successful students.

 

Lee-Loi Chieng who won the award for Best Web Design and the Grand Prix Award in the Tera Spiders category

 Sources: BT Young Scientist and Press Room Eircom

The Rise of Digital Video and Moving Pictures

kony_2012_In 2012, a short documentary about an African Warlord made history by becoming the fastest spreading online video. The phenomena broke records by reaching more people its first week of release than the highest rated TV series. Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, the African Guerilla movement using child soldiers, became the most talked about villain in America.

Amazingly all this was made known by a small charity who posted a 30′ minute video on YouTube. Almost immediately ‘Kony 2012′ went viral gaining attention from icons such as Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey. Kony 2012 had sparked the rise of Online video and is one of the compelling reasons why we need to embrace this medium.

Approximately 44% of Irish Companies are using YouTube in their digital strategy and with a staggering 800 million visitors worldwide, online video has the potential to be priceless. Video share your content by engaging the senses and emotions of the viewer. Plus it has minimal investment, which is always attractive. Videos can be shared across all social networks, communicating complex messages and enhancing your engagement with a wide audience.

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According to Brightcove, B2B companies experienced a 36% annual sales increase after using Video. With 183 million Americans watching 37 billion Online videos in September 2012 alone, what’s keeping you?

There are many ways of creating that perfect video, whatever your budget. Screen Capture is a cost effective method of putting your content on YouTube. Free tools like screenr.com allow you to talk your way through a presentation as if to a roomful of people. What you show on your desktop becomes your video content and your voice narrates.

For higher budgets working with production companies can produce some pretty impressive results. Animation can show your target audience exactly what you do, illustrating old and new methods, ending with a clear call to action. Video testimonials are a growing trend, filming customers opinions about your product or service. Testimonials are a reassuring push for potential clients.

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If you’re interested in video and would like some expert advice, or even want a video made, please Contact Us.