Category Archives: Social Media

Why Social Media Scheduling Works

When I do social media training with businesses I never leave without having set them up on an online scheduler and, without fail, it positively affects their ability to produce good quality online content.

The benefits of using a scheduler include saving time, enabling better targeting and making it easier to implement a well-planned content calendar.  An online scheduler will also allow you to view all of your online profiles on one dashboard, which makes for easier measurement of analytics.

And they’re not the only reasons why you should be using one…

LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCEwww.communicationshub.ie

Monitor your brand, your competition, and what your customers are saying about you on social media.

ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERSwww.communicationshub.ie

Never miss an opportunity to connect with your audience or join conversations that are important to your brand.

MEASURE YOUR SOCIAL ROI www.communicationshub.ie

Make smarter, data-driven social media marketing decisions with confidence, so you can grow your business and your revenue.

 

My favourite scheduler is Hootsuite which supports social network integrations www.communicationshub.iefor Twitter,  Facebook,  Instagram,  LinkedIn,  Google+,  YouTube, Blogger, and much more.  It also has some great downloads such as:

  • Hootlet – ‘Find & Share Anywhere’. Quickly and easily share content to your social networks from anywhere on the web
  • Hootsuite App – Free mobile app to schedule, publish, and monitor conversations
  • Hootsuite App Directory – Collection of extensions and applications business professionals can add to their Hootsuite dashboard to create a customised experience eg. Dropbox, Gmail, Google Drive, Mailchimp, Review Tracker, Survey Monkey, Vimeo.

While Hootsuite works for me, there are other options out there too such as Everypost, Buffer and Social Oomph.  Several custom pricing plans are available, and each can be tested out through a free trial period.

Conclusion

Each social media scheduler has advantages and special features, but it all comes down to what you personally prefer.  Whichever one you choose, just make sure your business is using one.  You’ll reap the benefits, I promise!

Karen Twomey is a freelance PR & Social Media Consultant who specialises in online campaigns and social media training.   For further details check out her website  www.communicationshub.ie

 

 

Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Social Media Training Cork

Due to the success of our last Social Media for Business Course in Fermoy, I’m delighted to be running a further course on Wednesday 7th December from 7 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. in Fermoy Community Youth Centre.

As a business, social media is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to reach your customers and create awareness around your products and services.  To ensure you are using the right platforms and the right content social media training is essential – your business will thank you!

This 2 hour social media training course will teach you:

  • The best online platforms to use for your business
  • How to create engaging content
  • How to save time by using content calendars and online scheduling
  • An introduction to blogging, email marketing and SEO
  • How to manage your business’s online reputation.

Places are limited and cost €25.00 per person.

Communications Hub will be running further social media training courses, as well as blogging, online reputation management, content marketing and content scheduling courses in the New Year.

For further details or to book your place call Karen Twomey on 0877642575 or email: karen@communicationshub.ie
Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Online Addiction, Me? Surely not…

A few months back, I wrote a blog about the importance of ‘switching off’ from work in this 24/7 online environment that we now live in.

Online addiction is an issue which I feel strongly about, and one which has become a real contributor towards mental health issues in our society and workplaces.

On a recent (much-needed) holiday, I found myself reflecting on my ability to take an online hiatus (also much-needed).  It occurred to me that it was reasonably easy to make the decision to ‘switch off’ from work.  If we’re lucky enough to have a separate work mobile, we can switch it off.  We can choose not to log into our work emails, or to check our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.  It’s not an impossible feat.

What is becoming increasing impossible, is the ability to ‘switch off’ from an everyday perspective.  There is little doubt, no matter what our age, most of us are becoming increasingly dependent on the online world in our day to day lives – be it death notices, current affairs, or match fixtures – it’s all there at the click of a button.

Take my father, who is in his sixties (early sixties – important to distinguish or I may risk losing the coveted ‘favourite off-spring’ title).  He was the generation who lived by the daily newspaper, maybe even two or three different titles on a Sunday.  Like most of us, he has abandoned his beloved newspaper and now gets his news online.

Some statistics would indicate this online reliance is not an unusual trend for those his age with the fastest growing Twitter demographic in Ireland the over 55s.  It represents an interesting shift.  Traditionally, those with online addictions were often portrayed as sulky teenagers glued to the couch taking copious pouting selfies.  Not anymore.

Social media addicts are now as likely to be those of us in our late 30s, and upwards.  We may not be snap chatting our buys from Pennys, or Instagramming with the latest hashtags (I said MAY not – ahem), but we are using social media, for all types of reasons, all the time.

As I work in social media, I made a very conscientious decision to try to switch off my Wi-Fi as much as possible during this year’s holiday.  I’ll put my hands up and admit – I failed miserably.  Why?  I’m just too reliant on the web.  I logged on every day.  I checked the weather in France (mostly raining), weather at home (mostly sunny), I googled tourist attractions in our area, I logged onto the wine depot website to see what treats I’d stock up on to bring home (well worth a visit if you find yourself touring Brittany).  I googled, and then I googled some more.

It wasn’t all holiday and cheap wine related, of course.  Even though we were cocooned in our holiday hideaway, the world was still turning, and tragedies still happening.  While we were away the terrible and senseless shooting took place of 49 innocent souls at an Orlando nightclub.  It was shocking and unbelievable, and we wanted to know Why? How? Who?  So, we logged online to help us understand.  What else could we do?

On reflection, I feel disappointed in myself that I couldn’t ‘switch off’ for two short weeks.  I wonder what it says about me and my dependency on the online world.  I wonder if I’m becoming (or perhaps already am) an addict.  With 46% of the world’s population now logging onto the World Wide Web every day, it would seem I may not be alone.

Karen Twomey is a freelance PR and Online Communications Consultant with Communications Hub Tel: 0877642576
Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Why Your Business Needs to be on LinkedIn

When it comes to LinkedIn, I’ll admit I’m a relative newcomer…but like most people who discover things later in life that they enjoy, I’ve taken to it with gusto.

In fact, it’s swiftly becoming one of my favorite social media platforms.  And, I’m not alone.  According to IPSOS MRBI Social Networking Quarterly, LinkedIn registered a 5% increase in Irish users from September 2015 to January 2016.

With almost 30% of Irish professionals now having accounts, LinkedIn is becoming the social network of choice for those looking to build professional connections and showcase their skills.  And where the online masses venture…businesses quickly follow.

The benefits of LinkedIn in business are multi-faceted.  Not only is it the natural place to attract and headhunt for top class staff, but it also provides invaluable opportunities for B2C and B2B networking. Best of all, it offers companies an opportunity to grow their brands in an affordable, flexible and interesting way.

Still not convinced?

Here are even more benefits of having a company profile on LinkedIn:

  • Makes a brand more credible.
  • Improves SEO.
  • Helps personalise a brand.
  • Showcases products and services.
  • Targets specific audiences.
  • Allows for customer interaction.

While Facebook and Twitter may still be the more popular social media platforms in Ireland, those on LinkedIn (over 300 million worldwide) are there for a completely different reason – to grow and promote themselves and their business.

To really impact online, LinkedIn must form part of a social media strategy for Irish companies.  Regardless to the size of your business, maintaining a well-managed LinkedIn page will boost your company’s profile and ultimately, your business will reap the benefits.

For more information on social media strategies for your business, contact Communications Hub today.
Communications Hub
(business2community.com)
Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Why Video is now King

Move over Content, there’s a new King                  in town….

With video content now receiving up to 60% more online interaction than photos, it’s becoming a key part of content marketing strategies.

According to Cisco video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017 and video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled.

In the U.S. mobile video ad spend is growing faster than all other digital advertising tactics.  EMarketer states that $7.46 billion was spent by companies on digital ads, an increase of 42% from 2014.

Social media platforms are reaping the benefits of this shift to video, with Facebook reporting 8 billion video views daily, while Snapchat delivers over 7 billion videos to users each day.  This represents an unbelievable growth of almost 50% in video usage on Snapchat in just 4 months.

In this era of information overload, video is naturally engaging and easy to digest.  It also delivers a message in a more personal way, evoking more passion and emotion, and creating better community engagement.

Here are some useful tips when creating video content:
  1. Be Passionate, not attention grabbing -your audience will know the difference.
  2. Be engagement-driven, not hit driven – communities are built on interaction, not selling.
  3. Think small to achieve big – creativity wins over cost of production.
  4. One size does not fit all – have a multi-platform video strategy.

Online video is set to continue its rise and will remain an important element in marketing and communications strategies going forward. 

Ignore it at your peril!

For further information on communications and marketing strategies for your business, contact us today.

Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Online Crisis Management – Be Prepared!

In this era of social media and mobile devices, news spreads faster than ever before.  The web has removed control from those who create content and a crisis can develop in seconds. 

This is why it is vital that companies have an on-line crisis management strategy in place – long before it is ever needed.

When developing an online strategy, we must understand the ethics and rules of digital media and how crisis management on-line may differ from that off-line.

According to Chris Norton online crisis management can be separated into three stages – pre-crisis, crisis response and post-crisis evaluation.  An online crisis typically creates a spike in comments, shares and engagement, the conversations around which are generally negative.  During this crisis, it is essential to monitor and track what is being said and respond immediately.

An online crisis typically creates a spike in comments, shares and engagement, the conversations around which are generally negative.  During this crisis, it is essential to monitor and track what is being said and respond immediately.

When putting together a strategy to deal with on-line crisis, the following should be included:

  • Those who will form part of the crisis management team.
  • Pre-draft templates for on-line content – these can be pre-approved by legal teams to speed up their delivery.
  • The communication channels to be used.
  • An outline of how people can and can’t behave across on-line communication channels.

Finally, a crisis management strategy should have a strong focus on internal communications.  Those associated with the party will need to know what happened, what they should do and how the crisis will affect them.

All information regarding the crisis should be shared and updated regularly with all those who communication on behalf of the company to ensure all outward communication is consistent.

It may be impossible to pre-empt every online crisis, but we can certainly make sure we’re prepared for when one does occur and that the right procedure is followed.

Contact Communications Hub now and let us help you put together an effective crisis management strategy.
Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

New Year, New Marketing Tools?

Happy New Year to all!  I hope everyone is refreshed after a break and ready to take 2016 by storm!

I may be the exception here, but I love January.  It’s a great month to take stock and plan the year ahead.  It’s also a time to try something new.  To think outside the box.

It’s so important in business to ‘step outside the building’ every now and again, and a new year is a great time to do this.  We’re all guilty of complacency, especially when things are going well.  But to continue to be successful in business, we must always look ahead and stay ahead.

This is especially true when putting together a marketing strategy for your brand and your product.  How will 2016’s strategy differ from that of 2015?  How will you ensure that you continue to reach your customer?  And most importantly, that they connect with your message?

The best way to do this is to make sure your marketing strategy is current and relevant.  Of course, creative content will alway be the best way to do this – freshen up your website, start blogging and use social media content to connect all your platforms together.

It’s also important to research what industry influencers are saying about future trends.  According to the Huffington Post the following five trends will drive social media marketing in 2016:

Micro-Targeting Audience Segments – When consumers are faced with significant lifestyle events, like having a baby, moving house, or getting married, they are more open to changing their purchasing habits.  This means if you can send the right message at the right time, you have a higher chance of gaining their loyalty.

Importance of In-The-Moment Content – The popularity of streaming apps, such as Snapchat and Periscope, is continuing to grow.  A recent Comscore Report found that Snapchat is the 3rd most important social app among 18 – 34 year olds.

Consumer is now the Influencer – Thanks to social media, everyday consumers have built a follower base, giving them stronger voices and the ability to influence public opinion.

Micro-Video and Gifs – Young consumers are obsessed with immersive video and gifs as a means of expression.  Cinemagraphs alone get 60% more engagement than static images.

Messaging Apps and Emojis – These are providing quicker, simpler and more engaging opportunities for social media users to connect and look set to grow in influence in 2016.

All in all, it looks like 2016 will see the continued growth of ‘less is more’ with regard to content, as well as a strong reliance on video and live streaming to connect with consumers.  Snapchat looks set to capture even more of the commercial market, with more and more companies using the platform to advertise.  There’s little doubt that Facebook and Twitter will continue to be valuable tools for business, but companies will need to be clever and fresh in their use of content.

Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Why Facebook Marketing Matters

Despite the fact that 70% of Irish businesses are now on Facebook, many still don’t take it seriously as a valuable marketing tool.  

It’s an accepted fact that newspaper readership is on the decrease, yet many businesses are still investing enormous amounts of their marketing budgets on print advertising.  It often seems more acceptable to some marketers to spend hundreds on a one-off advert in a weekly paper, then to invest that money into a long-term Facebook marketing strategy.

Why is that?

Communications Hub
(mudstershop.com)

It’s hard to say.  Some companies still view social media as a ‘kids game’.  That may have been true some years ago, but now, those kids are the very customers these companies are so desperate to reach. So whether we want to accept it or not, from here until eternity, all of those leaving college and entering the workforce will be digital natives.   A generation who live their lives through the world wide web – be it researching products, booking services or purchasing goods – it all happens online.

In Ireland Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, with 60% of the population having accounts. To put that into context – 2.4 million people use Facebook in Ireland each month. That’s a lot of potential customers.  The largest Facebook demographic is 18 – 24-year-olds, who make up 29% of the Irish audience, while women tend to be more active on the platform then men.

Although Facebook has experienced a slight decrease in users over the last year or so, it is still the most used social media platform in the world.  So despite the decrease in popularity, it’s hard to see Facebook becoming any less relevant in marketing terms over the coming few years.   In fact, in Ireland 70% of social media users follow brands and businesses online.  Talk about leading the horse to water….but of course, we all know the next line to that old saying….

So, the simple truth is – If you’re not investing time and money into marketing your business on Facebook, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.  Call Communications Hub today and let us put together a successful social media strategy for you.  

Stay relevant online

Communications Hub
(insidestudyabroad.com)

 

Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Digital Week Skibbereen

Digital Week Skibbereen
(wordkern.wordpress.com)

As I set off for Skibbereen early last Wednesday morning I was unsure of what to expect.  I had followed the growing lineup of speakers for National Digital Week with interest and was very much looking forward to attending some of the events.  As bad luck would have it the only day I was free to attend was Wednesday, Digital Week’s opening day.  That left me with a choice of two events – Future of Digital Education and STEM, or Farming 2030.  Having no connection or real interest (sorry!) in farming, except for being married to a farmer’s son – the non-farming one –  I quickly opted to attend the educational conference.

While I certainly have an interest in digital education and STEM, in truth there were other talks that held more appeal – Empowering a Billion Women 2020 & Social Entrepreneurship, and IOT Reimagining a Connected World, being but two.  But so it was on Wednesday morning, after a long two hour drive through commuter tail backs and twisty rural roads, I eventually arrived at the West Cork Hotel for my taste of Digital Week.

With no time for a much needed caffeine hit, I was ushered straight through to the function room where Dr Laurence O’Rourke of the European Space Agency was just about to take the stage.  As I settled into my seat my focus was drawn to those surrounding me. They were young, very young.   They sat, packed into the room like sardines, with every bit of free space – seats, floor, stage – all occupied.  I felt a bit of panic gurgle up from my coffee craving stomach.  Was I in the wrong event?  Had I misread the program?  I quickly started looking towards the exit doors. Maybe if I moved quickly I could get out before the speaker began and take my chances with the farming after all.  Alas, right at that point my panic was interrupted by the host inviting us to put our hands together for Dr Laurence O’Rourke.  I was trapped.

After a few minutes something very strange started to occur.  The natural hustle and bustle, to be expected when a couple of hundred school children are in a room, started to subside and before long the room fell silent.  That spell of silence remained cast for Susanne Thompson from Discovery, and later in the evening for Stephen Howell from Microsoft Ireland.  The young attendees, including myself (not so young), were entranced by the great speakers, interesting props and eye-catching visuals.  These energetic and enthusiastic speakers did what so many other speakers fail to do, they connected.  They were professionals who judged their audience and adjusted their content and delivery accordingly.  To do this with with adults is one thing, but to hold the attention of a room full of young students for over an hour, is nothing short of impressive.

After the event I set off on my long journey back home.  I left not only enlightened as to how important STEM and digital education is in this country, but truly in awe of my fellow conference goers.  They were respectful, confident young people, with a real interest in their futures.  They listened, they partook in live surveys and they asked intelligent questions.  What a great indication of the future of this small island and the exciting opportunities available to our graduates.  What a credit to their schools, teachers and to their parents.  And what a great event to be part of #DigitalWeekSkibb

Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Five tips for advertising on Instagram

With over 300 million users worldwide, Instagram is one of the fastest growing and most relevant social media platforms today. So why do businesses still not use it as a means of marketing and connecting with their clients? 

Communications Hub
(thestudentblogger.co.uk)

The simple answer is they are unsure how best to use Instagram. Once businesses do start strategically using the picture based social media platform, the vast majority see an instant increase in interaction and referrals to their websites.

So here are some simple tips to help you on your #Instajourney.

  • Use images/videos that not only sell a product, but sell your brand – who you want to be and the vibe you want to create.
  • Post content at least once a week (of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands 86 are Instagram users and 73% of these post at least once a week).
  • Keep it short and sweet.  Under 140 characters is a good guide and has the added bonus of being Twitter compatible.
  • Hashtag clever.  Check out what hashtags competitors are using. Think about the audience you want to reach and the action you want them to take.  There are no limits to the number of hashtags you can use, but seven or less would be a good guide.
  • Connect.  Research has shown that posts which tag other users experience 56% more engagement.  While posts that tag a location earn 79% more engagement.

And finally,  don’t be afraid to experiment.  Instagram is the home of creative content with posts showing everything from holiday destinations to homemade baking.  Work out a formula that works for your brand and your followers and, if you’re not already including Instagram in your marketing strategy, get doing it now.  #Instagram #Instamarketing #Instafun

Contact Communications Hub for more information on how to effectively market your brand on social media.

Share This:
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail