Confused about which social media platforms your business should be on? You’re not alone…
This is a question I’m always asked when I’m meeting with a business or running one of my social media training courses. In fact, if I had a euro for each time, I’d be writing this blog from a golden beach in Hawaii…maybe it’s time to reconsider my professional fees.
Anyway, I digress. Back to social media platforms.
Which social media platform is best for your business is a hard question to answer. There may even be a place for many businesses on almost all platforms, but in reality, most businesses won’t have the time, inclination or budget for that.
I always answer that it’s better to be on one social media platform and do it well, rather than be on all of them, and failing miserably.
If you’d like something a bit more technical though here’s a breakdown of age profiles on each social media platform. Think about your audience – Who are they? What age are they? Let that be a guide as to the social media platforms your business uses. It’s also a great guide as to the type of content you should be posting – but that’s a blog for another day.
For those wondering why Snapchat isn’t included in that graph, it’s because Snapchat isn’t a social media platform, it’s a messaging service. But, because I’m such a nice person, I’ve put together some stats on age profile use of that too…you’re welcome.
So, to sum it up. Facebook seems to be a ‘catch-all’ for all age groups, while the likes of Instagram and Twitter tend to appeal to a slightly younger to middle-aged aged group. If your customer is under 25, Snapchat should be a focus for your business online.
Of course, there are always exceptions and the above is just meant as a useful guide for your business when trying to decide the best social media platforms to use.
For more information on social media training and online management, see our website www.communicationshub.ie
On 5th August I’ll be taking part in a fundraising skydive along with members of the Fermoy NRG Networking Group to raise funds for Liam’s Lifts, a community-based service that provides transport to members of our community who attend oncology appointments and treatments in Cork City. This service is provided on an entirely voluntary basis.
This incredible service is provided on an entirely voluntary basis by members of the community who give up their time to support those affected by cancer.
How it works:
Liam’s Lifts collects each passenger from their own home and drives them to the hospital or clinic where the treatment or appointment is arranged. The driver will wait until this is completed and then drive the passenger home again. This is a free service that operates on an entirely donation basis.
More than 380 events took place around Ireland last week to celebrate Local Enterprise Week 2017, with 14,500 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in attendance.
I was lucky enough to attend three of those events. On Monday I made my way to the picturesque Springfort Hall, just outside of Mallow, for the ‘Starting Local, Growing Global’ Women in Business Conference. The event promised ‘real stories’ from six female entrepreneurs, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The story of health food company Cool Beans was delivered by co-founder Sarah O’Connor who kickstarted the morning by getting all those in attendance to remove their shoes and partake in a few moments of mindfulness.
Sarah’s story of ups, downs and more than a sprinkle of hard work was emulated in the lively panel discussion which followed, made up of ceramic artist Siobhain Steele, eQuiddity founder Ingrid De Doncker, Caroline Workman of Hederman Smoked Salmon and Louise Ryan of Ball & Socket.
After some informal networking – and much-welcome coffee – Noelle O’Connor, CEO of Tan Organic, took to the stage to share her story. And what a story it was. Noelle’s raw honesty captured the room as she took us on her awe-inspiring story of outstanding successes and heartbreaking defeats. What a journey, what a business woman.
I could have given up so many times, but I didn’t
My next Enterprise Week stop was at Fermoy for a joint Local Enterprise Office and NRG Networking Group hosted ‘Speed Networking’ event, where we were warmly welcomed by Joan Kelleher of the LEO Cork North and West and Clodagh Glavin, Chairperson of NRG Networking Group.
J.J. O’Connell of Plato Business Support & Development Network gave the gathering a great talk on effective networking, following which we engaged in some rigorous speed networking! I’m delighted to say I left with some useful contacts and some promising leads.
After a quick dip back into the day job, I made my way to my second event of the day at Cork’s Institute of Technology – A seminar by the MA in Public Relations with New Media class entitled ‘Smart Communications Using New Media’. The seminar formed part of CIT’s Innovation Week.
I must confess that after an early start and long day, not to mention the rush-hour evening traffic and relentless March downpours, I was possibly craving my bed more than the CIT Nimbus Centre’s seminar room by the time I made my arrival. However, after a quick coffee pick-me-up, I took my seat in anticipation for the excellent line-up of speakers.
The first speakers of the night were Brendan Keary Jnr. and Olan Hodnett from Kearys Motor Group, one of Ireland’s largest motor dealerships. They talked us through their innovative use of social media as a promotional and marketing tool, showing some great examples of video content.
Interestingly, Kearys social media focus for the next six months will be on growing their profile on Instagram. A clever move by the group considering Instagram is now Ireland’s fastest growing social media platform with 28% of the population having accounts.
Next up (and no stranger to a stage) was Rebecca Kemp from the Rose of Tralee International Festival management team. It was interesting to hear Rebecca speak about how such a traditional festival had embraced new media to reach new audiences.
Rebecca was followed by Editor for Landmark Digital, Jill O’Sullivan, who manages the digital teams of Breakingnews.ie and the Irish Examiner. Jill explained the impact of new media on journalism and in particular how difficult it was to re-establish the bottom line in terms of advertising and revenue.
The wonderful Gina London was the final speaker for the evening, sharing her policy of ‘Go, Grow and Show’ in building communications in business. Gina is an Emmy-award winning former CNN Journalist and International Communications Consultant.
Now based in Cork, Gina helps businesses to craft digital techniques for effective communication. She believes today’s executives need to connect by telling their stories online and leading by example. You cannot underestimate the power of showing personality, she claims. Coming from someone who captivated the audience from the moment she took the microphone, it’s hard to argue.
As I made my way back out into the cold dreary night, although tired, I felt a sense of excitement about the future of my business. As a social media consultant, I spend a lot of my days trying to promote (and sometimes, convince) businesses of the virtues of investing in new media communications. Many are still dubious, some even think it’s ‘just another fad’.
After having the pleasure of spending a few hours of my week with a mixture of innovative, hard-working and awe-inspiring entrepreneurs, I felt recharged and invigorated. To see how brands, such as the Rose of Tralee, have adapted and utilised new media to move entire organisations into the 21st Century, gives a sense of how far we have come as a society.
The moral of my Enterprise Week is that whether we like it or not, or whether we feel comfortable with it or not, technology and communication methods have changed. New media is here to stay, only to be replaced by even newer media. Businesses only have one choice to make today and that’s to embrace it and continue the march forward – because if you’re not moving forward….
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
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