Tag Archives: Communications Hub

Digital Marketing Training Cork

Is your business being left behind?

Did you know that over 80% of consumers research goods and services online prior to buying?

Or that 90% of businesses are now active on social media?

Make sure your business is being found online!Communications Hub

Here’s what Communications Hub can do for you‚Ķ

ūüíꬆDigital Marketing
ūüíꬆSocial Media Marketing
ūüíꬆOnline Training
ūüíꬆE-Mail Marketing
ūüíꬆContent Creation
ūüíꬆOnline Management

Communications Hub has a proven track record in delivering and implementing digital marketing and online campaigns, as well as developing content to help businesses stand out from the crowd.

We provide one-to-one and group digital marketing training sessions which can be tailor-made to suit your business’s online requirements.

For further information see www.communicationshub.ie or call Karen Twomey on 087 7642575 

Communications Hub

#DigitalMarketing #DigitalMarketingTraining #OnlineTraining #Cork 

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Upcoming Social Media Training for Business

Need some help getting your business online? This 2.5hr social media training course will improve your online skills and help your business/organisation to stand out on social media.

Topics covered include:

* An overview of social media platforms, their audiences and use in
the Irish market
* How to create and upload engaging content – text, photos & video
* An introduction to Blogging, Email Marketing & Search Engine
Optimisation
* How to save time using content calendars and online scheduling

It’s the ideal course for anyone who wants to get to know a little more about social media from a professional perspective and improve their online marketing.

COST: ‚ā¨30 per person

For further information contact Karen Twomey on 0877642575/karen@communicationshub.ie or see our website www.communicationshub.ie

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Is your Business using Hootsuite?

If so, make sure you’ve read the following changes recently made to Hootsuite policy.

To keep users’ information safe and secure, Facebook is changing the way all partners like Hootsuite access data.  Hootsuite is in full support of these changes because they believe they are critical to maintaining trust between social media users. Some of these changes have impacted or will impact Hootsuite functionality.

As of April 4th, changes to the Facebook and Instagram APIs have impacted Hootsuite in the following ways:

  • Facebook Group, Event, and Page Search streams will no longer display identifiable user information such as username and profile picture.
  • Facebook Page Search streams will be deprecated. It will no longer be possible to add streams for Pages you do not own.
  • Facebook Events and Groups will be deprecated from the dashboard, including:
    • Events streams for Facebook profiles, groups, and Pages.
    • All Facebook Group streams: Timeline, Scheduled, and Activity.
    • Publishing to Groups.
  • Facebook Pages added or reconnected in Hootsuite after April 4 will no longer support Facebook private messaging functionality. This means that the following will no longer be available:
    • Messages stream for Facebook Pages.
    • Automation and assignments for Facebook private messages.
  • Mentioning Instagram users, Facebook Pages, or Facebook users in posts will no longer be supported.
  • Tagging Facebook branded content will no longer be supported.
  • Liking Instagram posts or comments will no longer be supported.
  • Following or unfollowing Instagram users will no longer be supported.
  • Commenting on Instagram posts will no longer be supported, except Instagram Business profiles who can continue commenting on their own posts.
  • Instagram user search streams will be deprecated.
  • Instagram data will no longer be available in Hootsuite Impact‚Äôs Brand Tracker module.

As a social media manager, these changes are sure to impact the day to day management of our client’s social media platforms and the implication of this will only be felt in the coming weeks.

Is this the start of the end for all third-party apps on Facebook?  I think so.

Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub  For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie
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In a world of Kardashians, be real

An American Family is often credited as being the first proper reality TV series to hit screens in 1973.  It was a fly-on-the-way documentary that followed the lives of ordinary couple Bill and Pat Loud and their five children.  Containing arguments, affairs, and ultimately divorce, it caused a furore in America and changed the face of television forever more.

The model of reality TV didn’t change much over the years and became a ‘social norm’ for those growing up in the noughties, which saw an explosion in such series.¬† Programmes like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Big Brother and Masterchef were churning out reality tv stars by the week and, suddenly, we had a whole new type of celebrity.

We found ourselves swamped with reality tv stars everywhere we turned – tv, magazines, every type of opening imaginable and, of course, online – and so was born the ‘Influencer’.¬† It was the growth of social media though that really exploded the power of these influencers and brands began falling over themselves to be associated with the ‘celeb of the moment’.

As with all fads, the reality tv sector eventually reached saturation and we started to tire of the ‘z-listers’.¬† We wanted something new, something authentic and real.¬† We grew tired of scripted ‘fake reality’,¬† we wanted real people in real life circumstances.¬† ¬†And so dawned the era of social media influencer – real people, just like you and I.

Popular online influencers tend to be bloggers or vloggers on certain topics Рfitness, clothes, make-up, parenting, cooking Рthe list is endless.  It takes a huge amount of hard work to make it as an online influencer and build a following large enough to attract brands to use your influence as paid promotion.

This type of marketing has exploded in recent years and focuses on influential people, rather than the target market as a whole.  A brand identifies individuals that have influence over potential buyers and orients marketing activities around these.  It works because people buy from people they trust.

Social Media Influencers focus on particular genres and build a following of similar minded people.¬† They are in a position to build ‘real’ relationships with people who brands also want to build relationships with.¬† Influencers reach consumers via their blogs and¬†social networks and their marketing clout has been steadily growing along with the popularity of platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.

According to recent research, 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions.  The same research found that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity influencer, as they relate more to these and value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers.  And that really brings us to the crux of the current controversy Рthe issue of transparency and trust.

Influencer mkt

The appeal of non-celebrity influencers centres around our ability to relate to them.¬† They invite us into their lives, their homes and their families, and become our ‘friends’.¬† A¬†study¬†by Altimeter Group¬†showed that out of the influencers surveyed, 71 percent say their followers remain engaged due to the influencer‚Äôs authenticity…but what happens when an influencer isn’t being authentic?

In a world of millennials, where the line between the online and offline worlds has become so diluted as to almost be invisible, these online influencers are as authentic to many as ‘real-life friendships’.¬† They trust and believe these people, so when they make a recommendation, that carries a lot of weight.

For a long time, many influencers were getting away with blatant advertising cloaked as ‘friendly advice’ until the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) started to clamp down on them and insist on transparency when being paid to promote products.¬† We now see bloggers using the likes of #promotion #sp or #ad to let us know that the post is a sales promotion.

While that was certainly a step in the right direction – although not every online influencer has been following the ASAI’s Code of Advertising Standards – it still left a huge grey area in terms of transparency.¬† What happens when a blogger isn’t being paid for a promotion but is instead receiving free products/perks from a company in lieu of promoting same?¬† Surely this should be subject to the same rules as paid promotions?

Unfortunately not, and so it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish between what is genuine advice and what is paid promotion anymore.¬† For me, this reflects a huge violation in terms of honesty, decency and truthfulness – the very core values on which influencers build their following – and ignores the bloggers’ responsibility to those followers and society as a whole.

Many of these Influencers are role models that their followers aspire to, especially the younger generation.¬† They wield a lot of power and that’s why transparency is so important.¬† Much of the current controversy has focused on the use of filters, or worse still, photoshop to alter images, thus creating unattainable body goals for many young influential followers.

There has also been concern that certain influencers have used cosmetic surgery, fillers, botox, etc. while claiming their enhanced looks are due to certain products.  A recently set up Instagram account under the handle @bullshitcallerouter has been calling out influencers on their false advertising, re-posting various pictures which had clearly been altered or photo-shopped.

So where to now for influencer marketing?  Onwards and upwards it would seem given the continued growth of social media.  Hopefully, however, the current focus on the area may force a more transparent and honest approach from influencers and encourage the brands they work with to take more responsibility for the type of content being created in their name.

As the mother of a young girl, I certainly hope so.

Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub  For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie

 

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SCSI Annual Rural Seminar 17th Nov

I’m delighted to have been asked to speak at this year’s Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland Annual Rural Seminar taking place on Friday 17th November at Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise.

Before I took the plunge and returned to college to do my masters, I spent 10 happy (well, mostly!) years working as an auctioneer.  I was lucky enough to begin my career in a thriving property market that was just about to be picked up and carried away by the beast that was the Celtic tiger.

Marketing in the property world in those days consisted mainly of glossy brochures,¬† carefully designed sales packs and expensive media advertising campaigns.¬† To be fair, there wasn’t a huge need to be too inventive – properties were selling like hotcakes and there was plenty of money to spend on outsourced marketing.

Like the Celtic tiger, I too took off running for the proverbial hills towards the end of the noughties.  The property market was nose-diving, with little sign of a safety net to break its fall.  Even then though, it was hard to believe just how bad this recession was shaping up to be.  The property market became an incredibly tough game and, like so many other young auctioneers, was no longer one I could afford to stay playing.

(www.tlaxcala-int.org)
(www.tlaxcala-int.org)

That was eight years ago and we’re only now beginning to see auctioneers start to recover, and begin to progress again.¬† I recently did some work with an agent who told me that the last 10 years have been mostly about ‘survival’ and it is only now that they can afford to focus on growing and investing in the business.

Technology has changed enormously in those lost years and with it communication and marketing techniques.  This has left a lot of property professionals struggling to keep up and utilise these new technologies to effectively market and sell.  The demise of print media has also pushed those involved in sales to turn towards the online world of promotion.

Digital marketing is by far the most effective form of promotion available to businesses today.¬† It is user-friendly, extremely cost-effective and easily measurable.¬† And we haven’t even mentioned the fact that 70% of us in Ireland now research¬†goods and services online.¬† It’s a no-brainer.

So when I was asked to speak at the upcoming SCSI Annual Conference, I jumped at the chance.  The property market is one I understand and I know the benefits that embracing the online world can bring to it.

At the conference I will be looking at areas including an overview and benefits of social media usage, identifying and using the right platforms for the right audience, content writing and identifying and contributing to local media opportunities.

I’m looking forward to my brief return to the property market and hope to see plenty of familiar¬†faces in the crowd!

 #DigitalMarketing #CharteredSurveyors

Karen Twomey is a freelance Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with Communications Hub  For further information Tel: 087 7642576 or email: Karen@communicationshub.ie

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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.

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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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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‚Äôt 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.
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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)

 

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The Importance of Online Monitoring

The rise in citizen journalism means that organisations need to constantly monitor what is being said about them on-line. ¬†Public relations professionals need to be the ‚Äėears‚Äô and ‚Äėeyes‚Äô of an organisation and seek out what is being said about the brand. ¬†

Here at Communications Hub we use many free tools to monitor what is being said about our clients online ¬†‚ÄstTwitter advanced search, Google alerts andsocialmention.com.

And while it is possible to mostly control what appears on a company’s own social media news feeds using word filters and administrative pre-approval of comments, it is impossible to control hashtags associated with an organisation.

McDonalds learned this the hard way when in 2012 they created the hashtag #McDStories in the hope of inspiring people to share their memories and happy experiences associated with the fast food chain.  The company soon discovered that it is the public who control the meaning of hashtags, and theirs was quickly hijacked to become the hashtag for horror stories involving McDonalds.

Burger King suffered a different kind of social media crisis when in 2013 its Twitter account with 82,000 followers was hacked.  The hacker changed their logo and twitter handle to that of McDonalds and tweeted a huge number of tweets containing inappropriate contents and images.  The hack went unnoticed for hours, by which time the incident had gone viral. The company not only learned an important lesson about password security and the need for moderators, it also experienced first-hand what happens when you are not constantly listening on-line.  On the plus side, the food chain gained thousands of new followers because of the incident.

Despite often having ‚Äėexpert‚Äô social media teams, some of the biggest and most tech-savvy organisations continue to suffer social media fails. ¬†Last year The Guardian published an article on The top five corporate Twitter fails¬†and it makes for some very uncomfortable reading.

The moral of the story is, it’s no longer just your P’s and Q’s you need to mind, watch your Hashtags too…make sure your company is monitoring its online profile.

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What’s the story with content?

Ok I‚Äôll admit it, I‚Äôm a little obsessed on content.¬† And when people hear me rattling on about it, most glaze over or politely smile while steadily reversing.¬† So what’s the story with content you may ask? Why is it so important?

(calysto.com)

While content has always been important when communicating through the traditional channels, like radio, television and newspapers, it was never really vital.¬† These ‚Äėold media‚Äô methods of advertising were one-way communications, they were broadcasts and press releases.¬† People listened to them because they pretty much hadn‚Äôt a choice.¬† These were the days before the World Wide Web, when the channels through which people got their news and entertainment were limited.¬† They were the days before sky plus and podcasts.¬† The days before we could pick and choose what information was relevant or interesting to us, and fast forward through the boring ads. Continue reading What’s the story with content?

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