This 2.5hr course will improve your online skills and help your business or 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
How to save time using content calendars and online schedulingSocial Media for Business is 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.
When: Thurs 22nd Feb from 10.00am – 12.30pm or
Thurs 1st March from 7.00pm – 9.30pm
Where: Fermoy Community Youth Centre
Cost: €30 p.p.
For further details or to book a place, see the below links:
I’ll be running a WordPress & Blogging Workshop on Wednesday 24th May from 7pm until 9.30pm in Fermoy Community Youth Centre. This workshop will talk you through the basics of creating a WordPress website/Blog, Content Management Systems (CMS), SEO, Plug-ins and writing for an online audience.
Cost: €25.00 p.p.and booking is essential as numbers are limited.
For further details or to book your place contact Karen Twomey at 0877642575 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 AUDIENCE
Monitor your brand, your competition, and what your customers are saying about you on social media.
ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS
Never miss an opportunity to connect with your audience or join conversations that are important to your brand.
MEASURE YOUR SOCIAL ROI
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 for 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.
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
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: email@example.com
I was delighted to give a presentation on the importance of reputation in business at a recent NRG Networking Group meeting in Fermoy.
The worlds of marketing and public relations often intertwine but, fundamentally, marketing is concerned with the promotion of goods and services. PR is more focused on the bigger picture – the brand, image and message of a business, in essence, the management of reputation.
When I asked the group how many had recently googled their businesses, very few had. It surprised me, but on the other hand, when you are the owner of a small business, you are your business. Both of your reputations are intertwined and it is almost impossible for one to operate independently of the other.
As the old saying goes ‘What other people think of you, is none of your business’ but, of course, in business, it absolutely is your business! That doesn’t make it any easier to hear and accept critique, though- which can often be interpreted as criticism when we are personally invested in a business – which we always are when self-employed.
Imagine how useful it would be though, to know what your customers like, what they want, what you could do better. Imagine how much you could improve your customers experience if you knew what worked and what was important. As a small business, our reputation and service are often the only things that enable us to remain viable and compete, especially in this era of online shopping and increasing multi-national competitors.
As a local business, you ignore your reputation at your peril. If you don’t conduct local market research, that too could be to your detriment. So, make it part of your business plan to take some time to ‘step outside the building’ every few months. And, Google yourself – often.
Reputation is important, mind it and it will mind you!
How many of us really stop and think about the true importance of reputation in business? This concept of ‘corporate reputation’ is often only associated with larger corporations and organisations. In truth, the smaller your business, the more your corporate reputation matters.
A knock to the reputation of a large corporation may wipe millions off the share price, but for a smaller business, it may shut it down. This is particularly true in small local markets, where corporate and personal reputations can be of equal importance.
“Corporate reputation can be described as the overall estimation in which an organisation is held by its internal and external stakeholders, based on its past actions and probability of its future behaviour.” (www.cuttingedgepr.com)
For many organisations, reputation is one of their greatest assets and they work hard to maintain it and build a ‘bank of goodwill’. This ‘bank of goodwill’ is the positivity stakeholders hold towards a business. In times of negativity, such a ‘bank’ may encourage stakeholders to remain loyal and protect reputation.
Larger organisations may generally weather reputational damage better than their smaller counterparts – often possessing such a market share that it’s difficult to avoid doing business with them. Other times a brand can be so desired, consumers simply just don’t care.
Take Nestle, for example, which has been described as one of the ‘most hated companies in the world’ thanks to its long history of child labour, unethical promotion and mislabelling (to name but a few of its violations). Despite the company’s horrific reputation, it still remains one of the world’s largest food companies.
Compare this to smaller local businesses. For these, it can be difficult to compete with bigger companies and the growing online market. It is often, in fact, thanks to their good reputation that they continue to compete and remain viable in the market.
When I think of my own local town, I could tell you the reputation of most of the businesses who trade there. Those who are too dear, those who supply the best cup of coffee, and those who are simply nice to visit and provide some old-fashioned banter with your goods.
How many of those businesses are actually aware of their own reputation though? How many of them take the time to ‘step outside the building’ and listen to what people have to say? In this digital age, ‘stepping outside the building’ can take many different forms.
The good old tried and tested method of clipboard (or tablet) in hand and pounding the pavements is sure to yield valuable results, but you can also carry out your research without ever actually leaving the building. There are numerous free online surveys available that can be shared via email or social media.
Or of course, a business could just ask their customers directly -what would help to make your experience a better one? It seems absurd the amount of businesses who fail to ask their customers what is they want. How many businesses close down because they fail to do this?
Of course, you can never fully control reputation, but you can try to manage it. A business’s reputation may vary from stakeholder to stakeholder, according to their experiences in dealing with the business or what they have heard about it from others.
How reputation affects stakeholders:
Customers If a business is well-regarded by its customers, they will prefer to deal with it ahead of others. These customers will influence other potential customers by word of mouth & online recommendations – a happy customer tells a friend, an unhappy customer tells the world.
SuppliersA good reputation increases trust of ability to pay and to provide fair trading terms. If a problem occurs in a trading relationship, suppliers will be more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt where a business has a reputation for fair dealing.
Employees Businesses who have a reputation of treating staff poorly tend to attract a certain type of people to work for them – this directly impacts on customer experience and satisfaction.
So, what are the benefits of a good reputation:
Customer preference in doing business with a company when other companies’ products and services are available at a similar cost and quality – especially important in small local markets.
Ability to charge a premium for products and services – Helps to compete with an online market
Stakeholder support for an organisation in times of controversy – When the well-regarded Cork restaurant Son of a Bun was recently hit with a HSE temporary closure order they received huge support from their stakeholders, both when they were closed and when they re-opened, and came out the other side reputation intact.
Improves a company or organisation’s value in the financial marketplace.
We may not be able to control reputation, but here are some tips for managing it:
Establish trust – Keep your word.
Be Responsive – Let customers know they are important to you.
Crisis Management – Resolve errors and mistakes quickly.
Offer value – Don’t rip people off.
Confidentiality – Respect people’s privacy.
Stay relevant – Move with the times in terms of technology, stock, services.
Communication – Be professional in your correspondence with staff, suppliers and customers. Maintain a good online presence.
Community Involvement – Sponsorship, volunteering, etc.
however much you may value your reputation, one thing is certain – there is a high cost to pay for losing it.
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.
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.
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.
There has been a record number of entrants for this year’s Local Enterprise Offices (Cork) CIT Prize for Innovation, which awards €10,000 in cash prizes to inventions and business ideas judged most creative, novel, innovative, and likely to succeed in the workplace
The prize forms part of Cork Institute of Technology’s Innovation Week 2016 taking place all this week across CIT’s five campus locations with a series of events and activities promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.
The applications for this year’s prize offer proposals from a wide variety of disciplines. The field of technology features strongly with entrants such as Touch – a digital alternative to tradition notice boards, and Flashbox – a combined USB flash drive, battery pack and Bluetooth locator for mobile devices, just some of the creative proposals.
Mental health was also a popular focus this year with the promotion of a holistic approach to coaching, mentoring, nutritional advice and mindfulness for women forming one business idea, while various APPs supporting and promoting positive mental well-being were also submitted.
Last year’s first prize winner was sole trader and founder of the Roll Out Vegetable Garden Company, Cara Tremayne from Dunmanway, Co Cork. Cara, who was a fourth year Horticulture student at CIT, picked up a cheque for €4,000 and the title of CIT Entrepreneur of the Year for her roll out coco coir woven matting impregnated with vegetable seeds.
“To finish fourth year after winning the Prize for Innovation made me feel so positive and driven towards making my own business a success and becoming self-employed. It gave me huge hopes for my future,” said Cara, who was the first ever female winner of the prize.
Other prize categories awarded as part of the Prize for Innovation include Most Innovative Award, Best Business Plan, Best Presentation Pitch and Best Exhibition Stand.
The CIT Prize for Innovation is sponsored by Local Enterprise Offices (Cork). Further details available from www.cit.ie/innovationweek.