Tag Archives: Digital Marketing

Social Media for Business Course 16th Nov

I’m delighted to be running a ‘Social Media for Business’ Course on Wednesday 16th November from 7 p.m. – 9.30 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.

This 2.5 hours 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.

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

Communications Hub

 

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Forget Control, The Web Is In Charge

Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper….

or so the saying goes.  These old words of wisdom were often used to console those on the receiving end of unwelcome publicity. The next day would bring a new headline, and the world would move on. Well, not anymore.  The invention of new media has brought about some new words of wisdom and we’d all do well to remember them…

What goes online, stays online.

The World Wide Web has been around for almost thirty years now, and during that time has undergone a number of re-births.  It has evolved from Web 1.0 which merely ‘pushed out’ information, to Web 2.0 which allowed for two-way communication.  According to Dr. Jim McNamara in his 2007 article New Media: How Web 2.0 is changing the world, “Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of internet-based services, the key attributes of which are that they allow openness for collaboration and high levels of interactivity without requiring programming skills”.  In terms of the public relations profession, this change in technology shifted the onus of online communications from IT professionals to PR professionals.

Dr McNamara notes the key challenge in learning how best to utilise the internet is that most of what is written is out of date by the time it’s published.  And true to this, we have now seen the emergence of Web 3.0, a phrase first coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006.  Web 3.0 refers to an ‘intelligent web’ which allows machines to do the thinking, instead of just following commands.  It seems likely we will just be coming to terms with the workings of Web 3.0, when Web 4.0 will emerge, offering new and more exciting methods of communication.

These changes in technology pose enormous challenges for those working in public relations.  Everything has changed, from media monitoring and analysis to media relations and corporate communications.  Media now includes bloggers, podcasters, chatroom hosts, citizen journalists and many more.  Public relations must strive to communicate in a manner appropriate to each and ensure key messages are still reaching target audiences.

A 1996 report on the issues facing communication professionals, Managing the Information Superhighway, said that the role of public relations within an organisation is to act as coordinators or integrators to ensure that the material located on the internet fits the organisation’s image.  The World Wide Web may have evolved since 1996, but the role of the public relations profession still remains the same.

Every one of an organisation’s stakeholders is now a potential communicator, and every one of them holds the ability to affect the organisation’s brand.  According to Heidi Cohen (2014), President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, given the widespread corporate social media use, it is surprising that businesses continue to make the same mistakes that get them into trouble with their customers and their public. She believes such failings point to a ‘hole’ in social media strategies.  Cohen recommends providing social media training and guidelines to all employees to empower them to participate in social media and represent their organisation in a way that takes into consideration the implications of the content used and how it may be interpreted by different backgrounds and perspectives.

As we make our way through this era of fast moving technology, those who work in public relations need to accept that they cannot control the internet.  Only when they accept this, can they truly begin to formulate an effective digital plan on behalf of an organisation.

For more information on implementing an effective online communications strategy for your company contact Communications Hub.
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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.

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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.

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