Qualify by Summer with Nightschool.ie!

Roll up, roll up, there’s still time to get a qualification in Digital Marketing by summer 2021!!

As we are coming to the end of one successful run, I’m delighted to once again be asked to deliver my QQI L5 Digital Marketing course online through Nightschool.ie for Spring. The course will kick off on Thursday 22nd April from 6.30pm to 9.00pm and run every Thursday at the same time for 10 weeks.

This programme module aims to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to develop and execute digital marketing strategies and activities, under supervision, using a range of e-tools within a range of digital marketing contexts. In other words, we cover all things online!

What's a Hashtag

It would be of interest particularly to those who own a business, who are starting a business, marketing professionals, or anyone managing a corporate website. Digital marketing is now an essential marketing and communications platform for all organisations and this course will help you to enhance your business’ online presence.

Course Requirements for Nightschool.ie

If you’re interested in more information contact me or contact Nightschool.ie You could also pop onto one of the college’s live Facebook Information Nights every Friday at 7.30pm for all the latest information and answers to your questions!

To sign up follow the attached link – final date for sign ups is Thursday 1st April so get your skates on!

Sign up for QQI L5 Digital Market at Nightschool.ie here

TikTok for Business

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 12 months (as opposed to just being stuck in your house), you’ll have have noticed the explosion of TikTok onto the Irish social media scene.

Most of us have passed Lockdown being entertained by an abundance of TikTok challanges, dances and skits – and we’ve loved it! Other social media platforms are scrambled to get in on the craze, most notably Instagram, with their version of TikTok called Reels.

But fun aside, what value can TikTok add to business and should it now form part of your social media strategy?

Your first consideration – as with any social media platform – should be ‘Is my audience on TikTok?’ If not, don’t waste your time (don’t let that stop you TikTok’ing on your own time, if that’s your vibe!).

The largest demographic of TikTok users is between the ages of 16 and 24. But don’t let that fool you into thinking TikTok is just a fad for Generation Z. Since its launch in 2018, TikTok has evolved from a video-creation app solely meant for users to express their creativity to a marketing and advertising option….because as we know, where users flock, businesses soon follow.

TikTok is different to other social media platforms in that it allows accounts to connect using video in bite-sized pieces of snappy and engaging content. TikTok allows video to be delivered exactly as it should be online.

TikTok for Business

2020 has seen an influx of politicians, celebrities, influencers and businesses turn to TikTok to try to enhance their reach and engagement. And to look cool, of course. The algorithm workings of the platform are still a bit of a mystery, but here are some tips to help your business get started:

  1. Put Your Creative Hat On

TikToks users are young and they like fun! Content should be real and light hearted. If you’re struggling to come up with original content, take part in hashtag challenges or trending dances and songs.

2. Get Started!

TikTok is not for wall flowers – dive straight in and start creating your own videos! If you’re not sure where to begin, look at what others are doing.

Videos can be 15 or 60 seconds and you can add music and effects to the finished project. You can also speed up the video, trim it and edit in real-time. And don’t forget to play around with the dozens of available filters (you’ll find all these on the menu to the right hand side).

3. Share Your Video

Before going live you can add the following to your post:

  • Type a description for your video.
  • Add hashtags.
  • @ your friends.
  • Add links.
  • Decide who can see the video.
  • Save the video to an album.

You can also choose to share your video to WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook – tik, tik, tik!

4. Advertise

Advertising is still a growing concept on TikTok, in particular for small brands. Here are some options available:

Brand takeovers: These ads appear in the user’s feed before they see any other user content. They’re linkable to the advertiser’s landing page and are exclusive to different categories. Basically, only one ad can show in that slot for the specific category per day.

Native ads: These video ads play between user content. They can be between 9 and 15 seconds long and include buttons. However, users can skip or scroll past these ads.

Sponsored hashtag challenges: Hashtag challenges are a big deal on TikTok. When there’s a new challenge on the Discover page, millions of users can see it and join in. Your business can pay to sponsor a hashtag challenge and obtain a custom banner across the Discover page. When users tap it, they’re taken to videos that your team creates explaining and demonstrating the challenge, all while promoting your brand.

Branded lenses: Design a TikTok filter related to your business. Users can select the lens when choosing a filter for their video and it’s live for 10 days. The lens is automatically included in the top 10 trending list and it comes in 2D and 3D. TikTok is currently working on an AR version.

So that’s a quick introduction to getting started on TikTok. According to Ipsos MRBI TikTok was the fasted growing social media platform in Ireland in 2020 and its dominance of the market for the younger audience seems to be here to stay…until the next big thing, at least!

For more information on helping your business to stand out online, contact karen@communicationshub.ie

Social Media Use Ireland 2020

It’s that time of the year again where here at Communications Hub we like to reminisce on all the goings on in the social media sphere of Ireland in 2020!

It’s been a bumper year for digital marketing use in general, and social media has proven no different. The numerous lock-downs have encouraged (maybe even forced, in some cases!) more online activity – and in particular businesses, many of whom struggled to continue to sell and communicate with their customers.

So, what changes exactly did 2020 bring for social media use in Ireland?

As always, my figures come from Ipsos MRBI who release updated figures bi-annually for the Irish market in January and June. Percentages shown indicate the number of Irish people with accounts on each platform as of June 2020:

Social Media Use Ireland 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in 2020, it should come as no surprise to see that TikTok has experienced the largest growth in the year. If we had a euro for every TikTok challenge video we had to endure, eh?!

Other winners this year were Instagram with a 5% increase, Twitter with 4% and Facebook with 3%. LinkedIn remained the same with 35% of the population having accounts. The only platform to experience a loss in followers was Pinterest, whose popularity decreased by 3% in the Irish market.

The daily usage of each platform remained marginally unchanged for most, except for Twitter which experienced a 5% increase in those logging in each day. As an interesting aside – according to a recent study by Deloite, the average smartphone user in Ireland checks their phone 58 times a day. That’s an increase of 8 times from 2019!

So there you have it – social media continues on it’s upward gallop in Ireland, with very little signs of tiring out!

If you would like some more information on how best to promote your business on social media, get in touch!

Facebook Business Suite

And just like that, Facebook rolls out something new and shakes it all up!!

Is it just me, or is anyone else finding it hard to keep up with all of the new features Facebook is introducing right now? What really adds to the fun is that these changes are generally rolled out at a different speed. So, what I’m looking at, may not necessarily be what you’re looking at. Fun! Especially when you deliver Digital Marketing Training for a living!!

How to get the most out of Business Suite

Facebook recommends that you firstly link your Facebook and Instagram business accounts, if not already done. Once you do that, here are a few ways you can take advantage of key Facebook Business Suite features:

  • View updates at a glance: See all critical alerts, messages, comments and other activity across Facebook and Instagram that need your attention within the Business Suite home screen. This allows you to easily prioritise and manage your business activity throughout the day. Try setting up a personalised saved reply for common questions and create a shortcut to streamline responses.
  • Share with your Facebook and Instagram communities: Draft a new feed post for both Facebook and Instagram. This can then be scheduled to be published at a time that makes sense for your core audience.
  • Understand what’s working: Navigate to the “Insights” tab to view insights on reach, engagement and post performance across Facebook and Instagram. See what’s resonating with customers and optimise your efforts for each platform.
  • Grow your audience: Consider boosting a post or creating an ad to get more people to see and engage with your content.

How to access Facebook Business Suite

Facebook Business Suite has been rolled out gradually over September 2020. Log in to the Facebook account associated with your business and if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically be redirected to Business Suite when you visit business.facebook.com on desktop.

FACEBOOK BUSINESS SUITE

If you’re already using the Pages Manager app on mobile, you’ll automatically see the option to opt in to Business Suite. If you aren’t currently using Pages Manager app, you can visit the iOS or Android app stores to download the Facebook Business Suite app.

To learn more about Facebook Business Suite, visit Facebook’s Help Centre.

Communications Hub provide one to one and group training sessions in Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Content Creation. For more details see www.communicationshub.ie or email karen@communicationshub.ie

Social Media Use during Covid19

Wow! What a strange few months that has been, right? It would be nice to think we’re on the way back but with so much uncertainty, it’s hard to know. What is certain, however, is that social media use has exploded over the Covid19 Lockdown – a trend that is certain to continue.

Recent data suggests that global social media users grew to 3.96 billion at the start of July 2020, a surge of more than 10% in the past year. This also means that more than half the world’s population now use social media.

Growth trends from the data indicate that an average of more than 1 million people started using social media for the first time every single day over the past 12 months, equating to almost 12 new users every second.

Figures from Hootsuite released in July 2020 show the following growth in social media use:

Social Media Use during Covid19

So, what impact will these figures likely have on digital marketing going forward? According to Econsultancy’s Future of Marketing report, 64% of marketers see social as becoming more important to their organisations’ marketing effectiveness over the next two years. Which, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The constant updating of the social media scene with new apps like TikTok and updating of other apps – Twitter scheduling, Instagram reels, LinkedIn stories – means that social media platforms are becoming more and more user friendly for businesses and no matter who your audience, you’ll find them somewhere.

For us here at Communications Hub, 2020 has seen an explosion in demand for digital marketing training, mentoring and management. Never has it been more important for businesses to have an online presence and the ability to reach customers virtually.

With what appears to be another few uncertain months ahead, now is the time to get your business online and open for business come what may.

For more information on Communications Hub and what we can do for your business, see www.communicationshub.ie or email karen@communicationshub.ie

Create a Digital Marketing Plan in Five Steps!

1. Conduct a Situation Analysis

Before you can start to even thing about creating a great Digital Marketing Plan you need to know what what marketing your fighting for attention in. Define your business, your product/service, your customer and, finally, your USP (Unique Selling Point). What makes you different? What need does your product/service satisfy for your customer?

When you have a good definition of your own business, have a snoop at your competitors. How are they marketing themselves? What style of content and platforms are they using? What similarities do you have with the competition – and how do you differ? This may help you see some marketing opportunities.

Finally, a SWOT is an essential first step for any Digital Marketing Plan. What are your Strengths and Weaknesses? These are generally internal factors and may be things you have a degree of control over – range of products, method of sale, staff, budget. Opportunities and Threats are external factors and usually outside our control, however, we can often use our strengths to help us navigate through them. An obvious threat right now is Covid19, but before that it was Brexit – anyone remember Brexit???

2. Define Your Target Audience

Who is your customer? Sounds easy, right?

You’d be surprised how many businesses have never taken the time to sit down and really define their customer – what age are they, where do they live, what platforms do they use, what devices, what are their socio-economic preference?

If you don’t know who your customer is, how can you possibly know how to reach and engage them?

3. Set Your Marketing Goals

Digital Marketing Plan

Digital Marketing isn’t about slapping up a post and hoping for the best. It’s SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound.

Marketing goals may include:

  • Sales of specific Products/Services/Events
  • Raising Brand Awareness
  • Increasing Newsletter Sign-ups
  • Reaching new audiences
  • Improve SEO

Once you have defined your marketing goals, you can set about achieving them through creative content, call to actions and setting your goals for measuring ROI.

4. Create & Publish

Digital Marketing Plan

This is the fun part!

Once we have defined our audience and set our marketing goals, we can start to create relevant content. Content can be created, curated or commissioned and, much like baking a cake, success is in a good mix!

The style of content should depend on your audience and the social media platform you are using. Video is content gold right now and gets up to 60% more interaction than images. Luckily, it’s never been easier to make your own, with an abundance of apps available.

Image quality is also really important online and there is no excuse for poor quality and thought out pictures in this day and age. Most smartphones have great inbuilt tools for editing, as do social media apps. If you’re looking for something a bit more high-tech though, there are hundreds of fun and easy to use apps you can download for free.

Infographics are another big hit right now and work well for businesses who need to get a lot of information across in a post. With the current online attention span at less than 8 seconds, we are more likely to engage with a graphic rather than a large paragraph of text. Again, there are plenty of free online tools to help you create an infographic masterpiece!

Next up is to publish. It’s a great idea to schedule posts online and use a content calendar to keep you on track. Creator Studio will allow you to schedule to Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter has recently allowed scheduling in-app also – although for now this is only available on desktop. You’ll need an external scheduling app, like Hootsuite, for LinkedIn.

5. Set Your Budget

Digital Marketing Plan

The key elements of any Digital Marketing Plan are people, time and money….and the first two are very often reliant on the last element.

Your online marketing just won’t work unless you fully commit to it and set aside a budget for content creation and adverts. The day for free dinners online is well and truly over, but the good news is, online dinners won’t break the bank.

Online adverts allow excellent targeting and provide very valuable analytics for businesses. They’re also generally affordable and provide a good ROI and help build brand awareness. Set a 6 month budget and analyse the results – I bet you’ll be impressed!

Karen Twomey has an M.A. in Public Relation with New Media and provides one-to-one and group training sessions in all things online. For more information, see www.communicationshub.ie

Digital Marketing Courses September

After a very busy few weeks of transitioning to online teaching, we’re delighted to now have a full schedule of online Digital Marketing courses available for September.

Digital Marketing Courses Cork

Due to demand, we have doubled up on the usual offerings and are now delivering two different sessions per week, with one lunchtime class and one evening class.

The following are the course options available:

10 Week Certified Digital Marketing Professional Dipoloma

This course is aimed at individuals, business owners or marketing professionals looking to up skill, anyone responsible for developing and/or implementing a digital marketing strategy for their organisation or anyone looking to pursue a career in digital marketing

The Certified Digital Marketing Professional course from the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) will provide learners with an introduction to key digital marketing specialisms, from mobile marketing and social media marketing to email marketing, PPC marketing and SEO.

4 Week Social Media for Business

The aim of this module is to enable learners to explore the new cultural ecosystem of social media, where new practices of communication and social interaction are used.

At the end of this module, learners will be able to analyse a market to plan and develop strategic communication campaigns through social media.

Both courses will run online through the Cork Training Centre and will be delivered using a mixture of live classes and online learning. All classes will be recorded allowing for greater flexibility for the learner.

Course fees have been waived due to the Covid19 pandemic, making it an excellent opportunity to upskill or develop your online skills.

For more information on any of the above courses or to book your place see the Cork Training Centre website To find out more about Communications Hub and our services see our website.

Social Media Workshops Online

It’s a strange time for many businesses right now – my own included! Luckily for me, it’s been a busy few weeks delivering social media workshops online.

There has been huge demand for online courses and for many businesses who are so busy with the ‘day job’ usually, it has been a good opportunity to upskill.

The need to have a strong presence online has never been more important and to that end I’ve been running a series of social media workshops in conjunction with IRD Duhallow CLG and Skillnet Ireland

So far, we’ve delivered successful online courses in Advanced Facebook, Instagram for Business and Creating Online Content. This week, we’re offering two different courses –

On Tuesday 21st April we’ll run a 2 hour Social Media for Business Course from 12-2pm aimed at new or existing businesses keen to develop their online presence.

Social Media for Business

On Thursday 23rd April we have a 2 hour workshop in Canva running form 12-2pm. This workshop will help businesses to develop good quality online content and graphics.

Canva Workshop

For more information on any of the courses or to book your place, see the following link: https://www.irdduhallow.com/upcoming-events/

The courses will be delivered by Karen Twomey from Communications Hub who has a Masters in PR and New Media and specialises in delivering one-to-one and group Digital Marketing training.

Social Media Training April

Just because we’re all stuck at home isolating doesn’t mean we can’t still use the time to upskill! So, if you’re in the mood to learn some now social media skills and help promote your business online, check out our upcoming online social media training courses in conjunction with IRD Duhallow CLG and Skillnet.

The online social media courses will be 2 hours in duration and delivered through Zoom. Content covered will include the following:

INSTAGRAM 10TH APRIL:

  • Overview of Instagram use in Ireland and the demographic of users
  • Setting up a business profile and linking to Facebook
  • Creating content – images, graphics, videos, Instagram stories and use of hashtags/tagging
  • Creating advertising campaigns on Instagram (and linking campaigns to Facebook)
  • Posting from smartphone/switching between accounts (eg. private to business, etc.)
  • Reading Instagram analytics in terms of reach, interaction, etc

CONTENT CREATION 14TH APRIL:

  • This workshop will give businesses an understanding of content creation and skills to effectively implement a content marketing strategy, with particular focus on social media platforms. 
  • We will look at the principles of photography and videography and basic apps/software to compliment the creation of same eg. Canva, Pic Collage & FilmoraGo. 
  • The workshop will also help businesses to develop a bank of engaging text/keywords/hashtags for the enhancement of online engagement and search engine optimization.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS 21ST APRIL

  • This workshop is specifically designed for those looking to set up a social media presence for an existing business. 
  • The topics covered will include: Creating a Marketing Plan, Overview of Social Media use in Ireland, Setting up and growing Social Media pages – creating pages, posting/scheduling content, running paid campaigns.

Social Media Stats Ireland

We ran a successful online Advanced Facebook workshop last week but if Facebook is your area of interest, keep posted as we may run another over the coming weeks!

For more information on any of the above courses feel free to message me on karen@communicationshub.ie or to book your place contact IRD Duhallow.

Karen Twomey has an MA in Public Relations with New Media and delivers one-to-one and group training sessions in all things digital marketing. Follow @communicationshub on social media/Youtube or check out www.communicationshub.ie for regular updates.