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

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.


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

How’s Your Digital Footprint?

Digital Footprint

Ever stop and think about where all that stuff you posted back in your Bebo days went? Me neither.

Did you know that the World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989? Initially it was very much a one-way communication method, with a high level of coding expertise required to create and upload content. Fast forward to the noughties and it had evolved into a two-way free for all. The age of citizen journalism was born!

The introduction of the current heavyweight platforms of social media – Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in 2010 – saw the world (and its mother) publishing pictures of their lattes, checking in for pre-holiday airport pints and, of course, sharing their opinions.

So so many opinions. Good ones. Bad ones. Helpful ones. Hateful ones. Not to mention those that come back and bite you in the ass…

Case in point this week in Irish politics when Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee, a Fianna Fáil politician, found her digital footprint hadn’t only caught up with her, but pretty much squashed her underneath.

The Senator had a number of historic tweets raked up and leaked to the press…an unfortunate coincidence perhaps with the fact she is currently contenting a by-election in Dublin Fingal for a Dáil seat.

Lorraine Clifford Lee

Senator Clifford-Lee made the unfortunate decision to publish a number of tweets in 2011 and 2012 using derogatory terms like ‘Pikey’, ‘Knacker’ and ‘sluts’ to describe things she disapproved of, like Cheryl Cole’s hair extensions…

The tweets were wrong then, they’re wrong now, and there’s no condoning it. Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee is not the first person in the public eye to suffer because of her digital footprint, and she certainly won’t be the last.

As a world we are constantly being educated and, subsequently, developing. What may have been acceptable language and behaviour in by-gone years, is often not acceptable now. As we understand the offence that certain words or actions may bestow on our fellow peoplekind, there is an expectation that we no longer adopt such traits. This is particularly true of the young and educated.

That’s what makes Senator Clifford-Lee’s tweets so newsworthy. She should have known better.

That said, the internet has changed dramatically over the last ten years, as has our understanding of how it works. Think back to 2010 when Simon Coveney tweeted on the then Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, who was giving a Morning Ireland interview, saying he sounded “somewhere between drunk and hungover” on the program….

Digital Footprint

The now infamous tweet led to ‘Garglegate’ and the eventual demise of Cowen’s career. Would Simon really have made that comment if there was a microphone in front of him? If he was speaking to a journalist or on the Six O’Clock News? I think not.

I think Simon Coveney, like so many other people back in the ‘early days’ of social media, simply forgot he was publishing his opinion to the world. Just like Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee forgot.

It is a fact that publishing online carries the same legal responsibility as publishing on any other platform. The informal nature of social media can often distract us from this reality and lull us into a false sense of security.

Content we publish online is accountable by the same laws of libel, defamation, slander, copyright, etc., as any other publisher. It doesn’t matter if it’s published on a private or business page, it’s still liable. The increasing number of legal cases originating from social media platforms is testament to this new digital age reality.

So how many of us really stop to think about that?

When you’re sitting at home on the couch, phone in hand, publishing your opinions to the world. If someone took a fancy to forensically examine your digital footprint would you be confident that you would emerge unblemished?

If not, it may be a good time to start hitting the delete button.

Lorraine Clifford Lee

COMMUNICATIONS HUB specialise in Digital Marketing Training, Social Media Training and Online Management for Business.  For more information please contact us.

Too many Social Media Platforms, too Little Time?

Confused about which social media platforms your business should be on?  You’re not alone…Social Media Training

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.

Social Media Training
(source: Spedfast.com 2018)

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.

Social Media Training
(Source: Spredfast.com 2018)

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

#SocialMediaTraining #DigitalMarketing #OnlineTraining

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


Skydive for Liam’s Lifts

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.

If you would like to sponsor this great cause you can do so online through our Go Fund Me Page at: gofundme.com/skydive-for-liams-lifts or see our Facebook page for more details.

Local Enterprise Week 2017

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.

Communications HubI 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.

Communications Hub

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.

Communications Hub

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….

Communications Hub
(source: LinkedIn)

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


Digital Week Skibbereen

Digital Week Skibbereen

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