Social Media Training for Business

Is it time to up your social media game? look no further – communications hub offer one-to-one and small group social media training sessions!

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok….has social media got you feeling a little overwhelmed??? Rest assured, you’re not alone! Your business certainly doesn’t need to be on ALL of the available social media platforms, but it definitely needs to be on some.

It also needs to maintain a good presence, post engaging content and try to build a relationship with its followers. Sounds easy, right?

Luckily, with a little guidance it can be!

Social Media Training

At Communications Hub we have over five years of experience in delivering training to a wide variety of existing, start-up and voluntary organisations. We work with the CETB, LEO, Skillnet and various Community Led Groups and specialise in the delivery of one-to-one and small group social media training sessions.

All of our sessions can be tailor-made to suit your particular requirements and skills, guaranteeing the maximum return on your time and commitment. We deliver social media training on all social media platforms, as well as offering courses in content creation for social media, including graphics, video and Search Engine Optimisation. All of our social media training courses can be delivered in person or online.

For more information on any of our courses or to discuss the creation of a course to suit your business needs, please get in touch

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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

Certificate in Digital Marketing for 2019?

New Year, New Skills?

The Certificate in Digital Marketing QQI L5 will kick off again  for 2019 on 28th January at Mallow Night School, which is part of Mallow College of Further Education.

The course runs on Monday nights from 6.30 to 9.30 for 12 weeks and includes digital marketing modules on:

  • Social Media for Business – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & Snapchat
  • WordPress & Blogging
  • Creating Online Marketing Schedules
  • Creating text, photo and video content
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Google Analytics
  • Email Marketing Campaigns

The focus of the Certificate in Digital Marketing is to gain a sound knowledge of digital marketing for business and organisational use and learn some practical take-home skills to help you improve your marketing and communications online, as well as integrating digital marketing strategies with traditional marketing methods.

For further information on the course or to sign up online and receive a discount on fees, see NightSchool.ie

Digital Marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Digitalmarketing  #NightClasses

Is Your Business Being Left Behind?

COMMUNICATIONS HUB specialise in delivering digital marketing and online training campaigns and pride ourselves on using creative marketing to push beyond the boundaries of traditional marketing.

We work with SMEs and local organisations to help promote their brands online in a cost-effective and efficient manner, helping them to future-proof their business.

Want to manage your own online marketing?  We specialise in delivering one-to-one and group digital marketing and social media training and run various courses throughout the year, including a 12 week night course in Digital Marketing in Mallow College of Further Education.

Communications Hub is managed by Karen Twomey who has a Masters in Public Relations with New Media.  She has worked for many years in area of sales and marketing and brings a vast knowledge of business and customer service to the clients she works with.

What Communications Hub can do for you

So whether you’re starting a business, launching a campaign or simply re-branding, we can help.  Contact Communications Hub today and take the next step in growing your business!

Call us on 0877642575 or email Karen@communicationshub.ie

Communications Hub

#CommunicationsHub #DigitalMarketing #OnlineTraining

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…

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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 

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: €30 per person

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

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’s 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

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 – fitness, clothes, make-up, parenting, cooking – the 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 – the 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’s 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

 

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

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.