Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Snapchat and Amazon connect for “snap” online shopping

October 1, 2018

Snapchat and Amazon

We all love to shop!!

It’s an industry that has grown online and is only getting bigger.

Now social media platforms are getting in on the action; Facebook were one of the first platforms to encourage shopping from the platform linking up with Shopify, Pinterest were next capitalising on the fact that their site inspired people to shop and introduced shopping ads and this year even Instagram introduced shoppable tags.

It’s the next frontier for social media sites and is a clever way to stay relevant when their audience’s attention spans are so short lived.

Imagine my surprise when Snapchat, the platform we all thought was on the way out, released an update saying they are now working with Amazon testing a new way to search for products using the Snapchat camera. This could really change how people shop online!

Snapchat Shopping

All you will have to do is point your camera at the product as if you’re taking a picture and then press & hold on the screen like you do when you use Snapchat filters. Once the product has been recognised by the app, a pop-up card with a link to the product page on Amazon will appear and then you follow that to purchase the item on Amazon.

So simple and a genius move by the two companies!!

Many people have said Snapchat is in decline but they’ve managed to hold on to their younger user base quite well. There may not be growth but they’re not losing users. If you look at the Ipsos MRBI Social Media Messaging Report from March 2018, you can see that even though only 31% of the Irish audience have Snapchat, 64% use it daily.

IPsos March 2018

Snapchat knowing that their demographic want everything instantaneously and by creating this link with Amazon who are king of snap purchasing decisions (anyone else bought something random from Amazon at 3am?!!), they could very well be guaranteeing their survival.

Looking forward to seeing how Facebook react to this!

Alma Brosnan - Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Cracking the “Social Media” Training Code

April 2, 2018

Social Media e-learning

Incredibly we have been running social media courses since May 2010!

This was the new thing, the new way to reach your customers and promote you and your business and it was free to use!!

I do think a big part of the reason it exploded at the time was because we were immersed in an awful recession and most people had virtually no funds to do anything, let alone promote their business.

So the simple advice was, grab the relevant platforms (at the time it was Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and use them to tell your story and engage with your target audience.

In the earliest training that we delivered, it was all about the functionality – step by step we would show all the participants how to do everything on each of the platforms.

As time went on we changed the emphasis on “why” first and then “how“.

This approach was designed to get people engaged with the simple idea that, if you knew what you could achieve with social media and you understood the special role it could play in your communications mix, then you were more likely to dive in and apply the learnings.

I think this approach worked much better but there was still a problem, and I put this down to what I call the “teeth brushing” aspect of social media.

When you leave the half day or full day social media course (or any training for that matter) it is up to you and you alone to implement the learnings and make room in your life for a new habit, a social media habit.

To be effective for you, it should be just like teeth brushing, you just do it automatically as part of your routine.

To this day, I still believe that using social media effectively can be one of the most powerful ways of promoting you and your business as well as a brilliant way to make valuable connections.

So why are people not grabbing the opportunity?

The big challenge for me is getting those who take my courses to squeeze all of the potential from the social media platforms, and for the training to go beyond the initial sessions and integrate into their daily routines.

To crack the “training code” we have invested in an e-learning platform, which has enabled us to create unique follow-on programmes that consist of a series of short, practical exercises on each of the social media platforms.

These exercises are delivered to the trainees over a period of time to ensure that they can really learn, through daily implementation away from the classroom and in their own work environment.

If you want to make sure that you and your team, really, really learn let us know!

Check out our Social Media Training services by clicking here.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, who offer Social Media Consultancy and Training  from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Facebook algorithms and posts not quite reaching your audience anymore

March 2, 2018

mark zuckerberg

Algorithms, algorithms…. It’s the buzzword when it comes to social media these days but do the people talking about it even know what an algorithm is?

It’s not used just by people in the digital world now.

Your annoying Aunt Mary who posts her whole life to Facebook and thinks that when people post they’re sending it directly to her, is now sharing posts telling people to comment on her feed because Facebook will hide you away forever, otherwise!

This is slightly dramatic and not what the new Facebook algorithm is about…. Mark Zuckerberg actually wants you to see what your friends are up to.

In his announcement on January 11th MZ said that Facebook had changed the news feed algorithm to prioritise content from “friends, family and groups.”

Fuzion Win Happy podcast thumbnail [Check out the episode of the Fuzion Win Happy Podcast “Frustrated about Facebook where Greg Canty and Alma Brosnan from our digital team chat about this issue]

Since last June, he has placed a huge push on Facebook groups and using those to build communities.

The algorithm is just another one of those changes to (theoretically at least) help users see content they want to see (however, you may not want to see an album of Aunt Mary’s holiday pictures!) and interact meaningfully with their friends and family.

The only users being negatively impacted by these changes are Business Pages who have already built a solid audience through organic reach and engagement.

Facebook are now saying that Business Pages will still be able to reach customers through “meaningful interaction”.

What is meaningful interaction to you and your business page?

  • To some businesses, it’s posting special offers for their followers
  • To others, it can be rewarding followers with a competition and prize giveaway

Both of these types of posts are affected by the new algorithm.

Facebook have said using “engagement-bait” (deliberate content to get people engaging) to encourage users to comment or share is not a meaningful interaction and these posts will be demoted in the News Feed of users (eg – they won’t see these posts!!).

Examples of “engagement-bait” include:

  • React baiting: Asking people to react to the post (includes like, love, haha, wow, sad, and angry)
  • Comment baiting: Asking people to comment with specific answers (words, numbers, phrases, or emojis)
  • Share baiting: Asking people to share the post with their friends
  • Tag baiting: Asking people to tag their friends

So, all those competitions that pages ran asking people to “like, comment & share” are exactly what Facebook don’t want to see anymore.

(ironically most of these tactics were being used to “beat” the previous algorithms!)

How can Business Pages get around this?

You should follow what Facebook wants from you, and post relevant content that they believe your followers want to see.

Begin by creating quality content (in our view this should always be your number one priority, regardless of social media platform) that you believe will start a conversation on your page (ideally this will be a conversation between fans of your page).

Highlight the personality of the business and use that voice and tone consistently throughout your posts.

Include questions in your posts that will generate interesting answers in the comments so that you can then interact with your audience.

What we seem to have forgotten in all of this is that the point of creating a Business Page was to interact and promote your offerings to customers.

We all just got too caught up in counting the number of followers and wondering who those three people from Malaysia looking at your page were!!

It’s time to bring it back to basics and start building relationships with the followers on your Pages again.

Or if all else fails…. Just turn to Facebook Advertising!  

Is this the real agenda of Mark Zucherberg?

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Listening and doing nothing

October 11, 2017

Donald Trump - Twitter

Right now, we are living in an ever increasingly strange era.

A bright orange barely human is in charge of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and seemingly quite anxious to have a go at using it.

His counterpart in the East – with equally baffling hair – is egging him on and approximately 7 billion people are at the mercy of their moods. This will go down as the dumbest period of human life on earth, or at very least, as the dumbest period of untethered “leadership” in the developed world. 

On a somewhat lighter (but connected) note, both Twitter and Instagram have made some small but significant changes to their platforms recently, in an attempt to improve users’ experiences making them easier and faster to use. 

As users of social media for the past ten or so years, we should be ok with ongoing updates where features that we know and love are “updated” (i.e. removed or positioned elsewhere on the platform, in an non-linear manner – yes, I’m looking at you Facebook for all the things that you’ve done to the time-line. #smt). 

As recently as June 2017, Grace Kim, Twitter’s head of research and design said “…with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product… We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better,”. 

But its quite apparent that these companies are not listening to their users. 

In this turbulent time, where people carrying swastika flags, can declare themselves NOT nazis, (note – we are deliberately not giving these words the respect of Uppercase first letter) and use Twitter to publish messages of hate and violence, where threats of sexual violence can be made against people for “offences” such as not shaving their legs, or wanting to be referred to as she/her or he/his, where people can be called offensive terms by the president (he doesn’t a capital “P” either!) of the USA for taking a knee protest, neither changing profile pictures to circles nor increasing the character limit to #280 was not on anyone’s agenda. 

Mike Monteiro has been an outspoken member of the Twitter community asking for DT’s removal for repeatedly touting the terms of service of Twitter, writing on Medium he says “DT has been violating Twitter’s “rules” for years. Calling out individuals, entire ethnic groups, dog whistling his violent white supremacist base, taking on a Gold Star family, a US judge of Mexican heritage, retweeting a gif of Hillary Clinton being attacked, going after journalists. This is hardly acceptable behaviour for a regular human being, much less a US President. Twitter has, rightfully albeit slowly, banned other users for similar behaviour. 

Monteiro intelligently and correctly has spent considerable amount of time and effort engaging with @Jack and @Biz (Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO & Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter) highlighting the many instances of misuse of their platform by extremists (I’m including DT in that description…) and what should be done with them, according to their own Terms of Service.

By the levels of engagement between them, they clearly see what he’s saying, but they aren’t listening or are deliberately choosing not to do anything having listened. If they were, there would be less hoo-haa about #280 (which, lets face it, just makes Twitter a rubbish Facebook) and more about ensuring that users behaviour on Twitter was appropriate, respectful and not warmongering. 

In a similar manner, Instagram recently updated its app, allowing users greater functionality (to use multiple images in a single post, landscape and portrait modes, and, errr,  stickers, similar to Snapchat – you know those annoying floral headdresses and bunny rabbit noses? Yeah, those!!).

Some of the updates have been great – threaded comments, the previously mentioned multiple images per post, and Instagram Stories, but there is one simple thing that users have been crying out for, and that is a chronological order of posts. 

Clearly Instagram, much like Twitter, is a commercial endeavour, not some sort of altruistic venture, and its algorithm is built so that the advertising (which thankfully has become less invasive in recent months) is aimed at the correct target audiences, but forcing users into a system that they have clearly expressed as not being something that they want, is a sign that a company is clearly not listening to its user base. 

Perhaps the numbers won’t fall, perhaps we have all become immune to asking for something from a service, and never getting it, but surely that’s a strange set of behaviours to adhere to!

What does any of this to do with design?

Well, everything we do in Fuzion Communications is a reaction to a briefing from our clients.

They tell us what they need and what they want, and we take it from there. Design is a heavy mix of solution providing, communications and creativity, and as designers a huge part of our process is listening to our clients to provide them with creative work, that satisfies their brief. 

Ultimately, our design comes from listening.  

Phew…that’s off my chest!

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj - FuzionJonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads the Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

 

Facebook capitalises on Celebrity Endorsements and Influencer Marketing

August 31, 2017

Recently Facebook announced new controls and capabilities for branded content marketers.

What does this mean?

For brands

This means that any influencer sponsored content can be seen and promoted by the brand once it is tagged and flagged. This gives the brand the ability to publish the post and also reach bigger audiences by boosting it.

Facebook - Influencer content

Once boosted the post will then appear with a ‘sponsored‘ tag allowing followers to see what is a paid for collaboration and what is not.

Facebook - Influencer posts

Now I know people are thinking about ways of getting around this but lets face it, it’s Facebook and there is no way around the all seeing, all knowing Wizard of OZ!

What will happen and is happening quiet frequently already, is that Facebook will suppress posts that do not carry any budget. Without extra budget a collaboration with an influencer may not generate the desired results/visibility.

A really positive outlook for this new change with Facebook is that brands can have peace of mind when it comes to being properly represented and can be selective with who they work with. Another plus is that the post will appear as originated by the creator with access to the content insights such as reach, engagement, total spend and cost per 1000 impression(CPM) to help them determine the effectiveness of posts that creators tagged them in.

For Influencers/Celebrities

This new way of collaborating on Facebook is a great way to show their followers how selective they are when choosing a brand to work with and to show that they are loyal to brands, not just promoting brands for the sake of it.

A lot of influencers are already very selective about the brands they work with it but this will change how some influencers approach this part of their job.

It will also separate those who have always been true and honest to their followers from those who are taking everything on in order to build a following and reach that “Everyone who wants to work with me” status, ultimately rendering their audience useless!

For PR/Digital Agencies

For agencies this is great news and helps when preparing post-campaign reports as well as building relationships for all involved – We love MEASUREMENT! (well our clients do!).

Your clients can rest easy that the collaborations you have suggested with the influencers you suggested were worth the spend. With access to the content insights all parties can see the results enabling you to measure what activity was the most successful and with what influencer. This can determine who the client might work with again in the future.

This new approach could see brands turning to lesser know influencers or celebrities that are not as much in the limelight as The Kardashians but have a genuine following. Choosing to work with then could allow brands to reach a bigger audience that they may not have tapped into yet.

For more information check out the Facebook announcement here: www.facebook.com/business/news/new-controls-and-capabilities-for-branded-content-marketers

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency who have offices in Dublin and Cork. 

Fuzion offer a full Social Media Consultancy service.

Business Social Media – What should you be doing?

March 10, 2017

Twitter for business

Social media continues to evolve with users switching from one platform to another, so where does that leave us today for anyone personally using it for a Business to Business audience?

If anything this has become more straightforward than it was before as Google+ has become irrelevant and most of the new social media activity has happened with the “youth” platforms, which can be ignored for now.

For anyone in business I would recommend the following:

The Basics
You should at a minimum maintain a ‘sparkling’ LinkedIn account that puts your best foot forward at all times. You should treat this as your personal website ensuring that all details are up to date, that you have a professional photograph, that you try to get meaningful recommendations and that you use it proactively for connecting with other people in business.

A big health warning here is that if you are not going to maintain your LinkedIn account properly then it might be wise to delete it – anything that does not paint you in the best possible light should not be allowed.

For example I had one client who was ignoring connection requests for over a year – he nearly had a heart attack when he realised that many of those looking to connect with him were his clients!!

Basics with more ambition
For someone with a little more ambition I would encourage them to add Twitter into their social media mix and I would advise posting on both LinkedIn and Twitter to “make some noise” and let the right people know what they are all about. When posting try to use visuals where possible as nice pictures help posts to get more attention!

Twitter as a platform seemed to be fading away a little but our good friend, Mr.Trump seems to have reversed this trend!

As part of this “making some noise” strategy I would recommend following and interacting with relevant accounts on Twitter and doing the same with LinkedIn including relevant groups – try to pick groups where you will find prospects, not other people in your industry.

Trump loves twitter

The Avid User
If you really want to embrace social media you need to incorporate it into your working day, everyday.

A regular piece of advice that I give to clients is that social media is not a full time activity but it is a full time mentality – effectively, you are always “on” looking for natural opportunities to connect, start or join a discussion that demonstrates who you are and what you do.

You will have succeeded here if people in your sector recognise you as a prominent social media user. Even more evidence of success, is when journalists who are prolific online recognise you and contact you for commentary on topics relevant to your sector.

Pro Tip– When you are posting try to use a few relevant #Hashtags frequently so that after a while they become synonymous with you.

The Publisher
The real social media “guru” is the person who publishes their own material online.

Basically I am talking about those who are writing articles and opinion pieces frequently that are relevant to the sector that they work in. These pieces would demonstrate their expertise and personality and they can be hosted on their own blog or else published within their LinkedIn account (or both). These pieces can then be used as social media posts – if posts are not time sensitive they can even be recycled over time.

For those who are excellent in front of a camera or engaging into a microphone, then video (open your own YouTube account) or podcasts are others ways to capture their expertise and personality and these can also be shared as social media posts or incorporated into their blog posts.

What about Facebook and the new social media platforms?
You might be wondering why there has been no mention of the other social media platforms – in truth I don’t think that they are relevant for the B2B audience BUT …there is always a but…

..all of your social media activity demonstrates to the outside world who you are so you must be careful that you don’t do anything detrimental to your self image by what you post and how you behave online.

While I consider the above platforms to be the ones relevant for business you will often get a business contact sending you a ‘friend request‘ on Facebook or following you on Instagram or Snapchat.

In many cases you may feel obliged to accept that ‘friend request‘ but once this happens you do need to realise that all of your “personal” posts will contribute to others forming an opinion of you.

Other developments
One of things that I have observed in the last while is that the ‘reach‘ of posts (how many people get to see the posts) across all platforms has disintegrated in favour of sponsored or promoted posts so you have to work even harder than before to get noticed and create an impact.

The other trend to note is “live” video which is becoming a big feature on both Facebook and Twitter – while you can probably ignore the feature on Facebook (for the B2B audience) it can be quite relevant for Twitter, as long as the content is clever and interesting.

Facebook have threatened developing their own B2B type platform for a while as they want to dominate all social media but we haven’t see any evidence of this yet.

To summarise I would advise everyone in business to jump in at some level and try to push it to the next level over time, I will guarantee you that you will see results but like everything else in life you must stick with it.

For the naysayers who still think that social media is a big waste of time, I would like to say a big thanks for leaving an even bigger opportunity for the rest of us!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Six simple Facebook tips for your business

April 13, 2016

acceleration

We’re hearing lots about how Instagram and Snapchat are taking over as the social media platforms of choice… but I don’t think we can disregard Facebook (2.6 million people in Ireland are active on Facebook) just yet.

It’s been around for quite a while now, has a huge following, and people understand it!

If you’re a business, I think it’s vital to have a Facebook presence, but it’s also so important that you use it correctly so you’re not wasting your own time and resources. Whether your goal is to boost sales, engage with current and prospective customers, or simply build awareness of your brand—having a strategy in mind will help you to use Facebook more effectively.

Facebook is a great place to share updates about your business, but don’t get carried away.

People don’t want or need in-depth information on everything your business is about. I manage a number of Facebook pages for different types of clients, and based on my own personal experience, I’ve put together six simple tips that I think could help businesses maximise the benefit of this popular platform

1.    Type of Posts

Aim for a mix of post types – photos, videos, text, competitions, polls, links to relevant blogs/ articles etc. Keep things lively and interesting!

I’d suggest you post photos and videos to your timeline most frequently. Why am I suggesting this? Simple… it’s because they’re proven to be the most engaging types of content on Facebook.

Also, posts relating your business to community activities or events in your area are always a hit with “local” Facebook users, so don’t forget these. When you reach a milestone like 1,000 (or even a few hundred) “likes” on your page for example, why not shout about this?

This makes your fans feel they’re part of a growing community. 

2.    Post Consistently

How often should I post on Facebook?” is a question I’m often asked – this is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” It depends (sorry!).

Make sure you are generating regular content on your page, and don’t go long periods without posting. I recommend you are consistent in the quality and types of posts that you create so your audience knows what kind of messages to expect from you.

With so many businesses, people aren’t there late in the evening or at the weekend to post, but these are times when the general public spend a lot of time on Facebook, so make use of the scheduling feature. Take some time before you leave work each day or on a Friday to create posts, and schedule these to reach your fans at various times at night or over the weekend. The same applies to times like Christmas, where posting to Facebook might be the last thing on your mind (mmmm, turkey!) . 

Note: Be sure to check the Insights (statistics) for your page, which will tell you the times of the day that your fans are likely to be online most and plan your posts accordingly.

3.    Monitor and respond to comments on your page and focus on engagement

Don’t ignore the interactions your fans have with your page – I’m talking about comments here. You can monitor and respond to comments via the ‘Notifications’ tab at the top of your page. It’s not essential to respond to every comment, but I do recommend keeping an eye on what people are saying, and definitely responding if they ask you a specific question.

Responding to comments will also allow you to build up a rapport with your Facebook fans, showing them there’s a real person behind the page, who cares about what they have to say!

If you want people to interact more with you then ask questions and set up polls that invite a response. At the end of a post, remember to invite fans to comment, like or share, and perhaps be in with a chance win a prize (people LOVE winning stuff!) .

When people do respond, keep that conversation going.

Like4.    Regular/recognisable features

Try including a regular weekly or monthly feature, such as a “Wine of the week”, sharing your recommendations and expertise with your fans. Let fans know this is an ongoing feature, so they’ll come back next time as well. Why not give them the opportunity to share your post and be in with a chance of winning a bottle of that wine?

5.    Don’t sell, sell, sell!

Facebook is all about the personal experience, so trying to simply sell something to your fans won’t work… so much so that they may decide they don’t want to be your “friend” anymore.

Posts should be informal and fun, and even informative. If you are promoting something make the fans of the page feel they are getting a special deal by actually giving them a special deal.

6.       Boost your posts

The point of running a Facebook page is to get more exposure, and hopefully more customers for your business. Many people hate the idea of spending money on Facebook advertising but I am sorry to break the bad news – unless you allocate some spend (even a little bit) your page won’t go too far!

It’s just the way that Facebook works now – many of your posts will not reach your fans. The more the people that like, comment or share a post, the wider reach it will actually have.

In order to maximise the reach yourself I suggest using the “Boost” option for Facebook posts. This allows you to target “People who like your Page”, “People who like your Page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting”. The latter allows you to actually target specific demographics which is really handy.

You can boost posts from as little as €1.00 per day, and it will tell you how many people you can expect your post to reach – so you see what “bang for your buck” that you’re actually getting. If you delve into the advertising features on Facebook you can also target users within a radius of your chosen location, which can also be very handy.

7.    Bonus Tip!…Live Video

Because you have read this far you deserve a bonus tip. Facebook have now added a ‘live video’ feature which enables you to deliver live footage as it happens. This is a really exciting feature and as you record the fans of the page can interact, asking questions and making comments. One of the great things about this feature is that Facebook love it and as a result when you are using the feature your page tends to be favoured and it gets great visibility, unlike many of your posts.

So there you have it, six simple and effective tips (plus a bonus tip of course) to bear in mind when it comes to your business’ Facebook page.

Happy posting!

Alison O’Brien

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Is the old dog learning new tricks?

November 3, 2014

Teaching an old Dog new tricks

Recently a girl on work experience asked me about how I got into PR, what I studied, and how I’ve seen things change in the industry.

It reminded of one particular class in college in 2006 with John Gallagher, our Course Director for the MA in PR at DIT. John was chatting to us about these things called ‘blogs’ – not one of us, out of a class of 40, knew what a blog was, and it was only when one of my ‘brave’ class mates piped up and asked the question, that we were enlightened!

This got me thinking, and I doubt John has been asked that question since… things have changed so quickly in the 8 years I’ve been involved in the PR industry with the advent of social media and advancing technology.

When I joined Fuzion in 2007, Facebook was just rearing its head, Twitter had barely been heard of in Ireland – and as for Pinterest and Instagram, well they were more commonly known as ‘Post-Its’ and ‘Polaroids’! Now me, I’m ‘old-school’ when it comes to PR, I love to pick up a newspaper or magazine, and see a physical press clipping for my clients, but I can’t deny that social media and technology have certainly been a big help in my job, particularly when it comes to event planning and management.

In the ‘olden days’ hours would be spent drawing up invitation lists, and gathering people’s postal addresses, and stuffing envelopes with snazzy invites that so much time had been taken designing and printing. While now, I simply walk down the office to the guys in our design department, brief them on what I want the invitation to look like, and voila…. A file arrives in my inbox that I can simply upload to a system like Mailchimp along with my database of invitees and their email addresses (very little need for postal addresses anymore), I click send, and off it goes into cyber space, arriving in inboxes of everyone I want to reach within mere moments… simples!

But that’s not all, I can analyse exactly who’s opened the invite, how many times they’ve viewed it, if they’ve clicked hyperlinks to bring them to social media pages for the event; the list goes on. If I really want a particular person at the event, but they haven’t opened the invite for some reason, at least I know, and I can make sure to get in touch with them.

As well as sending invitations by email, I also have the opportunity to share details of the event on the various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Never has it been so easy to communicate with target audiences. To ensure I’m reaching them, I can allocate a small advertising spend targeting a certain demographic if necessary; as well as interacting with them and sharing updates and news about the upcoming event.

Managing a guest list is so easy now. I either receive RSVPs directly into my inbox and manage the guest list from there, or I can set up a registration page using an online ticketing service like Eventbrite, where all registrations are tracked and I know how many tickets are remaining for example. This saves hours of phone calls, making this sort of event preparation and management so time efficient for us and cost efficient for our clients.

As I already said, I’m ‘old-school’ so I won’t dismiss the more ‘traditional’ methods, and will certainly make that call or post that letter if required; and I’ll almost always recommend that we issue a press release with a great PR photo to help promote an event.

For me, it’s a combination of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ that go a long way to making a great event come together.

Alison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing & Design which has offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Social Cost of questionable leadership at Facebook

October 26, 2013

Facebook Mission - To Make the world more open and connected

I stood there and I watched the faces of the concerned parents – this is a new era that has many of them confused, lost and petrified about the on-line dangers that could threaten any of their children at any time.

One of the parents relayed a story about her child who was being bullied by others on Facebook – in this scenario she spotted the danger, jumped in and her daughter confronted the person who was saying these nasty things. She received an immediate apology, the activity ceased and it turns out the “culprit” didn’t fully realise the damage and harm they were causing by posting silly but hurtful remarks.

For some reason many of us behave different online – in a way it’s like shouting and roaring at people from the safety of your car. Would you do that on the street?

Online many of us lose our manners, we get nasty, we get personal and we have no bother pulling the trigger and firing abuse at other people.

Would you do it to their face? Probably not..

At Fuzion we produced an infographic called “Safebook” which can be downloaded free from our website to encourage young people to use the online platforms responsibly and to help them cope with any negative scenario. In the worst cases we recommend that the culprit should be unfriended, blocked and reported.

Safebook Poster - Cyberbullying

This is quite good advice and when it comes to reporting we mean: tell your friends and parents and ultimately report them to the social media platform and the authorities where necessary.

I have come to realise that the reporting to the social media platforms is quite useless and I have never really heard it yielding results. While they proclaim they are very concerned in reality I feel they are doing nothing to really make a difference.

For over a year our Safebook poster has been downloaded by teachers, resource centres and parents all over the world – we have even been asked to translate into a number of different languages, which shows you that the problem is global.

Where are Facebook in all of this? Have they seen our poster? Do they not see the huge need to provide a resource to schools and our young people?

At this session, which had been organised by a proactive parents committee for a school in West Cork I informed them that Facebook operated different privacy settings for teenagers, which gave them a level of protection against predators. This seemed to provide some relief to the concerned parents.

Facebook change the privacy settings for teenagers

Literally the next day I read the headlines that Facebook had now relaxed the settings for teenagers, providing them with more or less the same functionality and openness that other adult users enjoyed!

In their statement they outlined their logic for this change:

Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard,Facebook said on its site. “While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social-media services.

In my view the truth is that Facebook is losing ground to it’s big social media rival Twitter, which does not have special settings for different age groups and it wants to protect this first and foremost. They are throwing their privacy protection mechanisms for young users out the window because of this.

While this thinking is very concerning it got even worse ..

Now we have learnt that Facebook thought it was quite OK to permit a brutal sadistic video of a woman being beheaded on their platform.

Debbie Frost - FacebookThe logic of this was explained by the Director of Communications and Public Affairs Facebook:

People turn to Facebook to share their experiences and to raise awareness about issues important to them,” said spokeswoman Debbie Frost in a statement. “If it is being shared for sadistic pleasure or to celebrate violence, Facebook removes it.

How does Facebook know if I am sharing the post because I am horrified by it or because it gives me a thrill?

Facebook staffThey were allowing a brutal video that any TV station in the world would instinctively know should not be viewed on air, to be shared by all their users on Facebook based on freedom of expression and  the social good!

While Facebook is a huge, profitable business and is winning commercially it that has clearly lost it’s way when it comes to moderating its platform, which must be put down to some very questionable leadership.

When Mark Zuckerberg says the Facebook mission is to “Make the world more Open and Connected” is this what he meant?

Have they lost all objectivity and social decency by employing too many young guns who just do not have the life experience and moral compass required to deal with policy and such huge issues?

The scary thing for me is that up until this point they have probably been the more proactive social media platform when it comes to privacy and safety!

My conclusion when I talk to parents and teachers about social media is that the onus is on us to teach good behaviour and we need to be proactive and learn the tools for ourselves so that we can advise from an informed place.

I call it “Teach don’t Preach“.

It now really looks like it is up to us because the safety walls have just been lowered and I don’t trust the owners to build them again.

I think of the faces of those concerned parents – maybe they are right to be concerned?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer social media consultancy and training in Ireland from our offices in Cork and Dublin

Who does the world think you are?

June 19, 2013

Facebook advertisingApparently I’m someone who is interested in Adult Fantasy Games, the odd bet and I wouldn’t mind driving the new Volvo V40.

I’d like to go on holidays to Tuscany after needing the help of a Retail Consultant and playing some more adult fantasy games!

LinkedIn AdvertisingWhen I get serious I’m interested in ERP (excuse my ignorance but I have no idea what that is) for small business, a white board device for waking up ideas and I might even like to earn some extra money.

When I’m done with all of that I might like to find a new  file sharing platform while I take on my one year diploma course in Corporate Governance with DCU.

Finally I might be interested in switching to UPC.

Interesting person!!

Social Media Advertising

This is a sample of the advertising that is being targeted at me across Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

With all of the different social media platforms it is possible to do some very specific targeting with your advertising campaigns.

Facebook – this probably has the biggest targeting capability as it can focus on your location (as precise as towns), age, personal status and declared personal interests.

For the advertiser  it works on either a pay per click basis (you only pay when someone clicks your advert) or on impressions (the number of times your advert has been shown).

You set a daily budget and you also have the capability of setting a maximum amount per click. The big limitation with Facebook advertising is that most people are in a very social frame of mind when they are using the platform so it probably isn’t great for “heavy” topics.

With Facebook you can also enjoy an element of what I call “endorsed” or “trust” advertising – where you see an advert and it declares that one of your friends likes that brand/product. If you want extra oomph from your page posts you can invest a few bob to push them out to the people who have liked your pages and their friends.

We have found it to be quite effective for many of our clients.

LinkedIn – the targeting capability for advertisers is really good here with options around location (just country so far), age, seniority, the size of the company the person works for, job role, sector and you can even target Groups that have been set up. This also operates on a pay per click basis (these are quite expensive) – you set the maximum per click and a daily budget.

I haven’t used it yet for clients but I have experimented with it for Fuzion – we have won some business as a result.

Twitter ADvertisingTwitter – advertising on twitter is still in it’s infancy and my feeling is that targeting will be more difficult because a user provides limited information when they set up their account. However if you read the blurb twitter reckon you can target by gender, geography and special interests (it must track the content of your tweets  or maybe who you are following to assess this – it might be tricky to target the huge number of users on twitter who lurk and never tweet). You have a choice between promoting your account or pushing your tweets into peoples twitter feed).

We haven’t used twitter advertising for any clients yet.

Collectively across all platforms there is a lot of information and capability that can help you target customers – the skill is knowing who your customer might be and using the targeting tools to attract their attention.

For the record when it comes to me other than a trip to Tuscany (off there next week!), Facebook marketing and pulling my hair out with Sky last Christmas the world just doesn’t know me at all.

I definitely have no interest in adult fantasy games… (al least that what I keep telling everyone!)

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion 

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin in Ireland provide Social Media Consultancy and Training services.


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