Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

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.

Social Media – Teach or Preach?

February 5, 2013

Cyberbullying

Like most people I am very concerned about the whole topic of Cyberbullying and the effect it has been having on some of our young people.

After the tragic suicides recently we decided to do our part and we produced a simple info graphic called “safebook” , which is an easy guide for young people. Our objective was to encourage the safe and responsible use of social media and at the same time provide clear advice to people who may be faced with a bullying situation.

Safebook Poster - CyberbullyingOur poster struck a chord with people all over the world – it’s been downloaded in over 100 countries, which I put down to its simplicity and I believe it is helping parents and teachers to have sensible conversations about the responsible use of social media with their children.

Our activity in this area has brought us into contact with many teachers, schools and organisations and I can see the considerable efforts that are being made to control and deal with the issue. I am watching the training programmes, I can see the liaison with the authorities and government agencies and I can see how schools are making attempts to block the use of these platforms and do their best to cope with the situation.

I have also heard presentations from Facebook who are attempting to deal with this huge issue, introduce controls and mechanisms to help people report incidents and inappropriate behaviour.

On one side I’m watching all of the downside – the social media concern, the “control” activity but what about the huge upside?

Social media is now a really valuable life skill that we all should learn – most of our clients would grab job applicants who are social media savvy. Is there a dilemma?

Teaching Social MediaTeach not Preach!

From my considerable exposure to this huge Cyberbullying issue my conclusion is that we need to embrace the social media tools from a sensible, early age and we should encourage the positive use of these platforms in schools (probably the best place to ensure this happens).

How about:
– students publishing their essays on their own personal blogs
– classes that show the children how to set up their social media accounts including their privacy settings
– setting up Facebook groups for use by each of the classes
– setting up Twitter accounts for the Economics, History, Science and Geography classes and following and interacting with other relevant accounts to facilitate learning and staying up to date with current issues

At the same time I do feel that the social media providers must self regulate, put in the controls and aids, be proactive around privacy settings and act sensibly – however, the main solution is in the users hands.

While I know it won’t be easy, while I know it will require a lot of training, I know social media is a valuable skill, which will be critical to every young person in the future.

Why not concentrate on teaching and forget the preaching?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion.

Fuzion provide social media consultancy and training services from the offices in Dublin and Cork.

Erin, Ciara and Cyberbullying

November 1, 2012

Teenage DiscoI remember being 13 – it was one of the years I enjoyed most in my life!

I was hanging around with a cool gang, I was discovering Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, I played football day and night – it was a time when we were gaining independence but without  too much responsibility and the “big” school exams were still  a few years away.

And of course there were the girls, the first disco’s (Highfield Rugby Club) …life was great!

Erin Gallagher - victim of cyber bullyingHow could the age of 13 end up being so different for Erin Gallagher in 2012?

I struggle to get my head around how she felt and how social media, something I enjoy so much could play a part in making her so miserable that she took a decision to end her beautiful life.

Just like Ciara Pugsley a few weeks earlier, taking her own life was her best solution to cope with what she was going through.

Social Media?

Of course social media isn’t to blame.

However social media unfortunately provides bullies (let’s face it – they have always existed) with more ammo, with a thicker skin and the ability to bully from a distance and often with a degree of anonymity.

This is why we have a responsibility to step up to the mark and go further than ever before to make sure that bullying is highlighted and that the bullies are stopped and exposed.

Parents & teachers

It’s no longer enough that we can plead ignorance and dismiss Facebook and the other social media platforms as being something for the young folk.

It’s no longer enough to ban our children from using the platforms – they will anyhow.

To protect our vulnerable children we need to jump in ourselves, learn and understand how these powerful and very useful social media platforms work, discover the risks and plan so that these can be managed and minimised.

Lead the way

We owe it to our kids to show them how to:

  • Set up their personal accounts properly
  • Maintain their privacy settings
  • Connect with “friends” safely
  • Think about what they post
  • Post appropriately
  • Spot and deal with inappropriate behaviour
  • “Unfriend” and Block certain users
  • Report Bullying

All of the functionality and procedures are in place to make this possible – learn about them.

Please download our “Safebook” poster , which is a simple aid for parents and teachers to help promote the responsible and safe use of Social Media and assist them in a bullying or inappropriate situation.

If our child is drowning they must know how to help themselves and must know when to ask for help.

Ciara Pugsley - victim of cyber bullyingWe owe it to the memory of Erin and Ciara, their parents, friends and families to take responsibility and help to make our exciting new world a great place for every 13 year old.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion provide Social Media Training and Consultancy in Cork and Dublin

Facebook – You can now target your posts

October 22, 2012
Bra fitting service

It won’t fit everyone!

Maybe you don’t want every post from your Facebook business page reach every single viewer.

A great feature has just come on stream with Facebook which gives you the ability to control exactly this scenario.

Why might you do this?

With a particular post you might want to limit it to fans of your page who live locally or who are in a particular age group. Sometimes you may want to just target your post at members of a particular sex or with a particular personal status.

A department store who are running a special promotion on bra fitting may not want to interrupt their male audience with such a message, running the risk of them deciding to unlike the page.

A restaurant may not want to annoy viewers who are single when they are promoting specials on Valentines day – it might just annoy them!

How does it work?

Target post on Facebook

Who do you want to see this post?

When you are writing your post before you publish it you can choose to target the audience for this post be clicking on the “target” button, which can be seen on the bottom left corner of the post window alongside the timing button. (you must first enable this feature in your page settings – see below)

From here you can make your audience selection, which gives you a wide range of choices enabling you to limit the reach of your post.  Once you decide to publish, the post will only appear in the newsfeed of those fans that match your selected criteria.

The criteria includes gender, location, age, relationship status, education and interests.

If your fans choose to share that post it will only appear in the newsfeed of their friends that match that criteria.

The post will appear on your wall as normal visible to everyone who visits your page.

Enabling the Post Targeting feature

If your want to use this feature you must first enable the post privacy gating feature for your Facebook page – what a terrible name for the feature!

To do this you must go to the edit page menu that appears at the top of your admin panel. From here click into the manage permissions menu and you will see the “post privacy gating” option towards the end of the page, which you enable by just clicking the box.

Once you have done this the “target” feature\icon will appear as an option in the post comment window as already described.

Well done Facebook !! – its a great new feature.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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


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