Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

The Late Late Toy Show – Love it or Hate it?

December 1, 2022

Since it first hit our television screens in 1975, the Late Late Toy Show has become an Irish Christmas tradition.

The live two and a half hour programme hosted by RTÉ personality Ryan Tubridy, sees children from across the country play and talk about the toys that they currently love. For families, the Late Late Toy Show has always signified the official start of the Christmas season, with many rushing to have the tree up for the night.

This year more than 1.6 million viewers tuned in across the weekend to watch Tubridy’s portrayal of The Wizard of Oz’s Scarecrow, as well as Saoibh Lonergan, Lucy Hoban, Caillín Joe McDonald, Cuckoo’s Nest, Emmie O’Neill and Billy Brady and more make their Toy Show debut.

As it’s the most watched programme of the year, people tend to have strong opinions of the children’s show.

Starting with the man of the hour, love him or hate him, 2022 is Tubridy’s 14th successive year hosting the toy show. Over the past number of years, the toy show has seemed to reel away from live demonstrations of the toys, with the children almost accessories of the programme and Ryan being central to it. Not once this year was there a mention of how much the toys cost, where they could be purchased and who they would be perfect for – kind of taking away from the point of the programme.

There’s no question about the loyalty of the viewers with the Irish public raising over four million euro over the course of the weekend for the Toy Show charity appeal. Following its creation in 2020, the Toy Show appeal year on year raises huge sums of money for children’s charities around Ireland.

While the programme itself is undoubtedly entertaining, the live Twitter feed can’t be beaten. This year, even brands jumped on board with Ryanair and Aer Lingus competing for the likes as Aron Gibbons from Westport, Mayo gave a live flight demonstration on air. As you can see both brands took a very different approach, with Ryanair causing a few more laughs.

So, do you love it or hate it?

In a way this is an irrelevant question because however you feel about the show it attracts a huge audience and people love talking about it. I think the most important aspect of it from a marketing point of view is the consistency, and this consistency leads to nostalgia and it suddenly becomes something we all end up marking our calendar by.

Getting anyone to change their habits is a difficult thing to achieve, but once you do that it can result in a customer for life.

Creating a special event that you can recreate year after year (month after month, week after week or even day after day) to allow people to form a habit with you and your business mightn’t be the worst idea ever!

1975, RTE – “How about we do a Toy Show instead of our normal chat show?

I wonder who said yes, let’s do it!

Every nostalgic thing we do, had to have a first time...

Heather

Heather Lordan is Account Executive at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

Is Twitter a must (musk!) for your business?

November 15, 2022

We are part of an international network of independent PR agencies that handle Crisis PR communications for clients across Europe, called the CCNE, or the Crisis Communications Network Europe.

This week a query came from one of the European clients of the group about Twitter, about the relevance of the platform and if we felt with all of the Elon Musk shenanigans that clients should consider moving away from it and onto something else.

While it was my favourite social media platform for such a long time it does break my heart a little (or a lot) to see how toxic it has become, but at the same time a very interesting question had been asked.

The client query had some very specific questions, which I will get to in a moment, but I did feel there were some broader questions that should be asked first, which we should all think about in business:

Is your target audience(s) using the platform?

If you go fishing you go where the fish are, after all!

If you believe that your audience is using the platform then that should be a big yes, but also consider how they are using it, why and when.

What about the relevant media?

What we find is that the media are normally very proactive on social media. It is a lively platform and one of the main reasons why journalists are active on Twitter is because of the powerful search function.

If there is a breaking story they can very quickly see what is being said and by who.

Everyone in business should identify the relevant journalists and publications/media outlets for their industry, follow them, understand them, observe their posts and hopefully connect and get to know them.

How many followers do you have?

It is so difficult to build up a following on any platform these days without significant advertising budget. If you do have a good following then clearly people using the platform find that you are relevant to them and it would be foolish not to take advantage of this.

Have you developed a strategy for Twitter as part of your overall social media strategy?

Each of the social media platforms can do quite a different job for you, so it is important to understand your overall objectives, the nature of your target audiences and then be clear about the role of Twitter as part of this.

For example, if you have a business or organisation that is mainly consumer facing then Facebook and Instagram would be your priority social media platforms. However, you may decide that Twitter could be very useful for interacting with industry stakeholders and media.

Could Twitter be part of the way you deliver Customer Service?

This week we were providing Twitter training to a government agency that deals with the general public. I was very surprised to learn about how many queries they would receive from the general public via their Twitter account.

They said that people were very surprised to get responses to queries so quickly – what a great way to improve the public image of your business/organisation!

Are you using Twitter for Posting, Interacting, Search and Competitor Tracking purposes?

While a business may use Twitter predominantly to push out messages there could be a huge role for:

  • Interacting with customers/clients
  • Jumping into conversations when the subject matter is relevant
  • Using the powerful search function to track industry topics and relevant trends
  • Tracking competitor activity

Could you interact strategically with Partners, Customers, Prospects and Stakeholders?

By carefully following other Twitter users in the above categories you can interact with their posts, mention them in yours and use the platform to strategically build the right relationships.

Is there a cause you are championing?

There are times when you need to put a spotlight on an issue, get people’s attention and yes, call out organisations or individuals when it is needed.

Whether you are lobbying about an issue or using the platform to get the right attention, Twitter can be an incredibly powerful tool.

Being honest, there are times when it can be the only way to really get the right attention for an issue!

So while considering the relevance of Twitter with the backdrop of Elon Musk and all of the potential changes the above questions should be answered first.

If there is a case for using Twitter because of that, then go for it and we will see in time how it evolves.

As I mentioned there were some specific questions and how I responded to them:

How is Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter received in your respective countries?

In Ireland we are very unhappy mainly because of his treatment of employees and we are also very wary of him allowing crazy, nasty content (even more than now!!) back on the increasingly toxic platform.

Have you already had similar requests?

I would say people have been pulling away from Twitter because of the increasing toxic content on there generally as well as a general nervousness about posting anything on there.

Any recommendations that you are making to clients?

We are not making strong recommendations, but we are talking about its diminished influence and pushing people back to LinkedIn for B2B scenarios and Facebook/Instagram for B2C.

However, it does quite a different job that the others cannot do.

Are you in fundamental exchange with customers about alternative platforms (eg. Mastodon) and do you already have insights?

There is some very quiet talk about Mastodon but this is really just with avid social media users and we are not seeing the relevance of it.

We have opened accounts on it just to see how it works and will keep an eye on it as it develops.

So, to summarise I would say even though it is far from the enjoyable and supportive platform that it once was, it still has many uses and these can be very powerful.

As for the toxicity, I would advise staying away from this as much as possible. The trolls are there in abundance and be careful not to get drawn in by them.

From a business point of view it is so important that you operate any of your social media accounts professionally, From a personal point of view, try to be positive, upbeat and nice!

As I write that last statement I need to look at my own use of Twitter and yes, it does get very nasty and yes I do join in – shame on you Greg!!

Happy tweeting folks and lets hope Elon learns quickly, that if he wants to protect his investment and keep users and advertisers, he needs to keep it clean.

Greg

Greg is a partner at Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland that offers social media training and consultancy to clients.

The Love Island Effect – Fast Fame & Fast Fashion

September 22, 2022

It’s been one month since we last ran to the couch at 9pm to hear, for the last time this summer, “Previously… on Love Island”. 

For eight weeks of summer, Love Island almost has a chokehold over the nation. Those out for a Sunday drink calling it a night at 8.30pm, those holidaying abroad praying that their wifi is strong enough for Virgin Media player.

An average of 204,000 viewers tuned in across Ireland each night to see how the contestants were getting on, and who they were getting with. For those eight weeks, the reality TV show basically took over our social lives and had us hooked to our screens.

Each season, while romances, friendships and tensions build inside the villa, we watch the contestants’ social media followings build on the outside, particularly on Instagram. The rise to fame is fast, as fast fashion brands scramble to secure their newest brand ambassadors, fighting for the ‘best’ with their top competitors. 

Take Molly-Mae Hague – the most successful contestant ever on the show. Molly-Mae was slowly breaking her way into the world of influencer marketing before ever appearing on or being associated with Love Island, regularly posting on Instagram and sharing to her YouTube channel. She entered the Spanish villa with approximately 170,000 followers. Coming not in first, but in second place on series 5 of the show, there were countless fast fashion brands lining up left, right and centre to sign her up.

She was the first UK influencer that Starbucks had ever paid to post content for them. She exited the villa, to sign a deal with fast-fashion retailer, PrettyLittleThing (PLT), as a brand ambassador. Fast forward three years, she is now their Creative Director – she now has a whopping 6.4 Million Instagram followers, making her the most successful Love Island contestant to date. 

Fast forward to this year. Gemma Owen, daughter of famous English football player, Michael Owen – remember that goal in the 1998 World Cup? Well, Gemma has now almost surpassed her fathers fame, at least with this generation. Gemma entered the villa with 79.5k followers and has now hit the 2 Million mark. Following in the footsteps of Molly-Mae, she has just last week signed an ambassador deal with PrettyLittleThing. 

Ekin-Su, the queen of this summer’s Love Island who did a 180 on the show and won the nations hearts, has quickly jumped to a whopping 3 Million followers, proving she is most deserving of that title. She has signed (supposedly) the biggest deal in Love Island history, with fast-fashion brand, Oh Polly, worth £1 Million. 

It has to be questioned whether Love Island has become the gate-way to fashion deals, as opposed to a path to ‘finding love’? 

Molly-Mae has previously admitted on her YouTube channel that she went on Love Island as a career move and did not think she’d find love, only to meet Tommy (queue the “awwww”). But was this a one-off?

Can Ekin-Su and Gemma maintain their Love Island romances? Deep down, do they really care once they have their brand deals? It is early days for them but time will tell – if love fails, they have fame and fast-fashion…

And as for brands, they all love a good influencer!

Mary

Mary O’Mahony is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Marketing and Graphic Design agency operating from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Influencer Marketing, a clever campaign tactic

September 21, 2022

Love them or hate them, influencers prove time and time again that they can be of huge benefit to businesses of all types. From global brands, national titles, charities, community organisations and local small businesses.

Influencer marketing is a tactic that we use frequently at Fuzion. The results we get for clients are very strong, and can range from improving brand awareness, reaching very specific audiences, driving traffic to a website and increasing sales.

This relatively new form of marketing can be an extremely cost effective way to reach target audiences. For example, we support a lot of our clients with product drops to a targeted list of influencers whose content and following are in line with the brand in question. The cost incurred to the business is the design and content of the packs and courier charges, while the return on investment is significantly high with influencers typically showing their audience(followers) the gift they have received and tagging the brands account in their posts.

A recent example of a successful product drop for Fuzion was our work with Hi-Spirits brand, Southern Comfort and their festival themed pack, which was packed full of all the essentials for any festival and included a sampling of their new ready to drink flavoured cans, a branded mini speaker and portable charger and this came packaged in a very handy, attractive cooler bag. We are sure that there was lots of envy at Electric Picnic this year against those lucky few who had these goodies!

This campaign was hugely effective in raising awareness about Southern Comfort’s new product to its target audience, while at the same time creating excitement about the brand.

It is important to note that engaging with the right influencers is just one of the tactics that we would use as part of a marketing and PR campaign for clients, carefully combined and coordinated with other tactics, all designed to work together to reach their target audiences, and as we say at Fuzion, to #WinHappy!

Heather

Heather Lordan is part of the marketing and PR team of Fuzion Communications who work from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Social Media and the Metrics that are actually important

July 14, 2022

KPI’s, engagement rates, follower numbers… all of these metrics are so important when we work on our client social media reports every month but how important is this information really?

There is so much information out there for us to consume, especially in relation to our own social media statistics, but I always think it’s so important for us to keep track of where our audience actually are.

IPSOS MRBI release a Social Networking Tracker report twice a year after surveying users in Ireland about their social media activity. It’s fascinating to read the most recent report and see these stats on account ownership and daily usage and it can also help inform where to put your marketing spend.

As we can see from the infographic above, Facebook is still the king of social media networks in Ireland. Something I hear quite often is “Facebook is dead, Instagram is the best platform to be on”, etc. Looking at, and understanding these reports shows us that even though Instagram may be catching up with Facebook, it still is quite a relevant platform and cannot be forgotten or ignored. And lest we forget, they’re all under the umbrella of Meta so they’re basically the same thing now… Especially where your advertising budget is concerned!

An important one to look at here, is the increase and decrease of followers on the various platforms. TikTok is the only platform with a significant increase (+6%) while all the others lost followers and Instagram held steady. TikTok continues to grow this year and is definitely one for businesses to consider, if they can create strong, relevant video content. It is not a platform where you can just post an image and hope for the best, so time and energy needs to be spent coming up with creative ideas to engage an audience.

In terms of daily usage, it’s interesting to note that while Instagram (63%), TikTok (58%) and Facebook (55%) are all quite high, so are both Twitter (42%) and Reddit (41%). I think this goes to show that while the visual content can be quite engaging on the other three platforms, Twitter and Reddit still have quite a loyal audience who react to news and written content.

LinkedIn, while reporting numbers behind Facebook and Instagram, actually dominates the B2B space, and if that is the space that you operate in, then it becomes the most important platform for you!

My main takeaway from this, is that when you are considering which platform to be active on, think about who your target audience(s) are and the type of content that you need to produce to connect with them. If video is not your thing, then maybe TikTok is not a good idea, but if you have amazing pictures and great videos and even blogs then you can share those on the likes of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even Twitter.

At Fuzion when we work with our clients on their social media activity, we spend a lot of time in the beginning getting their social media strategy right: Who are your audiences, what do you want to convey to them, what social media platforms are a priority and what role does each of them have. It is only then that we start to think about content, frequency of posting, the need for budgets to promote posts and simple things like the roles and responsibilities around this.

As part of this work, it always helps to spend some time figuring out who you think your target audiences are and comparing those to the insights available on the various platforms, to see who is actually following and engaging with you. Through your insights you will also be able to see the content that they engage with most and this can help inform your future social posting.

If you’re looking for some help with any of this, please don’t hesitate to give us a quick call or email and we can put you on the right path!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.

Digital Marketing Trends and the things that never change!

March 6, 2022

I sat down with Alma Brosnan (Head of Social Media with Fuzion) recently for an episode of the Win Happy podcast to discuss some of the latest trends with social media and digital marketing and the different things that anyone in business should be looking out for this year.

We had a really great conversation, and whether you are someone operating in a B2B (Business to consumer or community) or a B2B (Business to Business) sector the conversation is well worth a listen.

Click here for the podcast or look for it where you listen to your podcasts or on Spotify.

While things keep on changing and evolving and you always need to be alert to these changes, the one thing that never changes is that vital never ending job you need to do to have a successful business or organisation:

You need to keep on telling your story to your target audiences, wherever they are and whether they are looking or listening it is your job to reach them.

So, absolutely …watch those trends, know and understand where and how to reach your audience today and tomorrow but always:

  • Know your story and what is special about it
  • Know your target audience(s) and how your story resonates with them
  • Make sure that when your audience come looking that you convey that story quickly and accurately
  • Have a plan that proactively tells your story all of the time

And as I say on the Win Happy podcast….Thanks for listening!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Ray-ban Stories and some Social Media updates

September 27, 2021

Can you believe we’re nearly at the end of September already?

This year has flown by especially with all the changes social media companies have made so far! Twitter introduced Fleets (their “Stories” knock off) and took it away just as fast, Instagram have decided they’re no longer an image sharing platform and TikTok continues to grow as fast as ever.

Instagram has given us a cheat sheet into how Reels work… Except there’s no real tips in there!

Mainly just keep creating content and engaging with other Creators and Reels. The most interesting titbit from it was if you watch a Reel and then go to the audio page to create a Reel based on that audio, they’ll reward you by pushing it out to a larger audience. However, in that instance you’d need to be ready to go straight away and not create pre-prepared content so it really depends on how comfortable you are with your social media strategy!

In more Reel(s) news (you can really tell they’re desperate to get people using it instead of TikTok!), they are currently testing a “Stories Montage” where users will be able to convert their Instagram Stories into a Reel… An interesting move considering they don’t want users sharing content from their feed to Stories and now they’re encouraging sharing from Stories to Reels? Bit of an odd one!

Twitter is starting to put a bit of effort into business/professional accounts with new “Professional Profiles”. It’s still at the invite stage so not available to everyone yet but once it is, it will enable businesses/brands to showcase more business information in a dedicated, additional profile space in the app. As you can see from the image below, it adds new display elements to your Twitter account, including a business location listing (which people can tap on to open in Google Maps), hours of operation and contact info, all in a new space beneath your main profile. Is this their attempt to move a step closer to a Facebook business page?

LinkedIn continues to see record-high levels of engagement, and are now trying to capitalise on that as best they can. They now have finally introduced Articles for company pages, making it much easier for businesses to now share blog content within the platform and to boost their engagement through users reading the “blog” and staying on LinkedIn. I’m looking forward to see how company pages make use of this new option!

And last but not least… Facebook are at it again!

Following Google and Snapchat, they’ve now introduced their own Facebook glasses. However, taking an interesting twist on it, they’re working on these with Ray Ban so the official name for these smart glasses is actually Ray Ban Stories.

Maybe because from a branding perspective, having Facebook as the leading name on it would lead to people getting worried about privacy as well as not being very cool! They have come out to say that the content will not be automatically uploaded to Facebook, the user will have the option to edit and choose what they want to post to either Facebook or Instagram. But with Facebook, who knows how any of the information recorded will actually be used to advertise and target users. I will say, as someone who genuinely loved her Snapchat glasses… I really want a pair of these, they look so much trendier!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.

Social Media Updates and Trends

March 22, 2021

It’s been a busy year for social media platforms so far!

From sea shanties taking over TikTok to newish platform Clubhouse gaining traction and our great friend Trump getting banned from every social media platform – remember that? It feels like forever ago!.

Social media is still as prevalent as ever and necessary for businesses to help build their online presence and we can help keep you focused and up to date!

We offer training to help create focused social media strategies and plans and then specific, bespoke training on the relevant social media platforms for individuals or teams to execute that strategy.

(Click here to learn more)

Facebook just can’t help getting into hot water these days… Their most recent foray into angering everyone has been to ban Australian news publishers from the platform after a disagreement with the government there about some new commercial and payment rules they were introducing.

They have finally come to an agreement or compromise depending on how you’d like to look at it with the Australian government including 4 amendments to their new Media Buying Code which should give Facebook more time to negotiate with the separate media publishers in Australia. It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses and affects worldwide news publishers – one to keep an eye on!

Remember the panic in January when WhatsApp announced they would be changing their terms of service and everyone started downloading Telegram and Signal? They’re currently launching their second attempt to update their terms and conditions but this time making everything much clearer to avoid any backlash. This change in no way affects personal accounts, it is only meant to make business to consumer conversations easier and they’ll be adding the below banners in the app to ensure their customers of this.

Instagram are continuing to try and make Reels popular within the app. Their newest move is to limit the reach of people repurposing their TikTok content to encourage creators to use the Reels software to create their content. However the TikTok sharers have figured out ways around this by removing the watermark… It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses. I personally find that the content on Reels is about two weeks behind a popular TikTok trend, so if Instagram can use this new content creation effort to force users to create original content, it might start making the platform more engaging!

In other Instagram news, they have just announced that they’ll be expanding the amount of people who can participate in a “live” stream calling it “live rooms”. Now the person hosting can add up to the three more guests to contribute to the stream, which could be very useful for businesses looking to engage with their followers and their online community. An idea could be to host a “live” with three other accounts that could give valuable insights to your followers and through this your Instagram account can build itself as a leading voice within your community.

For more information click here

Are you sick of every platform jumping on the “Stories” bandwagon?

Well, it looks like they’re here to stay so get used to seeing Fleets, LinkedIn Stories and soon Story Pins will be coming to Pinterest!

Do you use Tweetdeck to monitor Twitter and schedule your Tweets? There’s a rumour that they’re looking into charging for this very useful tool so just keep an eye on our social media for an update on this because it’s the one tool I can’t do without!

To stay informed of any social media updates, keep an eye on our @FuzionComms and @AlmaBrosnan Twitter accounts, as we’ll be sharing any new information. You might also tune into our latest Win Happy social media episode with me, Ciara Jordan, our Head of Communications and Greg Canty (the vocal one, who you all know!) where we discuss these trends and censorship online.

Until next time..

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.

The Importance of Staying Visible..

February 8, 2021

No matter what way you look at it, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a trying time for everyone. But as the saying goes, ‘with every cloud there is a silver lining’ – which in my view has been the drastic business transformation and surge of digitisation that we have experienced over the past year.

There has never been a time when staying visible online has been more important for business survival.

With doors closing around the country due to the on-going Covid-19 level 5 restrictions, many businesses have had no choice but to adapt ‘from bricks to clicks’ in order to remain viable.

At Fuzion, we work closely with the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), to help share the stories of the hundreds of micro-enterprises and SMEs around the country with media – in the hope that it will encourage and inspire others who may be looking to start or grow their business – or for those struggling, to contact their Local Enterprise Office for support.

Through this work, I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing LEO client businesses from all over Ireland – helping to share their stories of how they have adapted / pivoted (…..even battled) through the pandemic and how they have come out the other side with the help and guidance of the LEOs.

The LEO Trading Online Voucher has had particular impact across the country – with over 13,000 TOV’s approved in 2020…… That’s a whopping 13,000 businesses supported with developing or enhancing their online presence!

From this work, my little nuggets of advice to any small business would be:

  • If you haven’t already, contact your nearest LEO – they provide so much support in terms of business advice, mentoring and grants such as the TOV mentioned above, Business Continuity Vouchers, Feasibility Grants and so much more
  • Again, if you haven’t already – get online! A website ideally or a social media channel where you can keep your customers updated, share new products, blogs etc.
  • Try to think outside the box – now is the time to create a new branch for your business or solution for your customers – take the chance it could pay off!
  • Work on your ‘story’ in three short paragraphs & engage with local media to share your story or share via short blogs / social posts
    • How/Why you started the business
    • How your business adapted / transformed – (including any relevant figures such as online sale growth Vs 2019)
    • Any future plans that you have for your business – ie. new employees, overseas expansion, new stockists etc.
  • Good quality, high resolution photography is a must if engaging in any PR / online activity
    • Know your angles
    • Use colourful props or something that explains your business in the shots
    • Images can be taken by a PR photographer or on your smartphone with a family member or friend if taken landscape
  • Create video content – whether it’s short 30’ second “Meet the Team” videos or a “Hero Video” explaining your business proposition – it is an engaging way to reach your audience
  • If you are a sole trader or very small business – it can be an isolating place – join a network or reach out to professionals (such as ourselves 😉) if you need a sounding board or business support
  • Be consistent and persistent
    • Stay visible & keep plugging and reminding people of why you are so great and why they need your products / services!
    • Use social media advertising and Google Ads to your advantage – with so much competition online – it pays off to pay a little!
    • Connect and talk to your audience online – ask them questions and engage – you might learn something new!

Much of this you may already know – but I hope it has helped just to be reminded or re-energised your motivation!

Most of all it is important to know that the opportunity is there for those who wish to dive head first into the challenges – the decision is ultimately yours whether to stay the way you are or take the plunge!

Suzanne Meade, Fuzion CommunicationsSuzanne

Suzanne Meade is an Account Manager with  Fuzion Communications, who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 


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