Crazy thinking about the “Brave” self-employed – Budget 2015

October 15, 2014

Irish Budget 2015

As usual we listened to the budget to see how it would effect the Irish economy, how it would effect us and what shocks were in store.

As predicted there were elements of ‘giving back‘ many of which were an attempt to ease the burden of water charges, which has all the protesters up in arms and there were a few other little adjustments here and there.

With all of the recent talk about our high rates of tax I was astonished to see a new USC rate of 8% being introduced but the one thing that has totally floored me and had steam coming out my ears is the new 11% USC rate for the Self Employed.

This group of mad entrepreneurs (the crew that AIB are currently labelling as ‘Brave’ in their extensive advertising campaigns) for some reason are worthy of special attention …we have the privilege of the highest tax rate of them all!!

What is the logic behind this, where is this thinking coming from? – we earn money, we pay tax and the more you earn the more tax you pay but for some reason if you are in this unfortunate category you pay even more than others – WHY???

Have we started businesses, do we employ people, do we take risks, do we work hard, do we have little protection if anything goes wrong, do we enjoy benefits that other people have when we retire?

The truth is the risks are more, the protection and benefits are less and this ‘much heralded, heart of the economy group of people‘ must pay more tax than everyone else because …..?

Someone thought this was a good idea, that this group should pay more tax and others nodded their heads and agreed …good idea, let them pay more – is that what you really think we deserve?

I even wonder is this unconstitutional?: Equality before the law “All citizens in Ireland shall be held equal before the law. This means that the State cannot unjustly, unreasonably or arbitrarily discriminate between citizens

Today I am angry, not because I will end up paying more tax (I am so far away from that income threshold its not funny) but because I work my ass off and instead of being rewarded I feel that I and every other self employed person out there has been discriminated against.

Crazy thinking..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

 

 

 

Turning up to do business since 1783

October 12, 2014

Dublin - O'Connell Street

Over 1,600 of us sat down for a fine meal at the Dublin Chamber annual dinner in the Convention Centre and listened to guest speakers Alex Ferguson and our Taoiseach Enda Kenny. It was a great night with lots of friendly business banter just like the banter shared by members since 1783!

In 1783 a group of men (no women at that stage!) came together and founded the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, the first in the country.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce is in fact one of the oldest such organisation in Europe, having been preceded by other collective bodies including the Guild of Merchants, which dated from the mediaeval period, and the Ouzel Galley Society, established at the beginning of the 18th century.

Dublin Chamber’s formation followed a weakening of the merchant guild system which left an opening for bodies which advocated free trade. Much of the focus of the Chamber in its early years was on abolishing impositions and opposing restrictions on export trade.

The creation of Dublin Chamber led to the formation of other chambers of commerce around Ireland, including Waterford (1787), Londonderry (1790), Limerick (1807) and Cork (1814).

Who were the men that founded the Chamber and what were the business issues that motivated them to come together?

Travers Hartley was the first Chamber President and held this position from 1783 until 1788.

On 18 March 1783, 60 year old Travers Hartley chaired the first meeting of the Chamber, shortly after his election. He had been a leading light in the Committee of Merchants since the 1760’s. Being a Presbyterian and dissenter, Travers was very aware of the sectarian nature of business in Dublin at the time.

Travers married Anne Spence on 11 February, 1749, who was described in the newspapers as ‘an agreeable young lady with a £3,000 fortune‘. She died soon after the marriage, and he was married for a second time on 28 March 1752 to Anne Gibton by whom he had one surviving son, James (d.1810), who never married, and five daughters.

His youngest daughter Anne married Addison Hone, the youngest brother of Alderman Nathaniel Hone, a future President of Dublin Chamber – keep it in the family!

For some reason there seems to be a gap of eight years between Travers Hartley and the next President John Duncan in 1805 and in the next 2 years there were six different Presidents, whatever was going on.

George Francis Carleton, a director of ‘The Commercial Insurance Company’  was President in 1807 . He was also one of the Common Councilmen of the Guild of Merchants in Dublin from 1824 till 1830, as was George Simpson Carleton who was the nephew of George Francis Carleton, all living on Eustace Street in Dublin. Keeping it in the family once again!

72 year old Joshua Pim (1748-1822), a Dublin Quaker, whose family came from Westmeath, became President in 1820. He became a general merchant in Dublin with a business premises at 16 Usher’s Island, and resided in the adjoining house, 15 Usher’s Island, later famous as the setting for James Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead‘.

His career before this appointment makes interesting reading as we see the other organisations of significance in Dublin at the time.

He was elected a member of the RDS Dublin Society on 31 January 1782 and, appointed to the Society’s museum sub-committee 21 August 1800, and to the committee of trade on 23 February 1809.

He was elected a member of the Ouzel Galley Society in 1776 and was a founder member of Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 1783. He largely controlled the bay wool business in the Dublin area and was a proprietor of the Commercial Insurance Company, established in 1799 with a capital of £100,000 to transact fire, marine, and life insurance. That was a colossal amount of money at the time.

In 1816 he acquired the Greenmount Mill in Harold’s Cross to process raw cotton imported from New York.

The early Presidents were prominent businessmen who all seemed to be living in Dublin city centre.

1914

One hundred years ago business in Ireland had war issues to deal with and Chamber President Richard K. Gamble with an address of 51 Fitzwilliam Square (just up the road from our office!) was going to be busy.

When the Dublin Chamber of Commerce met in September 1914, the President, Richard K. Gamble, impressed upon those gathered the need for employers to encourage and facilitate the enlistment of their workforce.

It was stressed that employers should keep workers’ jobs open on their return from war and explain to them that the uncertainty of trade during the conflict meant that they could not be assured that they could retain their jobs if they stayed.

Richard K. Gamble paid the ultimate price when one year later his 22 year son Richard with a rank of  Second Lieutenant with the Kings Liverpool Regiment, 7th Battalion was killed in battle in France.

Since its foundation in 1783, Dublin Chamber of Commerce has sought to bring business people together to share ideas, to form a single voice for the local business community and to ultimately connect and grow business.

While business has changed a lot since the days of  Travers Hartley and Richard K. Gamble many things are the very same. While we are not exactly the wealthy business owners and merchants of industry like our founders and those who followed in their footsteps we still turn up with the objective of doing business and making a crust!

Well done to Dublin Chamber of Commerce and all the other Chambers for giving us places to meet, to debate, to discuss and to do business with a collective voice and of course to eat drink and be merry!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

 

Feeding the fly on the wall

October 5, 2014

fly on the wallIn many ways we are all a little curious..

What are they really like, what is she like, are they nice people, what is the spirit of the place, what do they really believe in, is it all about profit, what does he do in his spare time, what experience does she have, what happens behind the scenes, what is their process, how committed are they to results, what are they passionate about, what is it like to work there, what are the people like that do the real work that we never get to meet?

At times we would love to be a fly on the wall to see first hand what the real story is so that we could really get a sense of that person, that business, that organisation – can we believe in them enough to trust them and maybe even do business with them?

Next time you tweet, post on Facebook, write a blog post, publish a photo, update your bio or post on LinkedIn think about that fly on the wall and feed him well!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Contact me if you are interested in the Power You online reputation programme which I will be starting soon in Dublin and Cork: greg@fuzion.ie

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

The Challenge of Attracting Talent

September 28, 2014

Attracting Talent - Superman

Attracting top performers to your organisation is the key factor for future success according to many of the top CEO’s and one of the biggest challenges they are facing today.

Understanding how top performers think is critical and to get this right organisations must figure out what motivates and inspires them and then how to create an environment where these things exist.

Some of the common attributes that top performers look for in an employer are:

Real value alignment

Top performers want to believe that the organisation they are working for are strongly aligned to their own personal values. These ‘key’ corporate values must be clearly communicated and could include things like customer ethos, creativity and innovation, involvement in the community,  teamwork, opportunity and personality.

Quite simply “If you want me to work for you I must believe in you

Positive reputation

In the eyes of the top performer, the organisations they consider working for must have a strong, attractive brand and a great reputation in the marketplace. This by default will enhance their own personal reputation and help them to progress with their career. When the question is asked “where do you work?” you want to be able to answer proudly and even create a little job envy ..”Oh, you are lucky to work there“.

Special personal opportunities

Top performers want to know what sets the organisation apart and what does that mean for them: Special experiences, unique opportunities, enjoyment, satisfaction, achievement and rewards, career progression and a great work life balance are things that important for these individuals.

Development opportunities

The opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is crucial for the job satisfaction of high achievers. They want to invest their talent and precious career time in an organisation that can help develop them and progress their career positively.

Communicating

If these attributes genuinely exist in the organisation (easier said than done!) then the challenge is to communicate these to Top Performers in a way that attracts their attention.

Some of these attributes are easy to convey such as organisation success, great products and services but other ‘softer‘ attributes are difficult to convey in a believable way to prospective talent but it can be done.

Website

The organisation website will be the first port of call for anyone considering working with the organisation. Organisation websites are normally built with customers in mind but you will find that the more progressive ones will go to great efforts to demonstrate the opportunities that exist for staff and will try to provide evidence that their place is a genuinely great place to work.

While describing employee programmes and opportunities is a must on the website, the ‘evidence’ will come from the staff themselves and with clever corporate videos, team blogs, demonstrations of team activities and team testimonials the opportunities can be communicated in a believable way.

For an ‘active‘ job seeker the website will be useful, but to attract someone more ‘passive‘ who may not be considering a career change you must work much harder to get their attention.

Social Media 

Social media in particular, free from the formality of the organisation’s normal communications is a powerful platform for communicating the softer aspects of the organisation. These channels are the perfect way to demonstrate the personality of the organisation, the positive work life balance activities, the team spirit and publicising some of the community work and other things that showcase the ethos and values that exist.

For example happy pictures of team activities can speak volumes for any organisation.

For deeper messages well written blog posts, which allow more informal and softer communications can be distributed cleverly on the social media platforms to really demonstrate the special personality of the organisation.

PR

If the right attributes exist for the organisation then it is vital that these are communicated to the widest possible audience through the media using PR.

Your brand is ‘what other people say about you‘ so it is really important that you carefully plan and shape how your organisation is perceived. Not only should the organisation’s progress and success be communicated but every opportunity should be taken to publicise community work and other non-commercial activities that really show how special the place is.

One of the clever ways to do this for our clients is through profile pieces in the media with individuals who work there. These are a powerful way to capture stories and communicate the real personality of the organisation.

Awards

Awards are another clever way for an organisation to showcase other aspects of their personality and ethos. For example many organisations in Ireland are competing for the Chambers Ireland CSR  and ‘Great Place to Work‘ awards. Companies as diverse as Diageo, Microsoft, EMC and McDonalds are all participating in these awards, which demonstrates in a tangible way that it is not all about profit within their businesses.

In 2013 Fuzion proudly won a Chambers Ireland CSR award for our international Safebook anti-cyberbullying campaign, which we hope speaks volumes about the type of business that we operate. We care!

The top performer is not a work horse and they care deeply about their careers and about things that really matter to them.

Jim Collins in his iconic book ‘Good to Great‘ says one of the key factors of successful organisations is great people.

It’s up to you to attract them!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

What I didn’t know about the 9/11 Memorial

September 11, 2014

911 Memorial

We were very recently in New York (late August 2014) and on a very sunny, gorgeous Saturday we decided to visit the 9/11 Memorial site, which is nearly fully completed.

We had mixed feelings about going there as it feels a little ghoulish and after all when you are on holidays do you really want to visit some place that could upset you?

For those who haven’t been there the site is dominated by a nearly complete huge new building, One World Trade Centre, which will be the tallest office building in the US soon to be occupied by thousands of workers. Alongside this building there are other smaller new office buildings along with the Memorial, which consists of two pools set in the footprint of the original twin towers with a museum close-by. These pools feature 30 foot waterfalls each descending into a centre void. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets, which surround the pools.

The idea is simple and impactful even though  I felt the centre voids were quite depressing and should instead have captured something more positive and uplifting. This didn’t stop the huge crowds visiting and taking photos, some strangely posing as if it were an exotic holiday location and not a place where victims were being remembered.

The whole development unfortunately turned out to be a well documented troublesome political football. The final design was selected through an international competition that received 5,210 submissions. This must have been an impossible task – how can you properly and respectfully remember the victims. highlight  the awfulness of the attacks and at the same time capture a resilient and positive spirit that will comfort and inspire all who visit?

Much of what I saw I was expecting but a few things really surprised me, which I felt were really worth sharing.

The Victims

The memorial features the victims of both the September 2001 attack and the attack on 26th February, 1993. In 2001 there were 2,977 victims from over 90 nations. The oldest was 85 years old and the youngest was two. More than 400 of these were first responders who died performing their jobs. Six people died in the 1993 attack.

Meaningful adjacencies

When we walked around the two pools we noticed that there seemed to be no obvious sequence to the names that were inscribed on the surrounding bronze parapets. Reading the names you get a sense of the huge mix of nationalities that were working together on that tragic morning including plenty of Irish names. Some names had flowers inserted in between the lettering and some of the names were women who were carrying unborn children who were specifically mentioned, which was very poignant bringing home the reality of these terror attacks.

We discovered that the names were arranged carefully based on what was described as ‘layers of meaningful adjacencies‘. People’s names were arranged depending on where they were on 9/11 and the relationships they shared with others who were killed on that day, honouring requests from victim’s families for specific names to be next to each other.

This must have been a very complicated undertaking but it is a beautiful sentiment that reflects the togetherness of the victims and their surviving families.

Survivor Tree, 911 memorial

The Survivor Tree

In between and around the two pools there are swamp white oak (I read the brochure!) trees carefully planted softening the whole area. In the middle of all of this there is one particular tree, which is a little different as it stands there with some unusual straps and supports around it.

This tree is a Callery pear tree, which was found after 9/11 by the workers who were clearing the wreckage at ground zero. At this point in time it was reduced to a eight-foot-tall stump. This stump was nursed back to health in a New York City park and with much care it grew to 30 feet sprouting new branches..

There is a discrete little sign near this tree, which is rooted in its new home and it is attracting a lot of attention. Many of the visitors take photos near the tree but there is a huge desire by everyone to touch the ‘survivor tree‘. We touched it ourselves and it feels strangely reassuring and uplifting as it embodies the story of survival, resilience and hope.

In some way maybe this simple tree is the very best way to remember the 2,983 people who perished in 1993 and 2001?              

The 9/11 memorial site will no doubt attract millions of tourists every year reflecting on the victims names around the two pools and reliving the tragic events as shown in the memorial museum. Next to them the offices will once again fill up with thousands of ‘suits‘ going about their busy jobs, just as the victims did before them showing how the world and New York does move on.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

Time to stop roaming!

September 3, 2014

Train from New 'York to New Jersey

I’m on the train heading from from New York, Penn Station to Metro Park in New Jersey.

I have no online access so what do we do ?? No Twitter, no Facebook, no checking email… I’m twitching , I’ve read the New York guide book and the magazines.

Maybe I’ll relax, look out the window, explore the interesting sights on the route that is new to me … Maybe I’ll chat with Dee or just relax and sit in peace?

The teenage girl we are squeezed next to alongside our bags and baggage is busy on her Mac doing something while munching on a cream cheese and tomato roll. I wonder if she is working or just doodling.

Instead of enjoying the view I decide to write this blog remotely on my iPhone complete with one finger typing.

My brother who lives out here is picking us up at the station and we’ll spend some time with him and his gang, which is really cool.

If I could get online I could tweet something, check if anyone has tweeted me or mentioned me in a post or responded to one of my tweets, I could check my email quickly and delete any of the non-important ones to save me having to do it when we get home. I could even respond to some of the emails.

That roll is lasting her forever … I’m starving !!

Maybe I should just look out the window and enjoy the new sights..

Smartphone, I guess so … Well mostly !

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

Strawberry Fields forever?

September 2, 2014

Imagine - Central Park

Four days in New York …where do you start?

We were staying quite close to Central Park so that was a good place to start. Looking at our tour guide I was drawn to a quiet little area called Strawberry Fields, which was described in our guide book as a peaceful spot dedicated to John Lennon who was murdered close-by outside his New York apartment, the Dakota building in 1980.

Interesting ..

Off we headed on foot winding left and right through the park in between joggers, cyclists, skateboarders and even cars … Through the park there were footpaths and wider roads all winding in different directions. Eventually we exited the park and this maze of roads and paths onto the Upper West Side and decided to first find the Dakota building, his apartment which was located directly opposite the Strawberry Fields location in the park.

Yoko Ono still lives in this opulent apartment building, which looks majestically over Central Park. The friendly security guards in their smart grey uniforms stand for photos in front of the impressive building for tourists… behind them you can see the obvious wealth and you can just ‘imagine‘ what it was like having famous neighbours John and Yoko pass you everyday going about their everyday business.

We passed on taking photos (tacky!) and headed across the way into the park and within two minutes we were at ‘Strawberry Fields‘ which effectively is a discreet circular mosaic set into the walkway with the words ‘Imagine‘ in the centre. People were walking by, some were stopping and taking photos, taking it in turn to stand on the mosaic and others were sitting on the park benches located next to the mosaic taking it all in.

An enterprising busker was sitting on one of the benches in prime position next to the mosaic playing (quite badly!) one Beatles cover after another.

Yoko Ono donated the mosaic in memory of her husband and it gives us all a tangible way of remembering this talented, thought provoking Liverpudlian and reflecting on the needless violence that ended his life.

John LennonJohn Lennon wanted us to ‘Give Peace a Chance‘ as he sang in his immortal song of the same name that became an anthem for the anti-war movement in America in the 1970’s.

In the mosaic the word ‘Imagine‘ reminds us of his message in that timeless song of how simple life could be if we just lived in harmony:

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…..”

Just as we quietly reflected on John Lennon and his simple messages of peace we heard raised voices.

What the f**k, you have been here for an hour man, you know we all get an hour. Now it’s my turn so get the f**k out of here

Apparently busking here is lucrative business and the busker next in the rota wasn’t going to lose out to the guy who had prime position. He wasn’t shy either and gave the other guy as good as he got:

F**k you man

The mood was now quite aggressive and these two had no bother putting on a performance for all of us that was slightly against the spirit of John Lennon!

We politely moved on before the temperature rose any further and went about our day and wondered if John Lennon’s simple idea of living in harmony is just impossible?

Isis. the Ukraine, human nature, consider what’s going on in the world today ….maybe we just can’t help ourselves?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

Bird in the sky

September 2, 2014

plane in the sky

Today I am that bird in the sky phenomenally shooting through the air at high speed ..look up it’s me up there!

We have no control as we sit here taking for granted the technology, the skill, the craft and the engineering that has us seemingly suspended but in reality powering at high speed towards JFK Airport in New York.

There is nothing anyone of us can do but hand ourselves over and trust in the journey, that we will all be taken there together for whatever our reason… Going home, going on holidays, going on business, visiting friends, visiting family ..we are all in it together.

We’ve had the drinks and the pretzels, we’ve had the chicken sweet and sour, we’ve had the coffee and the ice cream and we’ve watched the movie.

The guy sitting next to me is a New Yorker travelling with his family after 12 days in Ireland playing golf and visiting different spots. The poor fella accidentally forgot to pay for petrol near the airport and they tracked him down just before take off …he was mortified as he scrambled for euros. He is a member of Ballybunion Golf Club but just got to play a few holes, he did Doonbeg and he stayed in Kildare for a few days and spent one day in Killarney.

Plane - view from the cabin

He was pleasantly surprised by Killarney and he would come back ….the last time he was there in the eighties he swore never again but it had changed just like the rest of Ireland. The last time he was in Ireland he reckoned all the young people were emigrating. He’s going to take tomorrow (Friday) off work and make it a long weekend.

He spots my ‘Rough guide to New York‘ and helpfully scribbles out a 5 day itinerary of places we should visit ..it’s a cracking list and we must try our best to do it.

We watch a great movie ‘About Time‘ about family, fathers and sons and being able to go back in time …. There’s no controlling time here, we just have to go with it even though we are going back 5 hours!

We are meeting our buddy Ciara who is celebrating her 40th birthday, we are meeting Jane Maas, the New York ad legend, the author of ‘Mad Women‘ for brunch on Sunday and we are hooking up with my brother Colin and his family who are living in New Jersey. He is working in New York so we are meeting him for a pint when we get in …how cool is that?!

He’s been there for 20 years and it’s sad that any of your family are so far away. I love him to bits but often I do sadly feel ‘out of sight out of mind‘ kicks in and we have all missed out on so much together.

We were busy up until the minute we left closing off on some various client things, finishing a proposal that must be submitted tomorrow and caught up in so many other ‘life‘ things.

For now we must leave it all behind because there is nothing we can do but sit with so many others including my helpful New Yorker and let that bird in the sky take us on our journey.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

SEO and the impact on your brand

August 31, 2014

Jeff Bezoz, Amazon - Branding quote

A Simple test ….do a Google search using the keywords that describe what your organisation does and see how your website performs.

Crisis PR in Ireland’ , ‘PR firms in Dublin‘ …. Do your own search for your relevant keywords and see what happens. Include your location in the search, which is what most people normally do when they are searching.

From a business point of view it makes clear sense that if someone is looking for what your organisation is offering that they find you easily online. The very best way is for your website to perform for these ‘key‘ searches organically or naturally. If this is not the case your website is more than likely not properly optimised.

If you have done all you can to optimise your website and it is still not performing well enough then it makes sense to implement a Google Adwords campaign to ensure your website is appearing for ‘key’ searches in a prominent position.

While your website performance is essential for business is this the only reason your site should perform well for searches?

I feel another big reason your website should perform well is that it is an integral part of your overall brand. This might seem like an unusual reason at first as we normally thing of ‘descriptors‘ when we discuss someone’s brand attributes.

Jeff Bezoz of Amazon described a brand as ‘what other people say about you when you are not in the room‘. While it might be up to others to describe you this can clearly be shaped by how you portray your organisation through your actions, behaviours, products, services and all the visual cues or representations of your brand.

Your website plays a key role in this, not just in how it appears but also where it appears when searched for.

It’s difficult to appear as a ‘leader in the sector‘ if a random Google search for the services and products you provide has you appearing well below your competitors or possibly so far back on the search results you are not found at all.

If this is the case you need to optimise your website, which is mostly a very straight forward but methodical process and if necessary support this with Google Adwords pay per click advertising.

The opposite is also the case and with a well optimised site it is possible to take on the big guys who normally dominate in your sector.

Where you appear is just as important as how you appear!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion provide online consultancy and website optimisation services from our offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland

15 Incredible social media tricks to send your campaigns into orbit!

August 24, 2014

Orbit

The whole team are busy working on a plan for a ‘hot prospect‘ that we would love to win.

We brainstorm together. first ensuring we all understand the brief, and then we agree the key objectives and what we need to achieve by the plan. We then assign the different parts of the plan to the different team members who are best suited for each element and we go to work.

Often I will work out the social media strategy and the plan for the ‘new client‘ and when all our different parts are done we reconvene and review the collective plan making sure all parts work together – Fuzion!

I went off and worked on a plan that I felt would work for this new client who were targeting a stylish, cool and savvy social media audience.

My crew pulled me aside and told me my they thought my plan was boring – “the client have big expectations from you around social media and we need to ‘wow’ them. What you have put together is boring and won’t achieve that wow“. Ouch ..that was harsh!

Now here is the dilemma ….everyone wants the big trick, the big wow, the magic moment that sends their plan into orbit but I find 100% of the time that you will never ever get near the possibility of this happening unless you first get the basics right. In particular with this target audience I also felt they would see any tricks and gimmicks as trying too hard.

Unfortunately the big trick is actually doing the boring basics right and being diligent enough to do this consistently day in day out, including those days when you are up the walls and your social media posts seem trivial and a waste of precious time. Because I believe this I find it hard to pop out tricks and gimmicks in a genuine plan.

I guess I wrote a social media plan for this prospect that was designed to succeed, which probably did read as very boring and ‘trickless‘ but unfortunately that’s what I believed was needed.

In a way there were huge ‘tricks’ in the plan even if they appear boring:

  1. Get your objectives and key messages right and stick to them
  2. Concentrate on the main social media platforms and until you have these up and running properly forget about the others
  3. Make sure all the key imagery used is strong and supports these objectives
  4. Have a clear follower strategy
  5. Post regularly and at times when you know your target audience are watching – that isn’t once a day!
  6. Make sure that the posts are well balanced covering all of your key messages
  7. Stop selling, be helpful, craft your posts so that your unique personality shines through
  8. Use great and natural photos that show the best, authentic version of the organisation and not something plucked out of a corporate brochure
  9. Apply some advertising budget to carefully push your message out to the target audience
  10. Don’t always talk about yourself and start interacting with others
  11. Listen to your target audience and get the ball rolling with your followers
  12. Write blog posts that really show your unique personality and not just facts
  13. Train your internal team so they can look after your social media (always the best option)
  14. Organise your team so that social media activity is always looked after
  15. Keep doing it!

Reluctantly I agreed to a ‘wow’ social media brainstorm with the team and we did add a few quirky ideas, gimmicks and tricks because if we want to ‘wow’ them we have to give them what they expect but I did make sure the real ‘tricks’ were still in the plan.

When they master the real ‘big tricks’ those ‘wow moments’ will occur naturally and then they will be ready to fly into orbit!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

 

 


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