Archive for the ‘Web Marketing’ Category

You, your story and your www

May 21, 2015

Emperor

Before it was your shop front, your building, your address or your Golden Pages listing that were the main things that would create that first impression to make you and your business look good.

While these things are still really important your online presence is your new shop front, the place where your customers will make up their mind about you with frightening speed.

Before you know it that prospect has come and gone, they have clicked onto your online presence (whatever that might be) and without any opportunity to say hello, show your wares, sell the benefits of what you do they have come and gone with their minds made up.

Your online presence includes your website, your blog, your LinkedIn account and all of your social media platforms and each of them in their own way will tell a story about you and your business.

When you do get an inquiry you should know that you have done a good job – they have found you and they liked what they saw, at least enough to make an enquiry.

The selling starts with your www … Ask someone you really trust (thing the Emperors new clothes!) if your online presence really captures your story, the very best of you?

How is your www? 

Greg Canty 

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

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

Hashtags and Breadcrumbs

June 6, 2014

Hasttags Explained

I see the confused look on their faces and Hashtags are often just one step too far!

What is all this hashtag business?” I get asked.

At times it does feel like we are talking another language…

At my social media courses I think it is the one thing that definitely seems to bother people the most. It is a step too far: On Twitter they understand followers, they get following and know that tweets must be less than 140 characters but the mere mention of Hashtags and it seems to add that Tipping Point of confusion that never fails to get a few moans and groans of exasperation. Too much!

So what the hell are these nasty things and how and when might you use them?

In very simple terms a Hashtag is a means of adding a “tag” or label to a post (tweet) on Twitter by using the “#” symbol followed by a continuous set of characters. This is normally a word or a few words joined together.

For example if I prepared a tweet about a new shop opening in town I might tweet “Great to see a new shop opening on Grafton Street #Positivity

When you do this on Twitter it automatically changes the colour of this text, making it stand out and it also adds some “link” functionality to that word(s). If you click on this “link” Twitter will display a list of all the tweets where this hashtag was used.

In a way it gathers them together, which is really handy if it brings the reader to a bunch of tweets about a topic they were very interested in.

While Twitter will track popular topics and show you the keywords that are used most frequently in posts (trending) it will also track the most frequently used hashtags. If everyone who is talking about a popular topic uses a particular hashtag to label these posts it not only gathers them together but it also helps to get the topic trending.

Hashtag ExplainedSo when might I use a hashtag?

For me the single biggest advantage to the use of a hashtag is the simple colour change to that keyword. The text appearing in a different colour draws the readers attention to it and when used properly it can help to communicate the subject matter of that post. The link functionality as discussed earlier is an added bonus.

You can use your own hashtags (there is no ownership of them) or decide to join in on conversations about topics where a particular hashtag is being used already and use it in your posts – this can give you and your tweet visibility if this topic has stirred up a lot of interest.

For me a hashtag can be used in a powerful way to signify a Key Message of yours or a significant  “Breadcrumb” (click that link for my blog about key messages) that you wish to leave behind about you and your business for the reader.

You might use a hashtag to label posts about:

  • An event or concert #LondonFoodFest or #EP14 (Electric Picnic 2014)
  • Elections #LE14 (Local Elections 2014)
  • A place #Dublin
  • A cause #LGBTRights
  • A sentiment #LoveCork
  • An outlook #Positivity
  • A philosophy #WinHappy
  • A show #Murnaghan
  • Your team #LFC #YNWA
  • Recommending followers on a Friday #FF
  • Publicising job opportunities #Jobs or #JobFairy

You can use the hashtags in very many ways to suit the occasion and to draw extra attention to the point you want to make or a particular keyword(s) in your post.

Murnaghan

You will find the more progressive TV shows will encourage the viewer to tweet about a topic being discussed and will suggest a hashtag to use – in a way the viewer is asked to “join the discussion“.

Hashtags are also appearing in adverts for brands, where they are often used to help create an association for the consumer between a sentiment and the product or service #LoveLife.

For me hashtags are used best when you decide on a “family” of these, which should be used consistently for you and your business.

Having decided on your key messages you might devise a range of hashtags that might best be used to communicate these little breadcrumbs about you and your business.

For example a restaurant in Dublin who prides themselves on using local artisan suppliers, who have an extensive menu with good gluten free and vegetarian options, who stock a range of craft beers and is very proud of the city and who offer free treats on a Tuesday, might regularly tweet using hashtags such as:

#SourceLocal #Artisan  #GlutenFree  #VegMenus  #CraftBeers  #LoveDublin  #TreatTuesday (hopefully not all at the same time!)

When you are posting you are best keeping your hashtags as short as possible, memorable and try to use them just one at a time in tweets. Used consistently and in the right context you would be surprised how quickly a place gets known for these things.

For example when I tweet I use hashtags a lot to draw attention to particular things in my posts and the ones I use most frequently are #Positivity (when talking about good news or job announcements) #WinHappy (when talking about Fuzion – this is a core philosophy) #FuzionFriday (when talking about our Friday lunch with the team) #FuzionPlaylist (when I mention the music playing in the office).

It amazes me when people play these back to me (“I’d love to join ye for FuzionFriday some day”) in the context that I intended and I then realise that I have managed to convey our key messages effectively by using this simple Twitter device.

I do fully understand people’s frustration with all of this new media and it’s quirks and idiosyncrasies but most of it is built to be easy to use ….once you know how!

You may prefer not to use hashtags at all (sometimes there may be no need) but if you want to get that special message across then start using this new language…

 #HashtagHeaven

Note: Hashtags are now also being used on other social media platforms but they are a very significant feature when used on Twitter.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Big, Bold, Brave ….Belief

January 28, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name www.teamwork.com and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the teamwork.com domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

The blog about blogging

January 24, 2014

Blogging for business

I was in the Guinness Storehouse last week at a client event and two people I had never met before came up to me and started chatting to me because of blogs of mine that they read. One of these conversations was on the way into the loo!

One of these posts was about the Jobbridge scheme and the other was about companies undoing the good by overselling.

Yesterday afternoon I came across an incredible blog post via Twitter , which gave me huge insight into the life of a friend of mine.

It struck home to me once again the reach and impact that blogs have and how powerful this activity has been for me and for our business, Fuzion.

I’m dedicated to writing at least one blog post every week, which I publish and circulate across my different social media platforms. Typically I will write it over the weekend on the laptop or first thing in the morning like this one ..

You could be reading this post from an email or direct from my blog site or you may have stumbled across it as a follower of mine or Fuzion on twitter, a friend of mine on Facebook, a fan of the Fuzion business page on Facebook or maybe on LinkedIn, either as a status update or posted as a discussion post on a LinkedIn group.

In any scenario I write my blog post, which gives me the ability to reach a big audience across a variety of platforms.

Hopefully anyone who reads them will find the posts interesting (I vary them between technical marketing orientated posts, some business observations and some very random personal and other posts) and as a result will form some sort of an opinion about me and Fuzion. Hopefully these opinions are good and if the need arises for our range of services we will be in the frame as a possible provider!

Yes, that is a reason that I write them but I also write them because I enjoy writing, connecting and receiving feedback. I get a buzz from them … Sad but true !

My blogs are hosted on the WordPress platform, which is easy to use, is well optimised and it provides me with great stats and insights about how readers came to my site and which posts have been read the most (or least!).

In terms of ideas I use a little notepad on my iPhone where I jot them down when they come to me and when I have time I have a peep at my list …. sometimes I see these notes and I just can’t figure out what I had in mind when I jotted them down!

So …. The big question – why blog at all?

Here are my reasons why you might consider it –

Social Media Noise – it is hard to grab attention online at this stage as it is a very congested place. By generating your own (hopefully quality) content you can stand out.

Expertise – what better way to demonstrate your expertise about your business than writing about it?

Passion – if you are passionate about what you do, your blog is a terrific way to demonstrate this. Passion is hard to hide!

Optimisation – at a very practical level if you write online about your subject matter enough and use the right keywords and follow some simple SEO protocol you will be found much easier by people searching

Writing Skills – blog writing sharpens your writing skills and it also helps to formulate your ideas and thoughts properly around your topics

Idea generation – once you commit to a blog a week/day/month you will be surprised how ideas come to you and how much sharper your mind gets after a while

Testing topics – you can gauge media potential for a topic through a blog post

Rant! – sometimes you might need to take on a topic or issue online and writing a blog and distributing it through your social media platforms can be extremely powerful.

Business – if you do it right with a clear focus and some patience your efforts will result in new business

Personality – your blog is a great way for people to get to know you, understand you, see what motivates and inspires you and possibly wish to do business with you. The platform gives you an opportunity to be less formal on a website for example.

Social Media Raw Material – After a while you will build up a bank of blog posts, which can provide valuable material to feed your hungry social media platforms. Many of your blog posts, depending on the topic are capable of being recycled – great tips and advice will not date.

This prize is there waiting for you (most of your competitors surprisingly won’t grab it) so it is up to you to seize the opportunity and be the one in your sector who is winning by blogging.

It might feel strange at first but like everything practice makes perfect and in no time at all you will be flying ..

Go on …you are just one click away!

Check out Tips about Blogging and Making some Noise

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Amazon – Lessons in knowing your customer

September 16, 2013

Music Store

It’s Friday afternoon, I’m  up the walls after a really busy but great week.

Before the afternoon closes out I’m determined to clear down my emails..

There is an email from Amazon in the middle of all my other emails …before I hit “delete” the nice image catches my attention and I give the contents of the email a quick glance:

Reprave: Volcano Choir – BON IVER, new 2013 album from his collaborative side-project with fellow Wisconsin crew..

hmmm… I love Bon Iver, which of course Amazon will know from my previous transactions.

Click …it’s a new album

Click …the reviews are good

Click …buy (they have my credit card and delivery address already)

Bought in under 30 seconds!

AmazonI’ll avoid clicking or looking any more because they have recommendations for me, which are always so spot on that I end up buying more. They also show me some of the other music people have purchased who also bought this album – even more temptation.

Amazon must have the best, most intelligent database management system for e-commerce ever – ask my credit card!

Know your customer, understand what they like, write to them and remind them you exist, make recommendations,  make it easy for them to buy, update your database and start the cycle all over again.

Where was I?… Back to my emails

Note in diary: Send out an email to my database on Monday

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm in Ireland with 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.

Are you leaving breadcrumbs?

April 20, 2013

Leaving breadcrumbs

You are doing a lot of work in Dublin these days” she said to me.

We are, but how did you know that?” I asked

Oh ..I figured that out from your Facebook posts” she said

That conversation was about five years ago and it was at an event for a client in Dublin – for me it was what I call my “penny drop” moment about social media. At that time I was using Facebook, just like everyone else posting the odd thing about what I was doing and where I was going. In fact, I think I wasn’t that sure what I should have been posting and even how relevant social media might be for business.

It dawned on me that with every post you make people are watching, digesting and forming impressions about you and what you are all about. Often they won’t comment, reply or even “like” your posts, but they are listening and soaking up what you are saying.

From that moment I realised the power of social media and the importance of having a clear idea about what picture of you and your business you want to portray.

Every status update, every tweet, every retweet, every like, every share, every favourite, every discussion, every hashtag and every blog post are all little breadcrumbs that you leave to bring the reader to a place you wanted to take them.

Are you leaving breadcrumbs?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin offer social media training and consultancy in Ireland.

Flying solo or wearing the team shirt?

April 13, 2013

LinkedIn Posting

I don’t want them as one of my contacts” he said “why should I?”

I was in the middle of a social media training session with the team from one of our clients and it looks like we stumbled upon an awkward moment!

During these sessions I carefully work with the full team and we determine carefully what the objectives are for their social media activity.

The team had agreed that “raising awareness” for what the organisation does was a big issue and they were going to use social media pro-actively as a vehicle to spread the word.

We were in the middle of a practical session on LinkedIn and we discovered that the person whose account we were using for demonstration purposes had a large number of ignored connection requests.

But I don’t know them”  he said

Here you have people wanting to connect with you and you are ignoring them” I explained ..”not only are you losing an opportunity to connect and spread the word but you are giving the organisation a bad reputation by ignoring people

Hmm … The room was silent, he wasn’t budging!

How about, accept the requests, thank them for connecting and ask them how their business is going ?” ….. “after all, it’s not a marriage proposal” – I was trying my best!

Nope … nothing doing.

I had done enough talking and cajoling for one session so I left it – at the end of the day it is up to each organisation to set a policy for their use of LinkedIn.

The thing with LinkedIn is that people don’t connect with Greg Canty , they connect with Greg Canty, Partner with Fuzion. You and your role in the organisation are locked together as part of your identity.

The team may argue that their LinkedIn presence is their personal space – while this is true they are also wearing the team shirt and should turn up and play for the team.

What do you think ?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

Thank crunchy it’s Friday?

April 12, 2013

Friday feelingFriday afternoon and I was in the middle of a social media training session with the team from one of our clients operating in the professional services sector.

One of the directors was in the “hot seat” sitting at the controls of his LinkedIn account, which like most people with a profile he never uses.

He never posts, he never interacts but he does press the “accept” button with some of the connection requests he receives.

I encouraged him to post a status update ..”Go on, be yourself and post something“.

He surprised everyone by posting “Thank crunchy it’s Friday” ..

I asked the group what did they think ..two of his colleagues thought it wasn’t quite in keeping with their business and profession, another said he misspelt the word crunchy and some of the others thought it was a good thing to post..after all they explained it was Friday and that’s what most people at work would be feeling.

My own advice and my own experience would have me agreeing with the guys who felt “thank crunchy it’s Friday” was a good thing to post.

It’s really important that you are true to yourself, that you post something that connects with people, that you allow people to see the lighter side of your personality and that you don’t try to post something “heavy” on a Friday afternoon …the most important thing is that you make some noise and start posting on a regular basis so that you and your business will register on people’s radar.

Thank crunchy it’s Friday …what do you think?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer in-house social media training and consultancy services in Ireland