Snapchat: Why isn’t your brand on it?

Updated as of June 2014.

Every now and then someone will write a post encouraging you to bandwagon on to the latest trend in digital. This is such a post. Snapchat is now mainstream and pretty huge in Ireland. IPSOS MRBI says 21% of adults aged 15+ are on Snapchat in Ireland. 9 months ago it was 11%.

June 2014 Snapchat in Ireland stats

The data is there to show that for younger demographics, it’s not just Facebook anymore. And these younger demographics marched Bebo, Instagram, mySpace and Facebook into the mainstream. Right now, there are 500 Million photos or videos uploaded to Snapchat every day. That’s about the same as the number of photos uploaded to Facebook and 5 times as many as Instagram.

Snapchat, the sexting thing?

Get over yourself. People were sending silly pictures of themselves well before Snapchat but Snapchat is seen as one of the enablers of this. Snapchat is a great little app that allows you to send pictures or videos taken right now to your friends and they are guaranteed to expire/evaporate in ten seconds or less when clicked on. You can write a teeny amount of text on the image or video and draw on it too. The images are not on their phone, they’re not on the Snapchat servers. Lost forever like tears in the rain. Ephemermal media they’re calling it.


If someone manages to take a screenshot, Snapchat informs you of this so you know not to trust that person again. In extreme cases, when you basically hack into the phone and connect it to a computer, you may find a picture in a temporary file on the phone but that’s it. Pretty safe really.

So your brand isn’t there, why?

Hardly any companies are using Snapchat in Europe to market, which is a shame. If one of your core audiences are Irish people ages 15-20 then Snapchat is one place they’re at. Some companies in America are using Snapchat to connect to the “right audience” and do stuff around competitions and vouchers. Still, hardly any case studies right now. 16 Handles and Taco Bell are rolled out again and again right now but that will change.

What some companies are doing to Market on Snapchat:

  • Vouchers: Discount codes, 10% off vouchers. Show at till type things.
  • Contests: Submit a picture type contests. Take a picture of a product and add a comment.
  • Interactions: Just having a fun back and forth with users e.g. Holding a sign with loads of people’s names.
  • Exclusives: Tell Snapchat first before other channels. (A great way to build numbers)

Snapchat Stories are made for brands

Now that Snapchat has serious investment and it has a huge audience, it needs to commercialise what they’re doing. Everything these days is about the timeline so Snapchat is now going to try and do something with that. First comes creating something that end users will appreciate and then they can make money off it later. Enter Snapchat Stories.

Snapchat Stories allow you to weave Snapchats you made into a piece of content that is viewable for 24 hours. You can add to this Story any time you want and it gets tacked on to the end of the story. When people log in, they can see in the timeline, any Stories from friends. This is mine:


This is a Vine of a Snapchat Story I made:

And stats released this week (June 23rd 2014) show that Snapchat Stories are getting … dun dun dun, 1 billion views PER DAY. Highly successful. There still aren’t any tools for brands to use but give them time, they’ll have them.

In the week that Facebook (who?) released Slingshot (what?), Snapchat announced a new feature for a single brand (for now). People will be able to add their content to the Snapchat Story of a brand at a specific location. It’s called Our Story. Done around a music festival for now. Body and Soul was last week and various Snapchatters were keeping me in the loop via photos and videos. Perfect alignment. Expect to see big brands host these around music festivals, launches, fashion weeks etc.

Some tips:
If you bung a load of photos or videos together on to your Story, they can become quite boring, even if just a minute long. Make the shots snappy and have an actual story in place. This means pre-planning for it. Use text in your Story to accentuate or explain the content. Fail fast and fail cheap: Try things, mess about. It’s Snapchat, silly mistakes do disappear.

I await a band making a music video and sharing it as a Snapchat Story. 10 second bursts, it can be done.

Snapchat Drawbacks

Right now Snapchat is mobile only and everything needs to be done through the mobile app for iPhone or for Android. There are no official apps for businesses that can be used. You can’t “officially” upload premade material to Snapchat so you can’t have highly produced content. (There are obviously unofficial ways around this, same for Vine) I’m sure if you are a huge brand though, there probably is a tool you can use for Snapchat that does allow uploading of pre-made video. Vine definitely has this.

Law of diminishing returns

Like everything else before it, Snapchat Stories will work really well for the first while but as more people and more brands start to saturate your timeline, they’ll become less effective. Same has happened with Banner Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and it will happen with Twitter promoted tweets too. Get in early, make the most of it and then analyse what is coming next and be ready for it.

Do have fun on Snapchat.

Update: June 2014

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When Jamie Heaslip Tweets about you…

So what happens when someone with about 100,000 Twitter followers Tweets about you?

Recently Jamie Heaslip tweeted a link out about a project:

When Jamie Heaslip Tweets
When Jamie Heaslip Tweets

It gets 9 Retweets and 11 favourites.

Since Jamie used as a way to link, we can measure the clicks:

So it got 1096 clicks and you can see all of them were in the first few hours and then nothing.

1096 lifetime clicks
1096 lifetime clicks

400 in first hour. timestamp is EDT, 8pm EDT = 1pm Ireland. (add a + to any link you see and you too can see the stats)

Clicks on a Jamie Heaslip Tweet
Clicks on a Jamie Heaslip Tweet

So 1% of Jamie’s followers clicked that link. 99% didn’t. We could argue that it was a Saturday so less clicks but sport fans might be tuned in more that day too though and just before 1pm would seem like a good time, no?

So what if you’re just a small fish in a big pond?

Have a look at this Tweet from Sex Siopa, a Sex Shop looking for help. Boy do they get it:

Sex Siopa 133 RTs
Sex Siopa 134 RTs

133 Retweets later and a few new followers for them. They get mentioned on and and other places. They seem small and genuine so people in a way are more interested in helping them out. To date they only have 401 followers but this small fish makes a lot of waves in the big pond.

133 Retweets means that Tweet was easily shared into the timelines of 40,000 ore more people. (The average active Twitter user is followed by about 2-300 accounts.)

So being rough about the numbers, that sex shop with all their RTs got half as much reach as Jamie Heaslip’s Tweet. So you don’t necessarily need to have big numbers if you have a genuine message to share or if the message is fun or controversial or anti-establishment.

Online PR Workshop

This course is now over but you can see other Digital Marketing Courses here. If you want to add your name to future training courses, fill in this form.

An Online PR workshop incorporating Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Monday September 2nd, 2.10pm – 5.00pm – Temple Bar Hotel, Dublin
Thursday 29th August, 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Limerick

Book this
A while back, I got a client some coverage in the Irish Times, they saw an increase of 20 visitors that day to their website. A few weeks later they got coverage in an app review blog. In 24 hours, they saw over 500 installs of their app. The Irish Times was good for potential investors reading about them, an app review blog got them consumer installs though. Different spaces for different audiences.

As people get more of their news from other online sources and not just newspapers and radio stations, PR/Comms people need to have a wider understanding of how to get online coverage. This includes the right keywords to use and what sites to pitch to. The same rules apply in some circumstances and other rules for other media. In fairness (ass-kissing moment) many PR firms do this very well and are adapting quickly so this workshop is not for everyone.

I’ve previously done a workshop like this but this is massively updated.

This half-day workshop will cover:

  • 0. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and why even a press release ought to be optimised.
  • 1. Getting your news found in search engines using your own site and media sites.
  • 2. Pitching to bloggers and online news sites without being a spammer.
  • 3. Making your own media: Videos, images (infographics), Slideshare presentations.
  • 4. Spreadable media: Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to help spread the good word.
  • 5. How to deal with a crisis (the online perspective).

This is suitable for those that work in a PR/Comms role or for companies that do their own PR. Bring a laptop too if you can. It is expected that you know PR already and can compose your own press releases.

Fee: €147

Public Dates:
Monday September 2nd, 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Dublin
Thursday 29th August, 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Limerick

This can be run in-house too and can be customised. Email if you want prices.

Social Media Strategy Training Workshop

This course is now over but If you want to be informed of when the next Social Media Courses/Digital Marketing Courses are, please fill in this form.

This half day workshop on developing a Social Media Strategy is run by Gina Bowes who has vast experience working on the Social Media/Digital Marketing strategies for the eircom group and Glanbia.

Being clever and creative for an upcoming campaign is great but does it tie into the main philosophy of your company? Are you reactive and using tactics but not aware of what your strategy and objectives are? Gina Bowes has been there and will help you get your house in order so you can have a sustained social media focus and an efficient one at that.

Date and location:
Morgan Hotel, Temple Bar Dublin. July 30th, 1.30pm until 4.45pm

Price and booking
Cost of the training is €137. Bring a laptop.
Max 11 places per course.

A cancelation fee occurs if you cancel at the last minute.

About your trainer:
Gina Bowes has 10 years experience in the telecommunications industry and extensive experience in promoting the customer agenda while championing business and brand engagement in social media. Gina has successfully devised, delivered & measured the social media strategy and ROI across eircom, eMobile & Meteor, winning several awards at industry level.

Gina is currently working for Glanbia devising a digital strategy and implementing a monitoring tool across their consumer brands Avonmore the no.1 milk brand in Ireland and Kilmeaden.

This course is now over but If you want to be informed of when the next Social Media Courses/Digital Marketing Courses are, please fill in this form.

PR Workshop – Getting your business into the media

This course is now over but you can see other Digital Marketing Courses here. If you want to add your name to future training courses, fill in this form.

Getting it covered…
A workshop on everything you need to know to get your business into the media (for the right reasons)

Location: The River Lee Hotel, Cork
Date and Time: Friday 21 June 0930am until 1230pm.

Your trainer: Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Editor, Cork Independent

Why PR is probably more vital in 2013 than ever before:
Your business keeps you awake at night. It gets the blood pumping and the synapses firing. But what if that enthusiasm isn’t being shared by the media, and your message isn’t getting out there?

Learn how to communicate about what you love at this energy-filled and fully interactive morning workshop. No jargon, contacts or secret handshakes required.

Getting your business covered is all about getting the approach right and providing simple, easily digested information. It’s not rocket science!

What you will get from this seminar:

  • Identify your target media
  • Find out what you need from them
  • Learn how to give them what they need
  • Learn how to get your business noticed by your customers and by opinion formers
  • Brainstorming with a media professional in a group setting about the best approach for your business
  • Your first professionally produced press release, ready to send to your media list

1 hour of Private mentoring too:
For an additional fee (see below) you can avail of an hour of one-to-one advice, specifically tailored to your business, in which you can brainstorm ideas for coverage, work on a strategy for your business, or draft material for future use.

€127 for full morning workshop.
€157 for workshop and one to one session ( book times with Deirdre directly).

A 50% cancelation fee applies if you cancel 48 hours or less before the workshop.

More on your trainer:
The seminar will be conducted by Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Editor of the Cork Independent and contributor to the Sunday Business Post, RTE and Newstalk. Deirdre has extensive experience across print, online and broadcast journalism and a vast and varied network of cross-platform contacts. She also has extensive daily experience of receiving badly written and misfired press releases from professionals and amateurs alike, and knows what makes an editor tick (or explode).

Google Analytics – Training Course – Dublin 2013

Google Analytics Training – Dublin – May 9th, 1.30pm

This is now over. If you want to add your name to future training courses, fill in this form.

The next Dublin Google Analytics course is April 24th 2014.

Google Analytics Course Description

Google Analytics is an in-depth, hands-on half day training course that starts with the basics of analytics and how a structured approach to analytics is the first thing to focus on before going near Google Analytics. We’ll create our own measurement model one-pager so that by the time we log into Google Analytics, we know exactly what data and insights we’re looking for.

Then, we move on to some of the key standard reports which you should pay attention to.

Standard reports aren’t enough however. To get the real benefit from Google Analytics, you need to customise the reports to suit your business and the different needs of the people in the business. For this, we’ll look at how to create a custom report to match the the measurement model we created at the start of the session.

What you’ll get:

  • A better process to approach analytics
  • The key standard reports
  • How to customise reports to deliver the greatest insight with the minimum amount of work

Your trainer is Laurence Veale who has oceans of real world experience in this area.

€97 for the half day workshop. A 50% cancelation fee applies if you cancel 48 hours or less before the workshop.

Temple Bar Hotel

To book the course fill in this form.

You can see other Digital Marketing Courses we offer here. If you want to add your name to future training courses, fill in this form.

Tweetrank: Is Twitter going to do their own Edgerank, charge to push all your Tweets?

Twitter are apparently going to rank our Tweets on quality. None, Low, Medium and eventually High. High maybe being like the “Top Tweets” you see in searches. This will allow the “Best” tweets to be seen. The worry for me is that will also allow other tweets to be hidden away. This is a bit like Facebook’s Edgerank where you don’t see all the updates from your connections but will see more updates from friends or brands you interact with more. Twitter too adopting the filter bubble. With 150k or so people on Twitter in Ireland daily and they allegedly sending out a 1 Million tweets in total, filtering may need to happen.

I’m not the only one that was wondering about “Tweetrank“. Facebook allows you to promote posts on your personal Profile on your business Page to ensure everyone sees your update. So will Twitter start doing the same? €50 and a guarantee your own followers see that Tweet of yours.


But with Edgerank doing what it does, you can pay to promote an update so everyone sees it. Is this what Twitter will do too? Pay to ensure everyone that’s connected to you sees your tweet? One of the reasons I like Twitter is that I can dictate the filtering, Facebook doesn’t give me that choice. Now if Twitter allowed people to choose No filter, medium filter, high filter, that would be a great compromise that still makes them money.

Update: August 18th 2013
Twitter is now doing surveys about prioritising your Tweets. It does feel like they are going to do some kind of filtering as the noise on the network goes up.

Irish teens and the digital world

Or getting into the Irish Times for 500 euros.
Or doing your own R&D on the cheap.

Ages back on Twitter I remember seeing a teenager talk about the rarity that email was to him. Most of his communications online were around Facebook IM/Messaging. Mix that with various marketing research groups telling us what teens are interested in, without asking them and I thought it might be good to put a survey together. That’s where the Irish Teen Survey of Digital Trends came from.

Firstly, I compiled some ideas/questions I wanted answers for. Then I asked Eleanor, Aidan, Adam and Ian for some feedback on these. They suggested questions to ask, they laughed at some of the notions I had about teenagers and they listed options for some of the multi-choice questions. With that information I then collated the questions and employed someone to put them into some surveying software. I used by SensorPro for this as I had also worked with them previous to this on surveys.

Next was propagating the survey. Once again I asked teens to send the survey to their friends. To get the survey completed, all those that did the survey were entered into a draw for an iTunes voucher and all those that got a friend to do the survey and their friend mentioned them, were also entered into another iTunes draw.

After the survey was done, results were collated and a summary and press release made. There was converage in the Irish Times, Silicon Republic, I was talking about it on Phantom1052 as well. Lots of coverage on Twitter too.

What does this survey do for Mulley Communications?

  • Insight. Seeing what teenagers do online, how they consume content, what and why they pay for items will help the day to day work of the company. Presentations, training sessions and marketing plans will be better as a result.
  • Traditional media coverage. While it’s people that are online and connected to me/the company gives us the business, the enforcement of the company being trustworthy to their bosses happens in the Irish Times, Radio 1, the Business Post etc.
  • Practice. Being able to ask new questions and create mechanisms to get the answers is good for future projects
  • Serendipity. You never know what new products for you or a client could be created from data you collate.

Between the vouchers and the work to collate the survey, it cost about 500 euros.

Some lessons learned:
While 101 surveys were completed, there was a very large rate of those who never completed the surveys. Too many questions. Next time I might split the survey in two with maximum 20 questions, if even that. Also, have a few publications in mind for each survey, perhaps offer sections of the survey to each publication. Sample size is low too. Shorter surveys would almost double the numbers. Widen out the survey to rely less on people that receive this from friends on Facebook or Twitter.

This survey follows on from our Facebook eyetracking survey, Google eyetracking survey and iPhone survey.

Shortcuts through quicksand

There’s a very good post on Buzzfeed about the use of infographics (Diagrams displaying information in a useful and understandable way) to help rig Google results. It’s the new gray hat SEO manipulation technique.

Simple idea: Create an infographic. Make the content tabloid enough/interesting enough to get linked to and offer code for people to embed it on their site with of course a link back to the site with your golden key words.

Already we’re seeing website and blog owners being emailed and asked for links to these infographics and to use certain keywords with the links. Nefarious to say the least especially when there isn’t any thought on who might be interested in the content. “We thought you might like this health insurance graphic since you er blog about food and please link with the text: cheap health insurance Ireland”

Traffic Control.  Sparks, KS.
Photo owned by PV KS (cc)

It’s common for a client and an agency to want a quick win. Good traffic and lots of links. That’s the goal, right? Social media/online marketing is simple to set up, free to do and so people seem to think that there’ll be instant success as a result. The case studies we show and are shown make it seem that way too. Organic growth by creating content, interacting, getting feedback and moving on again is much more stable. But traditionally the marketing industry bought volume. Buy an ad on the Late Late, stick something in every paper and you’ll reach everyone with your very bland ad.

Quantity is still the catnip for many. That’s why you see so many company blogs mentioning celebrities and trying to shoehorn their offerings into some scandal. Good luck with aligning nipple slips into recruitment news lads. There was an old Irish Politics blog that started getting into mentioning all kinds of celebrity sex drivel. Traffic exploded but so did respect for the blog’s political analysis. This here blog for Mulley Comms gets 1/10th of the traffic as my personal blog and something blogged over there will do very well in Google but talking online marketing or online PR here means it won’t get first position on Google. That’s ok though as the blog here is new enough and still finding the way.

You see it too with Facebook campaigns that push for people to become fans. Win an iPad or iPhone for anyone that’s a fan of your Facebook Page. How many of your new Facebook fans genuinely care about what you do and how many clicked Like to enter the iPad draw?

Now counter that with what Sabrina Dent highlights for newsletter list building. She talks about Ciara Crossan going to Wedding Fairs. That’s where Ciara’s constituents are. Those who subscribe to her newsletter are the right demographic, not any old sod joining to get to the prize. Good leads at targeted events. There would be plenty of ways for Ciara to get 1000s of randomers on her mailing list but how many will take the content seriously then? A polluted database costs you more in the end.

So as clients, consultants and agencies should we keep pushing for the slow and more intelligent game instead of cheap tactics like link rigging and begging friends and strangers to Like client status updates? Should part of a company’s social media policy to ban staff from clicking on that Like button and leaving comments? The same way for competitions staff, their families and suppliers are banned from taking part? Should you train your own thoughts into thinking longterm?