A nation of chocaholics, Red Bull losing their wings?

The Checkout magazine Top 100 brands list is out. Coca-cola is top dog again but really it’s chocolate that we Irish buy a lot.

12 confectionery brands featured in the Top 100 list; Cadbury Dairy Milk (5th), Galaxy (36th), Nestlé KitKat (49th), Haribo (53rd), Maltesers (55th), Kinder (56th), Nestlé Rowntree (67th), Cadbury Roses (75th), Nestlé Aero (82nd), Cadbury Snack (87th), Cadbury Twirl (95th) and Mars (100th).

With all the huge online and offline media coverage of Red Bull in the past 12 months, Red Bull has actually dropped four places in the table to 26th from 22nd last year. Coke is 1st, Red bull 26th and Pepsi is 48th. Were I an agency I’d be pitching to Pepsi this week.

And in terms of the bad for you brands: Budweiser is still the number one off-trade alcohol brand, Blossom Hill is Ireland’s leading wine brand, Smirnoff is Ireland’s top spirit, and Silk Cut holds on to its position as Ireland’s leading tobacco brand.

8000 – So here you go

Well it seems the unofficial account of Junior Vice-President Damien Mulley hit 8000 connections a short while ago. As a thank you or a “D’fuck did that happen?” style response, management has decided that he’ll give you a day of his time to consult with you or a chosen company/organisation.

You can choose a day of training on the usual suspects, a day of consultancy or a mix that you choose.

This picture of chocolate has nothing to do with this post, hello!

Few simple rules: the company does not work for telcos, political parties or alcohol companies. You can’t resell this to someone else or make this a premium event that you get payment for. Still lots of opportunities there.

What digital skills do you want for your interns?

I’ve noticed a lot of people asking me on Twitter to retweet Tweets where they are looking for intern positions with marketing or PR companies or looking for digital work in other companies.

Companies have different criteria depending on the work they do. I’d be grateful for some feedback from PR and Marketing companies in particular as to what they want interns schooled in before they start the job.

Are things like the below important?

  • How to create and run Facebook Pages
  • How to run Facebook Ads
  • How to create Facebook Tabs
  • Running Twitter accounts
  • Creation of content plans for Facebook and Twitter
  • Running Google Ad campaigns

What other digital skills are needed?

Facebook Places Ireland finally launches


Facebook Places for Ireland finally launched today. Some of the nerdier types have been waiting for ages to get to play with this. (Some even nerdier ones did all kind of hacks with networks toe be able to check in).

What does it mean for an individual?

More stalkeridge! You can now see where you friends are and with whom, if they wish to share this information. You can tell your friends where you are now, show them pictures from that location etc. As Facebook Places matures you will be able to avail of deals in locations near you or go to the locations based on offers.

What does it mean for a business?

If you claim your Place/location you can merge it with an existing Business Page. When someone checks in, their friends see this, might click on through and see your business details. If people are frequenting your business, why not give them the option of telling their friends? The average Irish person has 160 friends on Facebook. That’s the potential audience every time someone checks in to your location on Facebook. The longterm goal with this is Facebook Deals. Check in, get 20% off, win prizes and so on. Rewards for being loyal.

Right now: As a business, get your physical location created or claim it and enable people to check in. Get some Facebook Stickers made too to encourage people to check in!

Here are some of the frequently asked questions on Facebook Places.

The above pic is me outside Facebook HQ in Dublin with a giant Places icon. Courtesy of Made In Hollywood Props.

Some social media links – 11 Oct 2010

How long does it take to form a habit? If you’re into marketing and want people to make your product the default they get, this is good to know.

So one ad agency gets ditched. Is it really the end of agencies? I don’t think so as long as companies don’t have the resources. Some big orgs have half a dozen comms agencies alone.

Alcohol brand or product? See the updated Facebook terms and conditions.

Saatchi and Saatchi celebrate 40 years. Showcase of their best/most known work.

How to present with a PUNCH.

Facebook for Business: Use ads, use and update Pages

So you may or may not have seen the study we did with the National College of Ireland on Facebook usage. Check it out. It’s good! The main science bits are:

  • 71% of users looked at adverts on their Profile pages, 31% of users looked at adverts on the News Feed page (homepage).
  • Users pay more attention (53% vs. 31%) to page updates in their News Feed Wall rather than adverts to the right-hand side of the Wall.

So we might have banner ad blindness going on around the web and maybe Google Ads on the right side of results don’t get much love but it seems for Facebook so far, ads work and people pay attention to them.

More importantly in my view is that people are naturally paying attention to information that shows up in their News Feed and a business is allowed to send their updates to this News Feed when someone Likes/Becomes a fan of the Business Page. So set up your Facebook Business Page and update on a regular basis. Tie it into a Marketing Calendar. The only cost is your time.

Content Creation – Some thoughts

In this new phase of communications where earned media is the game then you need to not throw about “We’re great, buy our shit now will ya?” messages but instead become a publisher and advertiser. Creating something of use that can perhaps be reused or resent to people. We live in an age where content creation is a democratic idea but so is distribution of it. If you create good content then maybe the community you’re in online will spread it much further and it has more power as it comes from a person they know.

What do you want to get out of this?
If you’re going to invest time and resources creating content you need to be very certain what your endgame is. You need to figure out that if you are going to change the copy of your website, write some blog posts, work on status updates on Facebook or Twitter, that you are doing it for a purpose. For your business. What is that purpose? With your content, is it a way of showing off your authority, is it a case study of how you helped someone out, is it a direct way of making sales, is it a discount on goods, is it information that shows you care about the wider community? Lots of questions. Look at all the ones the communications bible brings up!

Who are those you want to energise?
Forget demographics, ask yourself who are the people you want to create good content for and as a result of good content, they interact with you and even help spread the word? Who exactly is the market for your products and services and what do they like online, on blogs, on Facebook, Twitter, discussion forums etc.? Use the likes of the Facebook Ad system to figure out the volume of the people you are interested in interacting with and increase that by perhaps 30% for overall Internet numbers.

After figuring out what you want from working in an online media and who the people you want to work with are then you need a properly considered plan on when and what to send out. You can’t be doing anything adhoc or randomly. Unstructured might be more fun but a plan keeps you on message, allows you to measure how well you’re doing and makes people more comfortable and familiar by the fact you are interacting them on a regular basis. Themes could be a week long education initiative, a week of special offers/discounts, a week of tips on how to use your products more efficiently etc. Themes allow you to be repetitive with your overall message without using the same enforcing updates again and again.

Tweak their bits, get reactions
Interactions here are key. They might be weak emotional engagements but you every comment on a blog, every reply or ReTweet on Twitter, every comment or the weak but effective “Like” on Facebook is someone taking time out to react to your content. Not job done but certainly a recognition of sorts to what you’ve done. So figure out what people like by past experience or see how they presently interact with their friends on Twitter and Facebook, what content gets them going and see can you provide content like that. Getting interactions too might be as simple as asking for them. Solicit opinions with your content, go away from the broadcast type telling of news and lecturing. Ask on Facebook, blogs, Twitter: “What do you think?” “What do you think should be done?”

Update daily, measure weekly
On a weekly basis, evaluate how your content plan is going. Comments on the blog posts, links to the post. Interactions on Facebook using the Insights option. Views on your YouTube video, links to the video on YouTube. To start with you’ll be in prospecting mode, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. From that you’ll become more experienced with this, making it easier to gear up and plan well in advance and having much better knowledge what will work based on what worked before. The Insights tool especially will tell you what age groups and genders are being responsive and which are not which should give you crucial data on what to change and what to keep.

Content Curation
Knowing what people like, you can be the one that acts like a mini-newsfeed for them. Summarising industry news, interesting blog posts, showing videos they might like etc. Think of the daily papers they have on Newstalk or Morning Ireland, can you do the same with websites that apply to your area? The Fluffy Links blog posts I write are one such example of content curation.

Budgets, breaking news, elections, Apple products, volcanoes – They all impact people and all give us the opportunity to share our take and our authority on issues. Also, when you think about it, the marketing for these events has been done by the media already so it’s a nice opportunity to tie in to something relevant if you also have something relevant to add to the mix.