Today I learned, Today I shared, Today I got back.

My rule for doing well on social networks is: Hit at least 2 of the above points on a daily/weekly basis. Give value, get value. Today I learned, Today I shared, Today I got back.

Today I Learned

If you’re on social media and you’re mostly just browsing, what are you getting back from it? What have you learned? What have you done as a result of learning something on a social network? Have you found new links to tools that make your life easier? Have you found articles or even tweets from founders that actually give you a better perspective? Things like how you should be running your business? Has your business become more efficient after discovering something on social media?

If you’re just browsing on social media, but you’re learning lots of stuff, then that’s a good use of it. Stay on social media. If you’re just seeing lots of dances and funny videos, well, how does that help you? One way is it can make you smile and the world is shit right now, so that can be good for your mental health. In moderation. Ask yourself: Are you being entertained and channel hopping at the expense of your business? So we’ve asked what you learned today, now switch this question around. Are you the person that someone finds is of use to them on social networks?

Today I shared

Are you adding value to a social network? It doesn’t matter which social network it is. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. Are you putting information out there that shows that you’re an expert? And if you’re putting information out there, do people know what your business does? Are you putting content out there that entertains people, but it’s good for brand recognition? Enough that they recognize your name?

An example: You could be an upholstery business. On social media you can be educational and entertaining. You could do videos on how upholstery is done, this is showing your skill and talent in upholstery. This is you sharing useful and entertaining content and maybe it’s spreading and more people know what you do now. If you’re just sharing nonsense and silly little things or if you’re trying to be funny and you really aren’t funny, what does that get you? So you might have learned something today on social media, you might have shared something useful on social media, did you get anything back from these things on social media? What did you get back today?

Today I got back

Are you getting leads back as a result of you sharing things and as a result of you being seen as an expert. Are people who contact you going “Hi expert person. I’d like to talk to you. Can we have a call?” Be careful obviously that you don’t want to have these tyre kickers that just want to drain you of information without paying for it. Know your value, look at Fuck you, pay me.

Realistically are you getting something back? Are you getting new contacts? Are you building a database such as a mailing list? Are people joining that mailing list? Are people directly buying your product as a result of your updates? Are people recommending you to other people? Are you being asked to speak at a conference or speak on a podcast or give your expert opinion on something?

The holy trinity

Those three things as a result of blog posts, or your mailing lists or social network usage on a regular basis, is probably what you need. If you get all three of those, that’s absolutely fantastic. If that’s not the case, then should you be on those social networks?

Political Party Social Media Stats 2022

January 2022 Irish Political Social Media Stats

  • Sinn Féin has more social media followers than any other party
  • Leo Varadkar is the party leader with the most followers and is bigger than all parties.
  • Micheál Martin gets leadership bump on Twitter
  • Sinn Féin has most engagement on all platforms
  • Sinn Féin has 18M YouTube video views
  • Simon Harris is the king of TikTok

A social media analysis by Mulley Communications of the social media accounts of political parties has shown that Sinn Féin has the biggest following across all social media networks while Leo Varadkar is the party leader with the most followers on social media.

More detailed analysis:

Sinn Féin has the biggest Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube numbers.
Sinn Féin also has the most YouTube views with 18.7M views. However Leo Varadkar has more Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers than all the political parties in Ireland and would be number one if he was his own party (make of that what you will)


Party Facebook Twitter Instagram TikTok YouTube Subs  YT Views
Sinn Fein 268.7k 153k 54.7k 58.5k 35.4k   18.7M
Fine Gael 43.4k 55k 8.7k 0 **   1.5M
Fianna Fáil 42.9k 50.3k 8k 5k 1.3k   2.2M
Labour Party 59.8k 54.5k 35.9k 841 ** 956k
People Before Profit 17.8k 21.5k 9.2k 10.7k 1.9k 238k
Green Party 10.7k 41.2k 6.9k 14 780 337k
Social Democrats 42.9k 29k 3.6k 2.7k 878 255k

** Labour and Fine Gael have not shown subscriber numbers for YouTube

Party Leaders:

Leo Varadkar is the party leader with the most followers on social media with over 720,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Mary Lou McDonald has the next highest number of followers with 370,00 followers and Micheál Martin has 179k followers.
Mary Lou McDonald has the greatest amount of Facebook followers. To note: Facebook has the oldest demographic where almost the majority of people are 40 or over. Instagram and TikTok have much younger demographics.

Party Leader Social Media

While we couldn’t find TikTok accounts for any party leader, Simon Harris is King of TikTok with 89k followers and has more followers than the political parties.Breakdown by Social network

Leader Facebook Twitter Instagram TikTok
Leo Varadkar 93.8k 432k 196.7k 0
Mary Lou McDonald 173.2k 167.1k 30.9k 0
Micheál Martin 25.8k 152.9k 18.1k 0
Eamon Ryan 8.3k 44,300 2.6k 0
Alan Kelly 9.1k 20.5k 1.6k 0

Micheal Martin saw a large bump in Twitter followers and a slight increase in Facebook followers since his election to Taoiseach:


March 2020

April 2020

June 2020

May 2021

Jan 2022













Fianna Fáil didn’t see the same bump though

Fianna Fáil

February 2020

April 2020

May 2020

May 2021

Jan 2022



















Engagement of Political Parties

As well as having the most followers on every social network, Sinn Fein is getting more engagement on their accounts and more engagement per post.

Irish Party Facebook Stats 2022

For Facebook
Facebook Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

And for a fairer look, you can see how wide the gap is.
Facebook Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Average engagement per Facebook Post:

Facebook post Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

For Twitter
Twitter Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Twitter Engagement per post
Twitter Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Instagram Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Instagram Engagement per post

Instagram Per Post Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Facebook stats for Irish Political Parties

Sinn Fein 268.7k
Labour Party 59.8k
Fine Gael 43.4k
Social Democrats 42.9k
Fianna Fáil 42.9k
People Before Profit 17.8k
Green Party 10.7k

Twitter Stats for Irish Political Parties

Party Twitter
Sinn Fein 153k
Fine Gael 55k
Labour Party 54.5k
Fianna Fáil 50.3k
Green Party 41.2k
Social Democrats 29k
People Before Profit 21.5k

Instagram stats for Irish Political Parties

Party Instagram
Sinn Fein 54.7k
Labour Party 35.9k
People Before Profit 9.2k
Fine Gael 8.7k
Fianna Fáil 8k
Green Party 6.9k
Social Democrats 3.6k

TikTok stats for Irish Political Parties

Party TikTok
Sinn Fein 58.5k
People Before Profit 10.7k
Fianna Fáil 5k
Social Democrats 2.7k
Labour Party 841
Green Party 14
Fine Gael 0

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

You just need to know what you’re doing. You need to know, and you need to have a very good accountant. And you have to have people, or maybe it’s just yourself, but you need to be very good at what you do, especially when you’re starting, you need to make an impact is digital marketing a good job. It can be any job can be a good job. If you’re looked after, if you’re paid well. If you’re given time off, if you’re given time to be creative. What are leads in Digital Marketing Leads digital marketing or qualified leads are, for example, you create a website, and you optimize this, so it gets found in Google. Then someone does a Google search. They find your website. They look at your website and there’s a form on your website and they fill in details in the forum because they want more information. So that could be a lead. Or it could be through an Instagram ad, you’re advertising something a new product for a client or for yourself, people click on through. To find out more, or download a brochure.

Are Facebook Ads worth it for SMEs? Yes

Are Facebook ads, worth it for an SME/small business?

Yeah, I probably think, for an SME, where you just don’t have enough time to be constantly updating Facebook (and you do have to constantly update Facebook to keep in people’s feeds) then advertising is actually a better way to use your time and use your resources.

Updates or ads – the costs

Work it out. How much do you pay yourself or s staff member an hour, how may hours a week or a month are then tending to Facebook just to keep people seeing you are there.You could have an ad campaign that maybe just cost 40 or 50 euros and you can have that run over a week or two. When you run that campaign, you’re going to (see my other post on Facebook advertising) you want to run a campaign, you can set it to go off and we go back to the main parts of your business, so you don’t have to worry about what content to put up today, or tomorrow, how to create engaging posts, or, or anything like that.

Type of Facebook ads

You choose your audience, put up some content that you think the audience will be interested in, could be sales updates, it could be a video showing off a product could be a discount or anything like that can be just awareness, it could be a new business and a new town and you decide that the best way of getting interest is to run a Facebook ad, you can run that ad, you can run it to a certain age group, you can actually target any neighborhood, say in Cork or suburban Dublin, or just a whole county like Leitrim. You can run that ad, and it just goes out to those people. As the ad is running, you will actually see pretty much live stats on how many people have seen it so far, you can actually see what the device is whether it’s Android, whether it’s apple, whether it’s a desktop or a laptop. All that information is there for you, and you can see how many people clicked on that ad, or if you can send people to the website, or you can have the ad running so that you just get messages on Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook ads might be complicated to start with

The only thing that might actually persuade you not to run ads is the fact that setting up an ad on Facebook is slightly complex. You have to set up a campaign, and you have to put details in that, then you have to create an ad set and in that ad set you have to create an ad. So after the first couple of times you start to get used to Facebook advertising. The system is well designed pretty well. If you run an ad campaign before you can actually go into the ad system, click on that campaign, basically say duplicate that. So run it again but change the dates and change the budget.

Go for it

So for a small business with limited time, a limited amount of staff, you don’t have a full time marketer or you’re the marketer. In an SME you’re the manager you’re the accountant and everything else, then I think Facebook ads might actually work. So I advise a lot of clients to set up a Facebook page, and maybe do a bit on it to keep it ticking over, but actually to run some advertising and time them to go out. You don’t have to worry about that day’s updates and it’s just running there in the background. And hopefully you’ll get a return out of that. And I guess the beauty of all of these digital kind of ads in our systems, is you can measure it, to see, is it working or not and if it doesn’t work, you can just stop it or amended, make some changes and set it off again.

Try, fail, fail better, win!

With a newspaper ad that you commission and it runs once in a newspaper. For some say page ads in traditional Irish media you could be paying €3000 for an ad or €4000 or €10,000 for a full page ad. Once you committed to the ad, you can’t change it, if there’s a mistake or an incorrect website address, tough. With digital, you can change that straightaway. With digital you can make changes, measure what worked, make more changes and keep doing that until you get a very well tested ad.

Ads tested with real people and iterated

From that, then you have a data set, or in a way you have a crib sheet or a document or a template for future ads. So back to the question, I would actually suggest that they spend more time on ads than updates. Then maybe spend time on their website as you can get constant returns from ranking on Google.

Are Facebook Ads Worth It? Yes

Are Facebook ada worth it?

Yes I believe they are worth it, because they’re easy to set up and the targeting is really good. Facebook ads can target by gender, age, location, interests and then you can have the ad running on Facebook or on Instagram or on Facebook Messenger which are all owned by Facebook. You can choose your ad to be a video or an image, you can choose to place it in Instagram stories or Facebook stories, or just in the timeline of people. And because of the way the ads work, you’re guaranteed they’ll be seen.

Your ad is only seen by people that you’re targeting so you only get charged by the number of people that see it. You can pay a daily budget and close to 400 people 500 people or a few 1000 people could see it. All based on your budget. You can set a lifetime budget, which means that you can keep going for two weeks.

Once it runs out over those two weeks, it stops, once you set that. Those ads can direct people back to a Facebook page, or an Instagram page or you can get them to go to your website. I find the ads that work best are the ones that get people to click on the ad, and it brings them into a website where you’re selling something, or getting people to sign up to something. Video ads are very effective and what you obviously need is some of your own video content, and with video it means it starts playing in someone’s timeline and they start looking at that and if you have text in your video it means people will actually start reading that text, so they’ll pause maybe and start reading, and that gets them engaged.

So that’s a very good thing to do. And if you don’t have video content, you can just supply images and Facebook Instagram can turn those images into like a slideshow or a video or you can have multiple images and you can do a carousel, which means when people see the ad, they can swipe on that ad and see the next image. So, overall, I think it’s worth doing Facebook ads. And what you can do is because you can set your own budget you could actually set a budget to be just a euro for a campaign.

If you get a return on that, increase the budget and play around. I keep on using this phrase, fail fast, fail cheap. That idea actually works on Facebook and Instagram. The demographics on Facebook are probably people that are 40 Plus, which is still a couple of billion people and in Ireland, there’s two and a half million maybe on Facebook. On Instagram in Ireland, you have a couple of million and those people would be mostly under 40. In a way that demographic is ageing as well. The teenagers, they’re on Snapchat, and they’re on, Tik Tok.

So yes, do run ads on Facebook, try them. The Facebook ad system might be slightly complex to start with. If you find that is when you go into it, you could just start off by boosting posts on Facebook. Do a status update on Facebook from your business page and click on boost. From there it’s fairly simple, you put in your daily budget, how long it’s going to run for. You can choose targeting, age, location, gender, and interests. So start there. Start with a small budget, get a return from that. You can measure that return within 15 minutes of that starting to run. So go and enjoy playing around with those ads too.

29 short lectures on Digital Marketing

January 13th 2015, 2pm, Dublin

To kickstart 2015 I’m going to give a seminar in Dublin, possibly 90 minutes to 120 minutes long. What will it cover? Keep reading. It’s “almost” free to those that are clients or came along to the various Mulley Events in 2014. Spaces are limited. That last line was marketing bullshit making you think a resource is limited so you’ll want it more. They are though.

The seminar is called “29 short lectures on digital marketing” which is a total ripoff of the amazing “28 short lectures” given by Mary Reufle. There won’t be 29 lectures but they will be short.

This seminar is going to be on January 13th in Dublin City Centre (not booked venue yet, usually near Temple Bar) from 2pm to 4pm or a little beyond. Bring your own teas and coffees.

If you want to sign up, you can use this Eventbrite link. It’s €5 to book a place which won’t cover operating costs but ensures you might turn up. In Ireland, free events have a 50% no-show rate. 50% don’t bother turning up or letting you know.

And I’ll talk about:

  • Various elements on making Facebook work: Edgerank and all that, what updates are best, why if you ignore it for B2C you’re a dope.
  • Twitter: Growing, automating, lead generation, Twitter cards.
  • LinkedIn: This is B2B and it works a charm. How to use it to build an amazingly rich address book.
  • Google+: Haha, just kidding.
  • Mailchimp: Some quick tips from a non-expert.

Why am I doing this? Testing out new material and to gauge interest in the paid courses I’ll be running in January/February – Lead Generation, Digital Strategy, Advanced Twitter. And because I’m sound.

Link Roundup – June 16th 2014

So then.

Very interesting case study around mobile networks, Facebook and geofencing. There ads to people on Facebook based on their current location as supplied by their mobile network. It will drive more footfall to your store. And with Apple now doing things to prevent stores from logging your phone‘s hardware address, this becomes even more attractive for retailers.

Pinterest now doing self service ads. Good to see.

Twitter now doing remarketing too. So you can run ads on Twitter to people who came to your website.

AKA Fuck you, pay me. Facebook plainly explaining organic reach and Edgerank. The free ride is over for those that produced shit updates on Facebook. If you have updates that appeal to your subscribers, you have a lot less to worry about.

Social signals. So Google says that they don’t take social into account when ranking pages BUT the pre-ranking/discovery of your content seems very reliant on these social signals. Lots of people sharing/tweeting your link? Seems Google will see this as having importance.

These new changes with iOS 8.0, yeah, Android probably can do this but Apple makes it way better. Apps calling apps inside their own app and showing you just the relevant bits. Great for the usual devices but also tiny screens like, oh, hmm. watches?

More Online Marketing Expertise – Richard Hearne

2012 has introduced more threats and, by extension, more opportunities for Online marketers than at any time since I started my Internet career. Coming from a search background I’ve seen first-hand some of Google’s “jarring and jolting” updates which can literally put site owners out of business. Competition Online is growing exponentially as offline spend transfers to the Web. Mobile will soon outpace desktop in absolute usage figures. These changes are forcing Online marketers to re-evaluate how they interact with their users and focus on delivering real and perceived value across the entire spectrum of Online transactions:

* Getting exposure now requires “real work” – you cant fake/hope your way to eyeballs;
* Customer service is happening online as well as offline, with more use of Social Media platforms to resolve customer issues;
* Trust is becoming more of a linchpin – Google wants us all to become “brands”, perhaps users do too;
* Users expectdemand fast usable websites across platforms – performance is more important than ever now;
* Interaction is happening on many platforms, with many interactions sharing multiple devices – web, mobile, apps etc;

Hang on! That’s a lot of words for the topic “One thing businesses should put some effort into online before 2014 comes along.” Yep it is, so here’s my one thing every business owner should do: focus on engagement. Each of the items I listed above can be considered in terms of engagement:

* What do your customers want/desire/need online? Building content that truly engages your customers and prospects builds loyalty and increases sales. Check out these guys and the cool videos they created.
* Do you have service channels on Twitter/Facebook/Google+? Even (could you be more staid?) offers customer service on Twitter!
* Are you engaging with customers to hopefully make them your Online evangelists? Offering ways for customers to review and feedback on your products is required not desired. Hands up who looked at the number of reviews in Google’s search results?
* Are you measuring how your website performs? I’m not talking how many visitors (old hat), but how quick, responsive and valuable your content is. Measuring performance is the new analytics. Check out tools like and RUM, or Google Page Speed and to slowly on-ramp your site. Collect qualitative data via feedback forms and surveys.
* Does your site work on mobiles and tablets as well as the desktop? Have you looked into Responsive web design, or better still Mobile First Responsive Web Design? Not only will your site look/work great across platforms, but by focusing on what’s really important you also deliver a better overall user experience.

I know there’s a lot to take in there, but each example I give places engagement at the core of how you plan and execute Online. By engaging with your users and focusing on delivering true value your Online business will succeed and flourish.

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?

Links this week – Week of August 2nd 2010

Bank holiday or not, here are some links for you to munch through.

Brendan has a good post on generating leads from social media.

Lots of opportunities in using Google sets for research and insight.

Forrester tells marketers to stay away from the likes of Foursquare and other location services for now. Sure there’s only a few million highly influential people using it. Am sure the wait and see applied to the web in the early days too. It’s what you make of the medium that matters, be it 10, 1000 or a billion people on it.

Meanwhile PlacePop takes the location idea and applies it to vouchers.

I like this idea. Test drive a new Mazda via a Facebook game/app.

If you’re into PR then follow the PR Page from Facebook. Lots of tools and ideas for PR professionals.