IIA Toolshed – Social Media Publishing Tools

May 5, 2015 · Posted in IIA Digital Toolshed, social media, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

IIA Toolshed #2

Social Media Publishing Tools

 

Tooler’s Choice? Hootsuite 

Check out the detailed review below including Buffer, SproutSocial, and SocialOomph.

General Information

What is IIA Toolshed? IIA Toolshed is a group of digital marketers & digital experts who know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever changing array of tools at our fingertips, to supposedly make doing business easier! To make things simpler, we’ve come together to test, evaluate and share the reviews of a broad selection of tools & technologies, to ultimately make the decision easier for you, when choosing what tools might best suit your business needs. At the IIA Toolshed, we come together every 6 weeks to evaluate a set of tools for a particular business objective, and we’ll publish our findings right here.

Who are we? The Toolers are:

IIA Toolshed meeting

Product Namebuffer 130hootsuite 130Social oomph 130Sprout Social 130
WebsiteBufferHootsuite.comSocialOomphSproutsocial
What Is ItOnline scheduling tool that publishes to TW, FB, LI, G+ and now Pinterest. Ronseal!A Social Media scheduling and reporting platform.
You can schedule and manage content from your Facebook (Personal and Business), Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Wordpress accounts. It also has 100s of additional apps that gives your monitoring and commenting abilities on other sites including Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
Social media productivity tool which allows you to
publish and monitor social media activity
Sprout Social is an online social media management, reporting and engagement tool that enables publishing (incorporating analytics's) to various social media platforms.
What’s It Like To Use?Pretty easy and seamless. No real learning. Support was a bit generic. Dashboard intuitive - easy to remove accounts. When you move stuff around or change times, it caused a few problems.Easy to set up and use. Just go to hootsuite.com and sign up. Easy to add Social Media accounts and search for add on apps. Its dashboard is easy to navigate, search social networks and see previous scheduled posts. Hootsuite has a mobile app that allows you to manage your activity on the go. However - would recommend that you do the bulk of your Hootsuite scheduling and reporting from the Desktop dashboard.When it comes to giving access to another user, they must create a social oomph account, it's time consuming. The interface appears to be very poor but it does have some good functionality. Cons: It is not intuitive and learning to use it takes some time. The design is hard to navigate.
Pros: It has feature called Queue Reservoir which helps to drip feed updates to selected social profiles. The Posting section does have a number of features such as creating and managing updates, creating updates from RSS feeds, and creating updates via email. The Following section facilitates follow-back and auto-welcome on Twitter as well as finding new people to follow function. The Monitoring section allows to set up regular email alerts for monitoring particular keywords found on Twitter. Other stats like mentions, retweets and following are also available.
Set up on a free trial was painless with minimum effort and adding social media profiles was generally a 2-3 click process to add Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Feedly. It also incorporates google analytics and operates using a classic dashboard. Posting to different social profiles was just a matter of adding the content and clicking the profiles with the optional inbuilt scheduler allowing flexibility on when it would appear. The dashboard in general was intuitive with rapid report generation and useful exploring and search tools. (EY) No option to upload video or multiple images to Twitter via the Scheduling App. Reporting option is great, with the option to sort Facebook posts per engagement particularly useful. Overall, it has many of the features needed under one dashboard (scheduling, reports, assign tasks, Twitter Advanced Search), which makes it extremely useful.
Is There Anything I Should Know?Nothing compelling to upgrade. Auto shortens links to buff.ly, but you can override. Time zone of scheduler is confusing. If you've already scheduled a post to publish, you cannot change the distribution e.g. just add in G+ after scheduled - instead set up new post :(Hootsuite has a cool bookmarker called Hootlet that allows you to schedule content directly from your web browser. Hootsuite also supports RSS feeds so you can ensure you latest blog is automatically distributed to Social Media as soon as it’s published. It also offers suggested content - which is similar in nature to the content you share and allows you add it to your publishing schedule (hit and miss at present). Hootsuite integrates with Google Analytics, Twitter and Facebook Insights and can create Social Media reports in seconds. Pro account holders are allowed create a number of reports for free, otherwise they come at an additional cost. Hootsuite allows you to add 100s of apps to your dashboard. E.g. Pocket and Feedly from Hootsuite and even manage YouTube Account. Finally - the only issue with Hootsuite at present is that it does not (currently) display visuals properly when posting from to Twitter, it posts as a link. And if you're posting a link, it posts 2 links if it's got an image in it.45 mins to integrate a FB account. Not a good UI. Can schedule. Can bulk upload. Can integrate a bit.ly account and create a unique URL shortener. Very basic posting functions. Can create a Reservoir - can create a schedule to post at different times. Monitoring is basic - just mentions, and RT's. CLUNKY. Needs training. UGLY. Basic version can only add Twitter. 7 day trial you can add other accounts, big learning curve to learn it in 1 week. Support was quick enough, help section is descriptive - good - but it's a big time investment.Follow up mails including offers of phone support from a dedicated person gave a nice personal touch to the experience. Sprout Social really comes into its own when you are managing teams with a powerful task manager and is very suited to larger organisations with disparate teams and multiple profiles. Its mobile version works well with similar functionality. One of the draw backs is the relatively low number of social profiles it connects to and would expect instagram etc.
Who would you recommend it for?"An organisation (doesn't matter the size) who is already running its own publishing schedule, who wants to supplement with shared content. Yes,
it's probably not as sophisticated as some, but definitely a great scheduling tool, and a lot of functionality comes for free."
My favourite of all the platforms, but currently has a few issues with posting images (in particular to Twitter). Would recommend a PRO account that allows you to manage up to 100 accounts. I would use it to post to multiple LinkedIn and Facebook Groups.We wouldn't!A large organisation with multiple profiles and team members
Cost inc VAT$10 per month Awesome (up to 100 posts and tweets + 10 social profiles per month) Freemium model. Free package is pretty good to get started. "Awesome package” has some analytics with export functionality, you can have more multiple admins on an account, and allows you to schedule more posts in advance. Awesome plan is $102 per year, Small Business Plan is $50/mth which is pricey. Discount for non-profits is nice touch.Free account for up to 5 Social Networks. Hootsuite Pro (recommended) $9.99 per month (free 30 day trial available) - allows you to collaborate with up to 10 team members, manage 100 accounts and access free Social Media reports. There is a further paid option - Hootsuite Enterprise for larger organisiations. €12.58 every fortnight, €27.26 monthy, €81.77 quarterly, €327 annually.59 (USD) for Delux, 99 (USD) for premium and 500 (USD) for team version per month

 

General Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Name of Tool: Buffer Hootsuite Social Oomph  Sprout Social
Ease of Use 4 4 1  4
Price 2  4  2  4
Documentation 3  4  3  2
Mobile
Compatible?
 4 4 0  3
Tablet
Compatible?
 4  4  0  3
Specific Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Social Media Platforms it posts                       2  4  2 4
Schedules image posts?  4  3  2  4
Schedules videos post? 3 3 0  1
Sentiment Analysis? 2  2  0  1
Analytics?  3  4  1  3
Any Restrictions? Gotchas? 3 3  1  3
Customisable dashboard 2  3  0  1
Product Intuitiveness / UI 3  3  1 3
Team Collaboration Features? 4  3  1  2
Are we going to continue using it?  1 4  0  4
Total Score 44 52  14  42

One to watch: echobox – This new scheduling app might suit large publishers,
enabling them to curate ALL the content on their site to send to social. It forecasts ideal post times and layouts, AB testing each post. The range of features includes forecasting Page Views (which is the publisher’s bread and butter) and the algorithm learns what works and what doesn’t. One key aspect is you can flick a switch, and ultimately let it publish for you. Someone may be out of a job soon.


What’s next from the IIA Toolshed?
 Social Media Monitoring in June.

Summary: Hootsuite won, but Buffer closely followed. SproutSocial if you’re an enterprise. Avoid SocialOomph.

IIA Toolshed – Screencasting Tools

March 30, 2015 · Posted in IIA Toolshed, new technology, news, Uncategorized · Posted by iiatoolshed · Comment 

IIA Toolshed #1

Screencasting Tools

 

Tooler’s Choice? Camtasia because of the range of functionality, ease of use, support and additional use for easy video editing.

General Information

And we’re off! We’re delighted to welcome you to the inaugural post from the IIA Toolshed!

What is IIA Toolshed? IIA Toolshed is a group of digital marketers & digital experts who know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever changing array of tools at our fingertips, to supposedly make doing business easier! To make things simpler, we’ve come together to test, evaluate and share the reviews of a broad selection of tools & technologies, to ultimately make the decision easier for you, when choosing what tools might best suit your business needs. At the IIA Toolshed, we come together every 6 weeks to evaluate a set of tools for a particular business objective, and we’ll publish our findings right here.

Who are we? The Toolers are:

TOPIC 1: Screencasting Tools First up to test were a range of screencasting tools! What is Screencasting, you ask?? Screencasting is a really neat process of recording what’s happening on your screen as you do it. You can include narration as part of the recording, to explain exactly what you’re doing on screen, all from your own computer or laptop. Screencasting software is often used for short “how-to” videos and online tutorials. It can be a really helpful way to show a customer how to do something technical, as if you’re by their side! Here’s what we found about the four tools we reviewed:

 

Product Namescreenflowcamtasia logoscreencast makerjing.jpg
WebsiteScreenflow 5CamtasiaScreencast MakerJing
What Is It?Screen capture for SpielbergsAn easy-to-use screen recorder that acts as powerful video editor by recording your voice and on screen actions. It also allow the easy import of additional media and advanced editing functions.A low cost easy to use screen capture tool for the Mac.Entry level screencasting & screen capture tool
What’s It Like To Use?
Easy to use. Simple to install. Free product. It's got a lot of functionality that make it too advanced for the average Joe.Intuitive and very flexible piece of software. Good tutorials. Trial download with only an email address required and full functionality for 30 days. Designed to have you up and running with projects very quickly. Lots of functionality and export options.Screencast Maker allows you to record your entire screen or just part of it. It also allows to narrate audio and even allows you to include video from your webcam. Output in.mov.Free, easy to download, you can record activity you carry out on your screen, to share with others, including recording narration for additional explanation. Output in swf format and png for images
Is There Anything I Should Know?
If you are an Apple app store maker and you want to make videos to sell your product, this is the tool for you.Camtasia has restrictions but its core abilities of creating professional screencasts is more than enough. Navigation and editing were easy with good ‘undo’ and keyboard shortcuts meaning you don't to start from scratch with mistakes. Transitions, inserting text, adding pointer arrows and animation are simple with drag and drop. Editing and cutting out sections was fast and less fiddly than other software.
Export as an MP4 was simple along with other sharing options for YouTube etc al.
As an MP4 it was simple to upload natively to other platforms and to insert on websites.
It took approximately 4 hours to go from first open to a reasonably polished looking screen cast.
There is a free trial available at screencastmaker.com where you can create screencasts of 2 minutes or less, but €4.99 will get you the full version. Screencast Maker is great for start ups and SMEs on a shoe string budget.Videos limited to 5 mins, output to swf makes videos hard to share on FB, YouTube etc. No editing capability.
Cost inc VAT€93.24€85.14 for a single license.€4.99FREE

 

General Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Ease of Use 4 4 4  3
Price 3  3  5  4
Documentation 1  4  2  3
Mobile
Compatible?
 4 3 3  1
Tablet
Compatible?
 4  3  4  1
Specific Criteria (Out of 4) – 1 is “Really Dislike”, 4 is ”Really Like”
Captures Images? 1  4  4 4
Captures Video?  4  4  4  4
Edits Images? 1 3 0  3
Video Time Limit 4  4  5  1
Entire Desktop 4 4  4  4
Element of Desktop 1  4  4  4
Watermark 1  4 N/A  N/A 4
Conversion Formats 3  3  2  1
Total Score 35 47  40  37
Other Reference Points & Reviews


What’s next from the IIA Toolshed?
Well stay tuned, because every 6 weeks we’ll be reviewing another set of tools. Next up, we’re reviewing Social Media Publishing tools. Which ones?  Well you’ll have to come back to find out… all will be revealed in early May!

Summary: Overall, it’s fair to say that Camtasia is the standard that most people expect, and around the table it was commonly agreed that it had the best feature set. Thereafter Screencastmaker is a good option for those who are a bit more cash-strapped, but keen to get going. The other tools are more likely to be used for those getting started, or for internal communications.

Mark Little announced as Overall Net Visionary 2014 by Irish Internet Association

September 29, 2014 · Posted in IIA Dot Ie Net Visionary Awards 2014 · Posted by Blog Administrator · 2 Comments 
Mark Little, Storyful, Overall Net Visionary 2014

David Kerr, IIA Chair, Mark Little, Storyful, David Curtin, IEDR, Joan Mulvihill, IIA CEO.

– 14 Category Winners announced in the IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards –

Friday, 26th of September, 2014: The Irish Internet Association (“IIA”) this evening announced Mark Little, founder of Storyful as the Overall Net Visionary Winner at the IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.  Also announced this evening were the winners in 14 individual categories, decided by a combined judges and public vote and two special recognition awards.  The Awards, now in their 16th year took place in the Banquet Hall of the Smock Alley Theatre – a dramatic backdrop befitting these most creative of industry awards.

Joan Mulvihill, CEO of the Irish Internet Association commented: “This has been a great year for the IIA’s Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.   By refreshing the award categories each year, it allows us to showcase new businesses, innovations and talent.  All of the winning businesses are worthy title holders and we carefully craft these award titles to reflect the essence of excellence in that category.”

She added: “Mark Little is a truly worthy winner of the 2014 Overall Net Visionary Award.  He epitomises the defining qualities of exceptional visionaries. Mark is a courageous innovator and disruptor. It’s not every day that someone decides to take on the international media and change forever how they collect, collate and curate the news. He set out with a global vision and stayed the course in the face of international giants and indeed some cliff-hanger days.  His openness in sharing his story has made him a phenomenal role model for emerging entrepreneurs, a true visionary and a world class technology innovator.  It is with great pride that we have the opportunity to honour him this evening.”

David Curtin, CEO of IE Domain Registry Limited commented: The IE Domain Registry is delighted to be the headline sponsor for this year’s Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.  Now in its 16th year, the standard of the shortlisted websites for the Awards continues to increase year-on-year.  The level of innovation, originality and creativity, not to mention the power and functionality of the underlying website applications, continues to impress.  For the winners, it is a wonderful accolade to be recognised by their peers in the Internet community, as being the ‘best of the best’. These websites and innovations will provide a quality benchmark for others to rank and improve their own online offerings.”

David Kerr of Bonkers.ie and Chair of the Irish Internet Association commented: “Each year we are challenged with identifying the single person that we believe uniquely embodies the term Visionary.   Mark Little is a local hero and the standard bearer for innovation. If you want to see the power of the cloud, social media, big data and mobile then Storyful is the outstanding exemplar of that. His fearless determination in bringing his vision to life makes him a most deserving winner indeed”.

The IIA are committed to delivering change through collaboration with members and across industry bodies.   2014 saw a focus on eCommerce and exports.  Have successfully delivered a series of International eCommerce seminars, Digital Marketing and Cloud Computing training and events, the IIA continues to work across all industries to position Ireland as a leading web enabled economy.  With headline sponsor in IE Domain Registry Limited (“IEDR”), a select number of key categories, the most challenging judging structure, another stunning and original new venue and a record number of entries, these awards are the perfect way to start the season.

– Ends –

IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Winners 2014

Overall Net Visionary Winner – 2014 – Sponsored by IEDR

WINNER – Mark Little, Storyful

“Best All About Online” B2C eCommerce Retailer” – Sponsored by Hosting Ireland

WINNER – iClothing.com

Most Creative Use of Social Media for compelling customer engagement” – Sponsored by Eircom
WINNER – Javelin for Universal Pictures Ireland

Best Scaling “new heights and territories” International Internet Business” – Sponsored by Grant Thornton

WINNER – Teamwork

This is the “Rising Star” start-up of the year – Sponsored by Paypal

WINNER – Kitman Labs

The Best Web Designer of discernment and user friendly  functionality” – Sponsored by Hailo

WINNER – Pixel Design for “giaf.ie”

The Best Web Developer for ingenious engineering and  meticulous delivery” – Sponsored by Blacknight

WINNER – Software Design

Best Multi-Channel Retailer – all things to all people” – Sponsored by AIB

WINNER – Kilkenny Shop

The Most Indispensable Cloud Service for SMEs – Sponsored by Telecity

WINNER – Eventbrite

“Best Digital Marketing Brand Campaign – Sponsored by Irish Times Training

WINNER – Electric Ireland for Electric Picnic

Best Mobile Service or App for Fast Moving People (B2C)” – Sponsored by RTE Digital

WINNER – WholeWorldBand

Best Mobile Service or App for Fast Moving Businesses (B2B)” Sponsored by The Digital Hub

WINNER – Medical eGuides by Maithú  IT Solutions

Most Interesting Internet Innovation” – Sponsored by RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

WINNER – Kitman Labs

Very Best Place to be – Accelerator | Incubator | Space” – Sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank

WINNER – The Digital Hub

“You Did Good” – Best Use of the Internet for Social Good – Sponsored by Electric Ireland

WINNER – SpunOut.ie

“Award for Excellence – The Next Generation”

WINNERLauren Boyle, Cool Kids Studio

Outstanding Contribution from an IIA Member

WINNER – Ann O’Dea, Silicon Republic

 

What You Should Know About Running A Creative Tech Event

June 19, 2014 · Posted in Brand, events, marketing, new technology, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · 3 Comments 

Guest post by IIA Member, Sebastian Boppert, Eventbrite

While technophiles spend a lot of their time online, there is a tangible benefit tobuilding relationships offline to strengthen professional networks and to learn from peers. A great way to facilitate these offline meetings are creative, hands-on events like hackathons or game jams, where like minded people get
together make their latest ideas a reality within a couple of hours. We talked to London based Fadie Hannona from the MakersAcademy, Andrea Magnorsky from Gamecraft in Dublin and Fay Cowan from Decoded Fashion in London, who routinely bring the tech community together, and asked them to share their tips on how to organise a successful tech event.

Q:First off, for the uninitiated, what exactly is a hackathon or gamejam and how does it differ from other kinds of events?

Fadie Hannona, Marketing, MakersAcademy says: If you’re unfamiliar, you’ll probably imagine a hackathon to be a competition where people break and enter into systems. This isn’t what it is.

To put it simply, a hackathon is an event where people come together to express themselves creatively through technology. The aim is to turn an idea into a product prototype, in the form of a website or app within a short time frame (usually anywhere between a day or three.) It’s a team game where labour is divided according to the player’s strengths.

There are many types of hackathons and they’re either competitive or communal. They can be aimed at start-ups, developing open source projects, they can be aimed at serving a specific community or brand or even to explore the possibilities of a new product. But one thing holds for all hackathons – they are about building things.

Andrea Magnorsky, Founder, Gamecraft says: The premise of game jams like Gamecraft is that people come together to create a game. Jams are quite different to hackathons in that their nature is collaborative rather than competitive. You don’t necessarily need to know how to code either, because to develop a game you also need people with different backgrounds like designers and storytellers.

Fay Cowan, Event Director, Decoded Fashion says: In general terms, a hackathon is an overnight competition in which programmers, entrepreneurs, graphic designers and industry experts build a tech in a very short timeframe. The Decoded Fashion Hackathon asks participants to create apps answering to the problems and needs of the fashion and retail industry.
We are looking for viable apps that can be put to use!

Q: What would be your advice to a first time hackathon/gamejam attendee for getting the most out of it?

Fadie Hannona: It is good practice to formulate an idea in advance and make sure you’ve done a bit of research. This saves you time and allows you attract a passionate team.

Remember to think tactically as you walk through the doors. Firstly, accustom yourself with the crowd and learn who does what. Once you have your team in place, keep the time schedule of the event at the back of your mind so you can plan your moves efficiently.

Always remember to manage your expectations as it’s very unlikely that you’ll have a fully developed version 1 of your product and instead work on the most essential features you’d like to see in your prototype and build on that. Last but not least, never forget that the main thing is to have fun and learn!

Andrea Magnorsky: Come prepared! Have all programs you need to participate already installed on your machine so you won’t lose too much time setting up on the day. And be prepared for complete chaos! Fun, creative chaos, that is.

Fay Cowan: Come with an open mind, try and network a lot, have fun and don’t worry about the tech!

Q: Do you feel the number of this type of event is growing?

Fay Cowan: Yes, everything is speeding up in London it’s how the city and technology can learn to adapt to the changing market. There is a hunger and need for it all these hackathons!

Andrea Magnorsky: Absolutely. People have started to realise that if they want something done, while they need to first do it
themselves, they also need to collaborate to improve faster. There are great synergies to be had from coming together and doing more.

Q: What are the elements that make for a successful hackathon?

Fadie Hannona: The attendee list is as important as the theme or prize itself. A crowd that has a good ratio of developers and non-developers with complementary skill sets will make for a great hackathon.

A common complaint at hackathons is that there are too many ‘ideas people’ and not enough people who can actually build products. This is something we’re actively trying to avoid at our hackathon by offering free spots to developers, and charging non-developers.

Andrea Magnorsky: The most important factor is to have a positive attitude towards people. Make sure there is a good environment. As an organiser you need to avoid people having a bad time because that would dampen
the entire atmosphere. There will be problems, no doubt, and it is up to you to solve them. Reassure your attendees and help them where you can. If they struggle with completing their goal on the day, make an effort to integrate them in someone else’s effort. Keep it positive. If your event is longer than eight hours, you should definitely provide some form of food and drinks. It
allows people to stay engaged with the event without getting distracted. Think about offering a little present at the end. It’s the little things that add up to a great experience.

Fay Cowan: Good food, great mentors, and strong wifi!

Q: How do you stand out from other hackathons?

Fadie Hannona: There are a tonne of ways to stand out from other hackathons… Firstly, getting a good balance of complementary skillsets amongst attendees is a must, as are a strong group of inspiring judges to give feedback at the end of the event. Being a gracious host by taking care of the basics like food and drinks is a given, and having an alluring prize for the winner can really make your hackathon stand out from the crowd.

Andrea Magnorsky: With Gamecraft, we try and organise as many events in as many places as we can. We’ve recently turned Gamecraft into a not for profit to encourage more people to join us and help it grow. Non-competitiveness is key for us.

Fay Cowan: The DeCoded Fashion Hackathon is kicked-off by a panel of top fashion designers and executives, we are listening to what the problems of the fashion industry are and the solutions they crave. Top mentors will be on hand to help guide and support teams through the 24 hours, before each group gets to present their results in quick demos in front of a panel of esteemed judges. Our top 3 hacks will be taken through to pitch at our London Summit to a top panel of fashion judges!

Leaving your mark – How to maximise the potential of your brand online

July 15, 2013 · Posted in Brand, Business Guides, employer branding, online, Trade Mark · Posted by Blog Administrator · 1 Comment 

Securing trade mark registration for your brands is now more important than ever. Brian Johnston
looks at the difficulties faced by those who failed to register their brands early and how registering can maximise your brand identity online

Businesses often assume that a social media name (such as a Twitter handle or Facebook username), a business or company name or a domain name will be enough to protect their brand name. It isn’t. The only way to be sure that you have exclusive rights to your trading identity is to register the mark, logo, colour, slogan and so on as a trade mark. A trade mark registration offers brand owners a robust, frontline defence to prevent impersonation, dilution and
exploitation of their most valuable intangible asset – their brand.

What could happen to my brand if I haven’t protected it?

Nowadays, businesses are facing threats from fake websites passing themselves off as the real thing, fake Twitter and Facebook accounts and the sale of counterfeit goods on websites such as eBay. If they’re not policed properly, these threats
will directly affect the brand image and business of an organisation and they can drive away existing and potential customers.

Having a registered trade mark will not stop others trying to impersonate or exploit it, but it will make it much easier and cheaper to stop them from doing so. Many social media websites, online auction sites, hosting providers and other website operators have what are known as ‘notice and takedown’ policies. These policies set out when a service provider will respond to a request to remove content, branding or goods. Demonstrating the existence and infringement of a trade mark registration is often a necessary requirement for ensuring that swift action will be taken to protect your brand online. For example, generally on Twitter impersonation is not enough to require an account to be deactivated unless an element of deliberate confusion or deception is present. However, action will be taken to deal with an account that infringes a trade mark.

A trade mark registration also provides for more direct enforcement and policing of your brand. It can form the basis of a ‘cease and desist’ letter and litigation against those trying to exploit your brand, if it should come to that. While other legal routes exist to protect against the misuse of a word or a logo – such as an action for ‘passing off’ – none is as effective, both in
terms of time and cost, as being able to rely on infringement of a registered trade mark.

What if I just wait until my brand has really taken off before trying to protect it?

There are many examples of businesses (particularly start-ups) failing to register their brand due to considerations of time, cost and so on: just ask Twitter itself. The social media giant was founded in March 2006 and rapidly gained popularity. Despite this, steps weren’t taken until 2007 to register the trade mark ‘Twitter’ and it wasn’t until 2009 that it tried to register the now-familiar ‘t’ logo and the trade marks ‘Tweet’ and ‘Retweet’.

Because it didn’t invest in its growing brand by registering trade marks early, Twitter had no straightforward, cost-effective way of preventing others from using ‘Twitter’ or similar variations in an attempt to free-ride on the popularity of Twitter. Predictably, lengthy and avoidable litigation ensued. Twitter also incurred further expense in subsequently having to take steps to secure the rights to its brand by having to block numerous applications in the USA to register trade marks for Twitter, Tweet.me, Tweetmarks and others.

The lessons learned from Twitter’s trade mark difficulties do not just apply to large organisations; small and medium-sized businesses also need to take steps at an early stage to protect their brand.

The bottom line

The bottom line for any business is this: if you think, hope or dream that one day your business and your brand will be worth something, then you cannot risk not taking the necessary steps now to secure the rights to it – for a fraction of the effort and cost of doing so later.

For further information, please contact Brian Johnston ( bjohnston@lkshields.ie Matthews (),Áineamatthews@lkshields.ie)
or Deirdre Kilroy (
dkilroy@lkshields.ie) of our Intellectual Property and Technology Unit.

 

Facebook Advertising: The Introduction of Hashtags

June 19, 2013 · Posted in Facebook, hashtag, marketing, social media, Twitter · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

By Rob Beirne, Digital Marketer at Wolfgang Digital

Earlier this week, Facebook announced the introduction of clickable, searchable and trendable hashtags. Like every new feature Facebook releases, hashtags will be rolled out gradually. They are following in the footsteps of Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and, of course, Twitter. It is a move which will streamline branding strategies across the major social
platforms.

Facebook as a Second Screen

Facebook wants to allow people to get involved in real-time conversations on their platform in a way which has been impossible up to now. Their aim is to be considered as a ‘second screen’ for users to interact with content such as TV shows or new stories. The aim is to become the first port-of-call for people who want to keep up with real-time news and events. It’s a position Twitter has made its own in the last couple of years and it’s going to be a real challenge for Facebook to knock them off their perch.
The ‘Problem’ of Privacy

One clear obstacle which will hinder Facebook’s quest is privacy. This is something which differentiates Facebook from Twitter, where most people have public accounts which can be seen by anyone. Some may say that Twitter has the upper hand here; when someone searches for a hashtag on Twitter, they are likely to see entire conversations. This is in contrast to
Facebook, where users will only be able to see input from users who have made their posts public. With most posts only visible to the user’s friends by default, this is an issue Facebook is going to have to address.

So Facebook users may not see the whole conversation when they search a hashtag; this is not necessarily a bad thing for advertisers. Their content will be more visible and less lost in the mass of information seen on the likes of Twitter. Although advertisers will not be allowed to employ paid ads in the hashtag search results, they are being encouraged by Facebook to use hashtags in their ads across all channels and can still get involved in real-time conversations through the use of hashtags. This means that Facebook will become a more engaging platform for brands. Advertisers can now tap into
Facebook’s huge user base much more easily.

Leveraging Interest Targeting

Another interesting implication of Facebook hashtags is their role in determining people’s interests. Currently, Facebook does this by looking at the Pages a user has liked or followed. People ‘Like’ Pages for a variety of reasons. For example, if a friend creates a Page for their business, you may ‘Like’ it to show support – but you might have no interest in the service they provide.

Status updates are a much stronger indication of a user’s interests, but until now there has been no effective way of categorising their content. By monitoring users’ use of hashtags in status updates or hashtag searches, Facebook will glean a better understanding of user interests. This will allow Facebook to really improve their ability to accurately determine
someone’s interests. This in turn affords advertisers a much better chance of showing an ad to the most relevant user.

The Humble Hashtag

The humble hashtag has permeated into popular culture. With the vast reach of Facebook, this is a trend that we see continuing. Twitter has been incredibly successful as it facilitates real-time, public conversations among masses of people. Now that Facebook is jumping on the hashtag bandwagon, advertisers have the opportunity to reach more people than ever before. What’s more, they can reach them instantly. It will be very interesting to see how this develops in the next few months. As is often the case with online advertising, those who adapt early and do it well will reap the rewards. Those
who don’t will get left behind.

How do you plan on using Facebook hashtags for your brand?

Rob Beirne

Growing Irish businesses despite Economic turmoil through online freelancers

April 16, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

GUEST BLOG FROM Steffen Breinholt Hedebrandt of Elance.com

Elance.com, the world’s leading online work platform, just spend three busy days in Dublin. Here we met a lot of inspiring and determined Irish people, who despite the challenges of the current economic environment are now launching new businesses.

Dublin has within the recent years been hailed as one of Europe’s most promising StartUp hubs, not least thanks to the
good work of Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Internet Association (IIA). But there are also challenges: around 1,500 IT developers are urgently needed, while on the other hand there is a high unemployment.
Elance.com offers a potential solution to these issues. Every month, more than 100,000 jobs and projects are posted on
the platform, by businesses looking for freelancers. The jobs range from IT development to Creative tasks, Marketing, Virtual Assistance to Translations, Accounting, Book keeping and Engineering. In fact, as long as a job does not demand a physical presence, it can be completed through Elance. For businesses facing the challenge of finding niche skills that can be immediate applied to projects Elance can provide the skills they need. On the other hand, for those who have been made redundant during the financial crisis, Elance is a place to apply your skills and find work.

How Elance has helped grow a Dublin business

Pat Walsh, a Dublin based Elance user has been hiring freelancers for five years on Elance, which has enabled him to grow
his Irish Businesses, amongst others, the Sky Business Centres network of Services office centres. Pat Walsh says “Elance has enabled Sky Business Centres to access a global talent pool as and when we need it. We have access to 24 hour workers and can upsize and downsize our development teams to suit whatever our current project commitments are.

In addition to providing Irish businesses access to a global workforce, Elance provides the opportunity for any Irish unemployed person with an internet connection to bid on the 100,000 jobs posted monthly on the Elance.com platform.

Areas in Ireland which have been hard hit by unemployment including administration, legal, architectural, and engineering
are in high demand on the global Elance platform.  There is strong demand for native English speaking freelancers with professional skillsets.”

Start as a freelancer, become an entrepreneur – Elance Freelancer

If you are in the unfortunate situation that the financial crisis has left you redundant in your company due to decreasing turnover, there is a solution available online that might lead you to the next step in your career. Local Dublin-based business  A-Cubed Software Limited had been using Elance.com since inception and Aditi Bhattacharya, their Head of Technology Adoption says: “Elance.com is a platform that takes your local business to a global audience and market. It is one of our main sales avenues with a genuinely low initial outlay (towards membership fees) and definitely proven return on investment. It’s almost like having a Sales team work for you as they bring a lot of buyers from around the world. It’s safe for the businesses to use too because Elance.com provides the basic checks on the prospective clients and offers the escrow facility which
means none of the project works will ever go unpaid.  The feedback facility is an added bonus for serious businesses such as ourselves where we can showcase with conviction the skills and talent we have.

We see Elance.com as a strong tool for growth and already more than 50% of our revenue comes from outside Ireland thanks to Elance.com’s global reach. Kudos to the Elance.com team!”

How does the future look for online work?

The advantages of Elance, while very relevant to the current situation in Ireland, also reflect the wider global changes taking place in the way we work. Thanks to innovative and disruptive technologies, geographical location is a far less relevant factor in getting a job done. Dr Johnny Ryan of the Irish Times says:

Anything that removes geography as a hiring impediment is a good thing for project teams. The bones of the Internet itself, the protocols that govern how machines communicate across it, were developed decades ago by people working at remote
locations and swapping reference documentation. Now that power of remote collaboration is open to businesses of all sizes, the market for labour and skills can be tapped in a way that suits agile businesses working on novel projects.

Smart businesses and freelancers are reacting to this trend. By harnessing the power of remote collaboration, Irish businesses and those individuals affected by the downturn can turn the situation to their advantage.

 

www.buyersclub.ie Launch Scholarship Programme for the Irish Internet Association (IIA) Diploma in eCommerce Management

February 14, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · 1 Comment 

Today: Buyersclub.ie, Ireland’s first social superstore, has today (13th February) announced details of a new strategic partnership with the Irish Internet Association (IIA). Buyersclub.ie is to provide a scholarship programme for three candidates to undertake the IIA Diploma in eCommerce Management combined with a six-month internship programme.
The eleven-week, part-time diploma course starts on February 28th, with all course fees paid for by buyersclub.ie.

Speaking at the launch of the scholarship programme, Dara O’Mahony, founder and CEO of buyersclub.ie, said “Buyersclub.ie is delighted to provide this opportunity to support those wishing to upskill from offline to online retail.  By collaborating with the Irish Internet Association, we know that candidates will experience the highest quality course lecturers, breadth of modules and learning outcomes that will deliver precisely what we look for in terms training and knowledge for a great eCommerce Manager.  We are looking for candidates who are seeking to move from offline to online retail.  Following
an interview process, we will place three successful candidates on the IIA eCommerce course and also offer them a six-month internship as part of this strategic partnership.

He added: “We know there are people out there who have significant retail experience in the market but who have also lost their jobs due to the downturn in traditional retail. Rather than have these skills leave our shores, we believe that we can retain these skills by offering a Jobsbridge place with buyersclub.ie while supporting them in formal training.  Buyersclub.ie will be paying all the course fees for the successful candidates and we will support them in the workplace by allowing them to rotate experience across all aspects of an eCommerce business from warehousing and fulfilment, to digital marketing, to product buying and customer service and sales.  As a fast-growing company, we believe that we will also be able to offer a full-time position to successful candidates once the programme ends.”
CEO of the IIA, Joan Mulvihill, highlighted the scale of opportunity within online sales in Ireland. “With €4billion being spent online by Irish shoppers annually, the growth opportunity for Irish retailers is enormous and with that comes increased demand for eCommerce professionals.  Businesses such as buyersclub.ie are challenged to find candidates with the requisite skills.   The very fact that buyersclub.ie have come forward to pay course fees for three candidates is testimony to their commitment to the sector and, indeed, to the scale of the skills challenge faced by so many retailers.   For those considering the course, the value of combining the Diploma with an internship is a great way to optimise their career prospects.   Other member companies are also offering internships in the hope of securing a full-time, talented
employee at the end.  This is a truly industry-led programme”.

Mulvihill added: “For anyone wishing to avail of the internship, we would encourage them to send us their CVs as soon as possible. There are three scholarships available on the Diploma course starting in two weeks but also a number of other
high-quality internships”.

This scholarship will be granted by BuyersClub.ie directly, and, along with the internships on offer, will be subject to interview procedures. This course has been designed by the Irish Internet Association and its leading industry expert lecturers and practitioners.

Course enrolment is now open and all details are available on www.iia.ie/eComDip

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Joan Mulvihill, Irish Internet Association: 01 5424154 / 086 389 7552 joan@iia.ie

Karen White Hume Brophy, 0867713326, karen.white@humebrophy.com

Patrick Donohoe, Hume Brophy, 0860293726, Patrick.donohoe@humebrophy.com

IIA eCommerce Working Group Members

Bob Curran……………………………………………Buy4Now
Tracy Glynn…………………………………………..Releax Payments
Graham Merriman…………………………………Carrickane Consulting
Kevin Murray…………………………………………Nightline’s ParcelMotel
Gordon Newman…………………………………….Life Style Sports
Vinny O’Brien………………………………………..Micksgarage.com
Rory O’Connor……………………………………….Scurri.com

Ecommerce Best Practice from jocks and socks sellers Manpacks

October 15, 2012 · Posted in Brand, eCommerce, events, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · Comment 

This is a guest post from Jennie Molphy who attended our eCommerce Breakfast Briefing with Andrew Draper of Manpacks.com. This post is also on Jennie own blog hal900.ie

Manpacks, if you haven’t heard of them, are an ecommerce success story founded by two guys who came up with a great concept for selling undies. The idea is a subscription-based ecommerce business model for mens underwear. They bundle underwear, socks and other manly goods, customers sign up for an order and they get them sent every 3 or 6 months thus replenishing their drawers, so to speak.  Fantastic – even if it does put some Mums out of business.

Manpacks

Andrew Draper kindly shared their story this morning at an IIA eCommerce Breakfast Briefing. The audience was a mix of suits and casuals (spot the techies) spread across the assorted sofas of Engine Yards rather cool, loft style ‘offices’ based in Barrow Street.

So what were his nuggets of ecommerce wisdom informing ecommerce best practice:
User Experience and Testing

Andrew outlined the amount of testing that they did on the design of the site, and continue to do. Initially, traffic levels were too low for effective A/B testing and they carried out what he called ‘pulse testing’. They tested a version for 5 days and carefully segmented the traffic to check conversion rates. Then they iterated. They kept Steve Krug’s usability mantra, and book title, ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ to the forefront of their minds and recognised the importance of reducing the cognitive load at the beginning of the customer journey. Make it easy for them to do what they want to do and what you want them to do. And that’s to shop.
Customer-centric approach

He pointed to the Online Chat option on the site which has been hugely important in establishing relationships with their customers. It’s often his co-founder Ken doing the chatting. In terms of email contact with customers he recommended never using ‘no-reply’ emails. In contrast to many businesses, they positively encourage questions in emails.
Marketing

Social Media:     Twitter was a very strong channel for them, especially in the beginning. But even now, they spend a lot of time talking to customers across different channels. At the time of writing the Facebook page couldn’t be found – he wasn’t aware of what happened there.
Press:    Press mentions were a big help in getting the word out.
PPC:       They tried Google AdWords but found the conversion rates weren’t strong and now run brand campaigns only. They’ve experienced better conversion rates with Facebook ads. They run ads for 3 days, with perhaps 10 to 20 different ad formats and then analyse results. This just goes to emphasise the importance of testing as many businesses experience fairly low conversion rates on this platform.
SEO:  I asked Andrew about their approach to SEO, he said their approach to site design was user experience first and then optimisation. Initially, the organic traffic was only about 2%. Now they have dedicated product landing pages for all products. From a user perspective this isn’t obvious and doesn’t impact on the user journey.
Sponsorship:      They undertake activities like sponsoring video games, which is a powerful way to connect with their target audience.

All in all, great insights and a lovely guy and thanks to the IIA for organising. The key takeaway I think to successful selling online is know your customer, be fun and talk to them.

I especially like the mission statement of the Director of Marketing & Social Media:

Awesome all the things!

Unfortunately they don’t ship to Europe so you won’t be able to get a Manpack here. Not yet anyhow.

If you’re running an ecommerce site and are looking for a payments solution I’d best mention IIA member WorldNet TPS for a great service.

Digitise the Nation – A nationwide digitial inclusion training roadshow

August 28, 2012 · Posted in accessibility, Digitise the Nation, events, Uncategorized · Posted by Blog Administrator · 1 Comment 

You may have read about it or even seen the bright orange, mobile training unit in your area but for those of you who haven’t, Digitise the Nation – A nationwide digital inclusion campaign is back and on the road!

The IIA have launched “Digitise the Nation” for 2012.  The bright orange, mobile training unit has been taking to the road ensuring that all members of society have training and access to all the benefits that being online brings.  This stand-out orange training unit will be visiting towns throughout Ireland over the coming twelve months and the IIA welcome everyone to get on board to get online.

A unique aspect of the Digitise the Nation Campaign is the number of sponsors involved and the breadth of industry collaboration.  Microsoft, Independent.ie, Bonkers.ie and RaboDirect are coming together in a very hands-on way to support delivery of this training.  No other digital inclusion initiative has enrolled such a range of supporters and the IIA is delighted to be the fulcrum for such a gathering.

The mobile nature of this Digitise the Nation training means that anyone from anywhere is invited to contact us via our www.digitisethenation.ie website to find training dates and locations as well as request training for their own locality.

Digitise the Nation has been designed to deliver the following;

  • How to get started on email and internet calls to stay in touch with family and friends
  • How to use the internet to find value and save money
  • Using the internet to find jobs, news, information
  • Building confidence and feeling included

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