Here in the Irish Internet Association we believe being online and confident about what you are doing is a key step to personal and professional growth. We developed Digitise the Nation to bridge the gap between the digital natives and, well, the digital tourists.
So pop on over to Digitise the Nation to find out what it’s all about and how you can get involved.
This is a general call to all interested in helping to contribute to the social media sector in Ireland though collaborative work. We are inviting you all with an open invite to a kick off session in the Digital Hub on 24th February at from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Please register for free online.
The group has an official set of aims outlined but in truth this sector moves incredibly rapidly and I would really love to hear people views on what they think a grouping of like-minded, motivated and skilled digital people can achieve. In essence the working group is a collective effort and we can achieve more through harnessing each other’s expertise than we can as stand-alone units. No one of us has all the answers.
My experience of these type groups is that if we follow a defined and agreed set of work that it moves quickly from a talking shop to something of real value. We will be asking for time but we will respect it and use it as efficiently as possible. Your expertise may come in the form of peer review of papers/reports we build, speaking at events or face to face meetings to run through work.
Ultimately the Irish Internet Association and the industry in general will benefit from a lot of the work done by the group but this not a selfless task and by giving up time your efforts will be acknowledged.
For my part I am committing a year in chairing the group. I don’t have all the answers and this is not driven by ego but I am passionate about the social media sector and how it changing how we communicate and do business.
At the session on the 24th I will outline some of the work done previously, the work in progress and some thoughts about areas we can make a real impact. I am stepping into big shoes following on from the excellent work by previous chairs Conor Lynch and Brendan Hughes and I would like to thank them and the other members of the group and the IIA staff for the hard work to date.
A note from Roseanne, IIA Membership Manager: While we welcome all to come along to this meeting to hear about the Social Media Working Group plans only fully paid-up members can join the Working Group. You can join online or get in touch with me by email or 01 5424154 to discuss membership with me. I will, of course, be at this meeting if you would like to talk to me then.
This is written by Campbell Scott of IGOPeople.com. All comments, queries and case study suggestions welcomed via comments below. Thanks! – RS, IIA.
Our previous case study gave an excellent overview of some of the social media tools that are available to businesses, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Youtube etc. This case study is based on observations about how O2 Ireland have embraced the use of social media, to get closer to their customers (and potential customers). This summary records some of the interactions with customers that have taken place, some of these on IGOpeople.
O2 were well aware that their brand, products and services, pricing etc. were all being talked about online by their customers. These discussions were taking place on blogs, discussion forums and social networks. Many people would have posted comments which were negative in tone, complaining about specific problems or the way they had been treated by O2 as a customer. For O2, the challenge was how to engage or join in the conversations taking place. Many of the comments in discussion forums are anonymous, or take place in a tone and context where O2’s response or involvement in the discussion may not be particularly welcome.
O2’s answer to this problem was to take the brave move of creating their own, open user discussion forum, where customers could ask questions and seek help, voice their opinion or complain. Registration was a requirement, to help O2 get in touch with members privately if required. This was a very positive move which was received well by O2 customers. As this was new territory for O2, they did demonstrate some early naivety, by correcting the content of some members posts, but their customer community was tolerant of this, as it was a new environment where everyone was learning.
Although the O2 Forum has developed from these early days and is now a popular and active community, O2 have extended the range of social media tools they use to reach customers, including Bebo, Twitter and now IGOpeople (links take you directly to the O2 profile page). We’re delighted to have O2 as part of IGOpeople, but everyone can learn from some of the specific conversations they have become involved in.
O2 have jumped straight into IGOpeople, posting regularly about items of interest to their customers – promoting shiny new phones and new product releases. This week, they offered customers the opportunity to direct any questions they may have to the Head of Customer Care – not something that is available to a consumer every day of the week!
However, the thing that is impressed me about O2, is the willingness to reach out to customers. There are a number of conversations where they acknowledge their shortcomings and state how they will fix things up, or recognise the need to make changes in the future. Their answers don’t always give you the answer you might demand, but they are there to listen and consistently discuss the issue, in a really honest and believable way – even if the answer isn’t quite what you want.
Here are some nice examples of the conversations they get involved in
This is the first in a series of Social Media Case Studies that the Irish Internet Association Social Media Working Group will be producing over the next few months. This is written by Eoin Kennedy, Slattery Communications. All comments, queries and case study suggestions welcomed via comments below. – RS, IIA.
Using Social Media to Drive the Recycling Message
Repak is a packaging compliance scheme that funds packaging recycling activities in Ireland. It collects levies from organizations that produce packaging and then uses these funds to pay subsidies to waste contractors and local authorities for collecting used packaging from recycling supporting Household Recycling Bins, Bring Banks and Recycling Centres.
This has helped Ireland achieve its EU Packaging Recycling targets. Its license also has an educational remit to drive awareness of recycling and improve actual recycling behavior.
The organisation runs a series of traditional campaigns but these were generally one way so in 2007 the organization looked to embrace the online community and social networks in particular to help further engage younger audiences in a more interactive and media rich way.
- To educate, motivate and engage people in recycling of used packaging
- To create online platforms to engage with a different demographic groups
- To develop compelling online content
- To position Repak as expert on packaging recycling issues
- A profile page was established in Sept 2007.
- Full editorial calendar covering relevant Repak content reformatted for Bebo style and covering key initiatives such as Bring Banks on the Street, Repak Christmas Campaigns and Easter Campaigns, Award Winner, Green Schools Calendar.
- Videos developed and uploaded including Building of ‘blinged’ Bring Banks and Interview with UK artist at launch of Repak Recycling Week in BT2.
- Photos from key launches.
- Answering of recycling queries.
- Series of competitions on the whiteboard.
- Per material a day updates/ updates recycling facts.
- Frequent blog posts.
- Posting and visiting of other profiles.
- Friends network expanded to 1076 and views over 19,700.
- Multiple entries to competitions. Some of the entries were pretty elaborate and allowed us to play back how they drew them.
- 200 Comments after 2 months– some of which were one liners, others were queries while others were supportive.
- 307 Quizzes taken.
- Over 500 Polls.
- Over 1000 view of videos.
- Expanded network and community of people interested in recycling.
Other social media channels
Repaks also deployed a number of other online platforms to spread the message to a wider group and target older age groups including:
Video coverage from different Repak initiatives and launches. Over 1,000 views of different videos.
Community creation through uploading photos to photo sharing sites (generic for reuse by others) and specific launches. Generic photos of recycling activities made available for the community to use. Others give a snap shot of colourful recycling launches and campaigns.
A blog was created and populated focusing on recycling issues in Ireland. Written, video, audio and photo material utilized from different initiatives. The blog aims to create a repository and debating point for recycling issues, topics and updates from Repak.
A group within Facebook has been established to interact with an older audience and create a platform for sharing on recycling issues from seeding discussion and sharing material from video to photography.
The wide range of online properties means that Repak can communicate with a broader range of online communities in a media rich format not possible previously.
- Wider online footprint.
- Positioning of Repak as expert in packaging recycling issues.
- 24/7 Availability of Repak and recycling issues.
- Engagement and community development with other recyclers.
- Regular and easy to update content from video to photography.
- Better search engine visibility.
- Driving higher recycling rates and acceptance of recycling message.
- Direct contact with harder to reach demographics.
- More positive public face of the organisation
Repak has now established a number of communications channels and communities through which it can interact and with which it can communicate. The organisation produces a wealth of content and through customising the messages for the different platforms and utilising video, audio and photography it can portray the recycling message in a variety of different and engaging ways. Further engagement with these new communities needs to be undertaken to create a truly interactive relationship, in conjunction with the ongoing development of content and other tools such as applications. Social media now forms part of the planning process for all Repak initaitives.
Repak are a client of Slattery Communications who helped develop and maintain their online presence.
I’m going to be busy this week meeting business people at the Donegal Enterprise Board Enterprising Donegal Week on Tuesday and others at the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Enterprise Week on Wednesday. So this is just a quick (late night!) post to say if there are any members who would like to come and meet business people who are looking for advice on using all aspects of the internet in all kinds of business I would welcome your expertise at the IIA stand between 4pm and 6pm on Wednesday 25th March. All details via the link above. At a previous enterprise event I was asked questions about choosing web developers/ designers, email marketing, using social media for business, as well as more bizarre and thankfully expected questions about the IIA and the internet in general!
If you are a member of the IIA and you think you have half an hour to spare please email me at members at iia dot ie.
Mo náire mé! Shame on me!
D’éirigh le iQContent blagmhír i nGaeilge a chur ar fáil romhaim do Sheachtain na Gaeilge. Is iontach é rud é dar liom nuair a thugann comhlachtaí le fios go bhfuil siad tiomanta don phobal ina bhfuil siad lonnaithe agus lena bhfuil siad ag obair. Maireann Seachtain na Gaeilge ó tús Mí Mhárta go dtí Lá ‘Le Pádraig. Tá sé an-éasca páirt a ghlacadh ann: bain úsáid as cibé Gaeilge gur féidir leat tarraingt aníos as doimhneacht d’intinne am éigin le linn na hama sin. Muna bhraitheann tú go bhfuil a dhóthain Gaeilge agat seo roinnt frásaí trádála agus teicneolaíochta úsáideacha daoibh!
iQContent managed to beat me to it with their blog post in Irish for Seachtain na Gaeilge, the week(s) leading up to St. Patrick’s Day when we are all encouraged to use as much Irish as we can. I think it’s great when companies show that they are committed to the community where they are based and with whom they are working. Seachtain na Gaeilge takes place between March 2nd and St. Patrick’s Day every year. It’s really easy to take part: just use whatever Irish your can dredge up from the dark recesses of your mind during that time. If you don’t feel like you have enough Irish hear are a few key business and technology phrases to help you along!
- Ar ath-thosnaigh tú é? Ar dhéan tú ath-bhútáil air? Did you restart it? Did you reboot it?
- An bhfaca tú ár suíomh greasáin nua? Cad a cheapann tú? Did you see our new website? What do you think?
- Tá sé…. spéisiúil. Cén teicneolaíocht atá á n-úsáid ann? It’s …. interesting. What technology are you using?
- Tá sé/ sí do mo leanúint ar Twitter. S/he is following me on Twitter.
- Is cara liom é. Bheul ar Facebook ar aon nós… He’s a friend of mine. Well on Facebook anyway…
- Ná labhair liom faoin diabhal cúlú! Don’t talk to me about the damn recession!
- Cinnte beidh lón againn, a thaisce! Let’s do lunch, darling!
- Ba chóir duit ballraíocht a ghlacadh san IIA – tá na buntáistí togh! You should join the IIA – there are great benefits.
Okay I’ve run out of steam. Ask me for specific turns of phrase in the comments below! Offer only available until March 17th 2009
www.reverbstudios.ie is the website for Reverb Studios Multimedia and Website Design, a small company based in Co. Leitrim.
I have had many people comment on my choice of dark colours for the website with the general consensus so far being that “it’s too dark” so I’d like people to look at that issue please. Bear in mind that there needs to be a good contrast between background and text colours and in that regard I believe White on black is as good as black on white! Also bear in mind that a significant number of people have said to me that my colours were “different” and it made my site “memorable”. My influence for the design was the iPhone if that’s not immediately obvious!
I’m planning a re-design soon so any comments may be influential!
Here are some other issues I’d like feedback on too please:
- Clarity of purpose.
Thanks to Leon for volunteering. Please don’t forget the guidelines when you are giving your feedback.
If you would like to volunteer your site or a client’s site please email me at members /at/ iia /dot/ ie
Imagine if you have a meeting with a client and you want to highlight the areas on their site that require development how helpful this could be. Do get their permission though!
Have a look at previous Feedback Friday entries to get an idea of how it has worked so far.
I mentioned before that I learn something new everyday in my job in the IIA. Mostly it is work related but sometimes it’s random facts like the fact that the copper dome on the Catholic church in Rathmines was originally meant for a church in St. Petersburg. This is interesting to me because I’m originally from Rathmines but also because I read it on Dublinbynumbers.com who are our newest members. Dublinbynumbers is a guide and directory for the Dublin region. It can be used to search for businesses, clubs and services or find out where to visit or what is happening in your area. The website also provides information on events in the city and a profile of local communities and neighbourhoods.
The IIA is delighted to announce the arrival of Eumom.com into the family. On a personal note, I’m delighted to welcome the company whose site kept me sane through my first pregnancy! Apart from great discussion forums for mothers, they also have up-to-date information, due date calendars, and week-by-week development bulletins for your pregnancy. Part of a pan-European project, Eumom.com was orignally recommended to me by my GP.