February 14th – Valentine’s Day (DICE style)

The second conference, “Get Social“, went so smoothly that it felt like watching a good movie at the cinema. The topic was social media marketing, which I find very useful and interesting.

Paul Hayes was the first guest to speak. He is the founder and CEO of Beachhut PR.

  • Beachhut has relationships with specialist tech media around the world
  • Beachhut represents tech companies who build world class products
  • Beachhut is staffed by tech veterans deeply embedded in the ecosystem

He seemed very open minded and straight to the point. He made sure to cover a quite large range of things in just a few slides based mostly on images and I think that is the best way to make students more immersed in the topic.

He made me reflect on a thing:

"Resist the temptation to talk about yourself"

In business, and sometimes in our daily lives, people only care about your achievements, not your personal life. I admit that sometimes I, unconsciously, tend to say things about myself that don’t have anything to do with the topic discussed. In most of the cases people make it quite obvious that they are uninterested.

Moreover, I think the question we are often asked when applying for a job “Why don’t you tell me more about yourself?” is a trap. People don’t want to hear what’s your favourite sport or colour, they want to hear things like your skills and how you can contribute to their company.

I checked Paul’s Twitter page and he shares interesting things with his followers. He keeps it professional while being himself. Tweets like “Today I went to Starbucks and drank a delicious Mocha” are neither professional nor interesting. Unless you’re Justin Bieber or any other famous singer. I think most of them were ‘trained’ on how to get close to their fans via social media, which is a marketing strategy.

Matthew Weil, the Head of Product at Voicesage,  a cloud-based platform that “makes customer engagement smarter giving you proactive, intelligent conversations with your customers”.

He talked about the ‘conversional economy’.


Basically, Voicesage helps organizations interact with their customers through automated text and interactive voice messaging.

Since we live in the Digital Age, online marketing is relevant in today’s crowded marketplace.

Matthew talked about three of the most popular social media at the moment: FacebookTwitter and Sina Weibo.

Let’s have a look at the statistics estimated at the end of 2016:

People are familiar with Facebook and Twitter, but not so many know about Weibo, one of the most popular sites in China.

With Facebook and Twitter being blocked in China, Sina Weibo was introduced as a new social media platform that would keep the stream of incoming posts under control by tracking and blocking ‘sensitive’ content. So, we could say that the Chinese government suggests what people should like.

Another thing that he mentioned: Internet of things (IoT) – “a phrase that 87% of people haven’t heard of”, and I was among them until the conference.

With IoT the new rule for the future is going to be: “Anything that can be connected, will be connected.” (Jacob Morgan, 2014)

Anne Marie Boyhan, Head of Social at Bank of Ireland

She was the first one to talk about the innovative feature of Facebook: Facebook live, which was first introduced in August of last year for public figures only, but now anyone can use it.

I know about Snapchat, but I don’t use it and I know it’s popular in Ireland (and other countries, as well), but I was still surprised at how many people actually use it in Ireland.


Bank of Ireland seems to do a very great job in social media marketing, as they are very active on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

Social media plays an important role in today’s marketing environment, as it connects companies with its customers in a more ‘intimate’ way. Customers can reach the companies’ representatives in an easy and simple way, either by email or a message on their social media.

She has also mentioned the 3 ‘C’s strategy: Create, Curate, Collaborate.


Create – create an entertaining content that gets people’s attention

Collaborate – find ‘popular’ people (digital influencers) to help you broaden your relevance and connect with a uniquely engaged fan base

Curate – use the storymaking mechanism, not storytelling, in which consumers get to take part, let them interact with your brand

I would like to give Coca-Cola as an example.

Ever since I was little there hasn’t been a single Christmas without Coca-Cola‘s advertising on TV and the Coca-Cola Caravan driving on the streets. That became part of my Christmas days. And last Christmas people weren’t happy that our beloved Coca-Cola advertising was nowhere to be seen. But they asked for it. And guess what? They shared the classic video on their Facebook page.
They were always good at interacting with people and they know what they want. 
Coca-Cola currently has 103,454,351 likes on Facebook, 1,325,859 subscribers on YouTube, 3.33M followers on Twitter and 1.8M followers on Instagram.


Aisling Tobin, Senior Brand Manager at Pernod Ricard

Their culture: Sine Metu

"Content is King, engagement is Queen."

Twitter description: Official page of Pernod Ricard, No.2 worldwide in Wines & Spirits. You must be of legal drinking age to follow.

Even when you go to their website they ask for your age. 👍

The main topic of her speech was customer engagement. They’re really serious about that, as they have a long list of social media platforms where people can share what they want. They are getting ‘the relationship right online’.

People can actually relate to them on an emotional level. Their main focus are the customers, which I find correct. Customers keep the companies alive. They can’t exist without customers, just like an artist can’t exist without fans.

Aisling talked about a lot of things and she seemed truly aware of the power of social media, that seems to change the rules of customer engagement. People give reviews and if you don’t want a bad review, you must be careful, especially when you have to deal with a complain. Now customers not only do they talk amongst themselves about a certain company, they also write Facebook reviews, mention the company on Twitter, make YouTube review videos, and lots of other people can see it.

But social media marketing has more positive parts than negative, so marketers should take full advantage of it.

Hugh Curran, Digital Transformation Consultant

“It’s not about how a big a company is, it’s about its quality and content.”

He showed us a picture of a sandwich (a really bad looking sandwich) from a well-known brand in Ireland and a delicious-looking sandwich from a not-so-popular brand. This may seem that it doesn’t have anything to do with social media marketing, but it does, even more than we imagine. Why? Because he just gave a bad review to that brand, even if he didn’t mention the name, but that picture might be on social media right now, destroying their reputation. Social media is a powerful tool nowadays and if you’re not careful it will beat you.

crap product->crap company
pic: DCUBS

He had also focused on the importance of customers.

“Be where your audience is!”
“Manage your community!”

An important thing is to be aware of what your customers think about your brand/company and the best way to find out is being where they are, and that’s on social media.

For Twitter, for example, just like Hugh said, you must look for people’s complains about your company and try to solve them as friendly as possible. Also, to create a better image, retweeting positive thoughts about your company can be truly useful and this way customers will feel like you interact with them, so your relationship with them becomes more ‘intimate’, like mentioning above. Replying to some of them would be even better.

He was the second guest to mention the influencers.

“Find your influencers.”

Partnering with influencers in your industry helps get your message in front of the right audience and accelerates conversions. (Andrea Lehr, Brand Relationship Strategist)

Influencers are individuals who can influence others’ decision-making, largely thanks to their social media following. They can be either artists, YouTubers, bloggers or any person with many followers on social media. They can help you reach the right audience and attract potential customers.

Therefore, you must spend some money on promotion. Not only on influencers, but also on advertising on your social media. I think everyone sees at least one ad per day on Facebook. Like this one:


Do you want more people to know about what you offer? Invest in that.

Paul Berney, Co-Founder of mCordis

Put mobile at the heart of your marketing.

“Distraction is the new normal.”

We live in the digital era, so it is very common to see people distracted by their phones almost everywhere.

Smartphone is the symbol of the age of digital dependers and connected individuals. But, connected individuals lead to connected marketers.

“While simultaneously focusing on brand and corporate objectives, a leading Connected Marketer demonstrates excellence at these four key tasks: understanding, enabling, simplifying and serving the connected individual, at scale, and on the individual’s terms.” (The Connected Marketer Institute)

A perfect example of a connected marketer is Starbucks.

“The Starbucks® app is a convenient way to pay in store or skip the line and order ahead. Rewards are built right in, so you’ll collect Stars and start earning free drinks and food with every purchase.


It links digital with physical and sensorial, resulting in an emotional attachment to the brand, which is a huge accomplishment for a company. When a consumer is emotionally attached to the brand, that makes him loyal to that brand and it is not that easy to break the bond between them.

There are lots of things that make you feel like living in the future, when it’s actually the present, and technology will develop even more in the future years. Digitality cannot be avoided, companies must adapt to every innovation in order to survive in the marketplace. And above all, constant communication with their customers is essential. And what’s the best way to do that? Social media.

References, (2017). Company info. [online] Facebook News Room. Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2017].

Twitter, (2017). Company. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2017].

Smith, C. (2017). By the Numbers: 59 Amazing Weibo Statistics (December 2016). [online] DMR. Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2017].

Koetse, M. (2015). An Introduction to Sina Weibo: Background and Status Quo. [online] WHAT’S ON WEIBO. Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2017].

Larson, K. (2015). Building a YouTube Content Strategy: Lessons From Google BrandLab. [online] Think with Google. Available at: [Accessed 23 February 2017]

Simpson, J. (2015). What are influencers and how do you find them?. [online] Econsultancy. Available at: [Accessed 23 February 2017]


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