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Social Networking Websites and Wexford

I decided to pop down to Wexford town to attend a presentation put on by the Irish Internet Association and Wexford County Enterprise Board. These type of event are run all the time in every county around Ireland and it a great opportunity for business owners and managers to take a day off !!

No. No. Many people think this, but in fact to see the response and the questions from the floor, these type of events are seriously needed. I was surprised by the questions, things that I was taking for granted about search engines, the internet and blogging were not understood by the people there.

There were 4 great speakers to give a talk about how to use social media as a marketing tool for your business or brand. They were:

  • Mr. Philip Macartney (Head of Sales Ireland) Bebo
  • Mr Donald Douglas (Managing Director) Return2Sender
  • Mr. Brian Greene (Director) doop
  • Ms. Joy Redmond (Director) Flexitimers.com

Philip from Bebo was not selling Bebo but rather selling the idea of branding and pushing your brand through a busy social networking site to reach a large audience. Interesting to see him again give us a few examples of how large companies use bebo to reach their target audience. Even more interesting to see that none of them are Irish examples, It was as if this is too high brow or beyond Irish marketeers. I’ve seen a few presentations by Bebo in Ireland and still nothing with an Irish flavour to it.

Donald educated us on how the use of mobile advertising is growing in Ireland, but that it must have a purpose. Assigning it a real task is important. Just putting up your website in a mobile format is great but it really has a getting chance of getting found and used if you use it for a competition to engage your customer base. Guinness are one of their clients and again not sure if your average business in Ireland would get involved but definately worth noting. “Rewards are for the early adopters

Brian is a Digital Media Consultant with Doop.ie , a business involved with the postcast media and audio industry. He loves his job, it’s great to see someone really understand their topic and passing on the knowledge is a well presented manor. He showed us the growth in podcasting in Ireland and how it has gained in popularity of the past few years. RTE for example are the largest podcasting company with 1/2 a million listeners per month. He mentioned to take note about copyright issues with music and to use bought music from sites such as podshow.com

His point were , Engage your Clients, Expand your customer Channels, Enable internal dialogue, Enhance comapny profile, Enforce your message.

Having a podcast is great but how do you get it noticed, “Every good podcast deserves a blog” thiswill drive search engines towards your podcasts. He concluded by telling us to lookout for “Social Radio” as this is on the horizon.

Joy is a Director of Flexitimers.com, a newly launched business (and our office neighbour by chance) Joy gave us a bit of her background in the Web design industry and that she was at the forefront of website design in Ireland back in the 90’s.  She has great experience in software development and also was a lecturer for 4 years teaching website design etc. During those years she also was thinking about working on a part time basis, with a 1 year old at home, she wanted to be there but still keep her position in the work place. Years later she and her ex boss decided to set up Flexitimers.com to help other professionals looks for part time work. Also of course to allow employers who are looking for people for part time work.

A new step away from recruitment agencies who charge anywhere from 8% to 10% of the salary of a client. Agencies are supposed to trim down the long lists of people looking for jobs and send you the top 3, but often they are commission based and only want to get the top position with the top salleries as then they can get a higher commission. Grr!

Flexitimers.com are looking to get into this recruitment industry in a new and different way.

They are asking employers for a “fixed fee” to list their positions on the site. The site then matches the two like a dating style site.

Great Idea and and having a background in the software and Web industries really puts Flexitimers.com at a huge advantage as many businesses are set up on an idea, but the people running the site often don’t really have a grip of the technology. This marriage of both will be a winner in my opinion.

Joy was easy to listen to and got her point across very well, people scribbling notes left right and center. That’s always a good sign.

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