My new semester at NCI is now in it's third week and as always a great mix of business owners, new graduates, corporate managers and people from all disciplines (marketing, sales, finance and IT). Although individual requirements are different, the basic principles of running successful social media & publishing relevant content, are the same across all industries. This week I am running through Coca Cola 2020 - if you haven't yet seen their YouTube channel and 'CocaCola Content 2020' animations I'd urge you to take a look! Pretty impressive stuff, and demonstrating how much time, resources and strategic budgets Coke are putting into this world.
Was delighted to cover Content Marketing concepts and tips for Business & Finance's latest edition. I looked at what some of the bigger companies like Coca Cola were doing and distilled the lessons and tips so that smaller companies, such as the majority of Irish companies, could apply them in their social media strategies. A few good pointers in there for creating and developing an easy-to-post content plan for your social profiles.
Pick up your copy today :)
Tasty Foodie Bytes
Feature on Irish artisan food producers successfully using social media. This time I interviews leading chef, surfing granola-maker and rural pork butcher.
First a preview of my top ten golden rules for successfully using social media to promote your business...
Food for thought: Tips for using social media effectively
- It's all about the content and the context in which it's used. Make it relevant and interesting; it should educate, provoke or entertain.
- Stay true to who you are and what you’re about. Focus on your passion or your brand and share that passion, knowledge and experience.
- Adopt a tone and keep it consistent -one voice / personality that is adapted across each of the social media channels.
- Post timely and regularly, morning, mid-afternoon and late evening work well.
- Keep posts short and concise.
- Use a mix of imagery, video and interactive elements.
- Make the medium work for you! Use Facebook tools: polling function, RSVP function, photo- sharing and the ‘Like’ button. Likewise with Twitter, avail of shortlinks (eg bitly) and image software (eg Instagram) to tweet out your content.
- On Twitter, follow key influencers in the industry and engage with peer groups. Build your profile in the circles that matter to you and your brand.
- Reply, respond and engage. These are two-way communication channels. If someone phoned you, you wouldn't hang up so apply this same logic here!
- Harness the community; ask them questions, gather their feedback, see what they like / want. Social media is a powerful research and profiling tool to learn more about your customers.
Joy to the World
There's something about Clodagh
She would love to see more interconnection between the various tourism activities, citing the Mayo Gourmet Greenaway initiative as a great example of this. She sees opportunities for ‘greater connection between walkers, markets, boat operators, kayakers, bird watchers, food producers - the whole community.’
Mona’s Wise Words
A food writer and Sunday Times columist, Mona lives in Galway with her husband, chef Ron Wise, their children Jack and Rorí, and foster daughters Sam and Lulu. We last spoke to her for our Where I Write section where she told us about ‘the priest’s room’ and her ‘fingerless gloves’!
- Stop talking about writing. Just write. Even if it is the worst piece of drivel ever written. It is words on a page and it keeps the fingers moving which is a great brain exercise in itself.
- Stop writing book proposals and sitting around waiting for them to be accepted or rejected. Just write the book.
- Introduce yourself to a new friend or colleague at work by telling them you are a writer. It is not easy to start saying those words. I did not feel comfortable saying it ‘out loud’ till I overheard my husband telling someone his wife was a writer. It is a great feeling. Be proud that you are a writer.
- Blog. Blog. Blog.
- Edit Edit Edit. And if you can’t edit then find someone that can and pay them to edit your work. A good editor is invaluable. (Emma Sherry at www.CapitalLetters.ie is – in my humble opinion – one of the best in the business.)
Into the Arms of Listowel
It sounds very gauche to say that this was my first solo holiday, especially in a time where everyone seems to be heading off to India or Bali to discover themselves. But there you have it: ‘twas just I, my trusty fiesta, a 2-litre of water and a hastily scribbled set of directions. It would be great to paint a Hollywood-style picture by saying the rooftop was down, the stereo blaring and a Grace Kelly style scarf was wrapped o’er my golden tresses. But alas the reality was different. An immoveable roof, exasperatingly awkward roll-up windows and dodgy radio signal meant that good auld Radio nEireann provided the soundtrack to my journey. More easy listening tunes than rebellious road-warrior rock anthems.
“Well you’d be headed the right way all right”.
His mirth would have been imperceptible to the average tourist but, native-to-native, I knew he’d be telling this one over a few pints later.
All bravado diminished (because let’s face it where do you go from here?) I meekly retorted: “That’s great.”
The gang’s laughter mingled with his as he disappeared into the crowd. Not the impression I’d hoped to make. Nor did I have a hope of redressing this impression. My embarrassment ensured that I spent the week avoiding Mr. Tóibín, the festival’s president.
These guys may not be Spanish but not to worry as their authentic recipe has got it just right. It’s all that paella should be: beautiful saffron rice, undercurrents of tomato and onion, top notes of spice and glorious chunks of tender, flavoursome chicken and piquant chorizo. And to make matters even tastier, they ladle some garlic aioli on top. Para chuparse los dedos!
Small golden balls (that have nothing to do with Beckham) are lightly coated in Middle Eastern herbs like turmeric and cumin. These are deep fried and combined with either hummus or baba ganoush (which is to aubergines what chickpeas are to hummus), some shredded lettuce, fresh tomato and a chilli if you like it like that****. Or you can opt for some of their chilli sauce. The result? A tasty, crunchy chickpea fest with just the right amount of seasoning and dressing. And they throw in a free drink for only a fiver. Click here to view their website.
Go for the Hog Roast. Continually basted and roasted on a hot spit, the pork is tender and flavoursome, making it a perfect ingredient for your lunchtime sandwich. Just add a dollop of ketchup or mustard and you’re sorted.
Remember Roddy Doyle’s ‘the Van’, where burgers and fish were battered into an inch of their lives and dispensed to half-jarred World Cup fans? Well this elegant van offers the complete opposite experience! Gavin and Sara, organic farmers, serve up the most delicious hot roasted chicken from their rotisserie. Comes in a takeout box with salad and coleslaw or nestled into fresh French baguettes with Dijon mustard (and coleslaw, if you fancy it).
Buns are the stuff of our childhood parties; cream and jam-filled butterfly ones being the pinnacle of culinary couture in 1980s Ireland. But these guys have taken it to a whole new level. None of your watery white icing and token glacé cherry here! Would recommend white chocolate & raspberry, carrot cake or vanilla. And as you can get mini ones, it’s totally acceptable to eat all three in one sitting. They’ve also recently introduced a new addition called the ‘whoopee’. (Stay with me here, this is no relation to the previously mentioned Munchies’ chicken whoopee). No, this is a most delicate yet intensely flavoursome treat. It looks like a Macaroon (ala ‘Lauderie’) but is much more unctuous and satisfying. There are fruit or chocolate versions. Go for the strawberry or mixed berry. A whoop-for-joy moment (sorry, had to do it).