Meet Ireland’s Top Social Butterflies #GetSocial2017



dog-etsy-valentines-dayLet me paint you a picture. It’s Valentine’s Day, and the world is full of romance. The streets of Dublin’s fair city are filled with happy young couples and hands are filled with single red roses as far as the eye can see. One might assume that college attendance might suffer today, but in DCU this is clearly not the case.


Instead, the Helix in DCU is bursting with eager business students, and industry experts alike, who have all decided to give the romance a miss this year (for four hours at least). Ironically the theme of our talk today is ‘Get Social,’ and the chairperson of the event Paul Hayes of Beachhut PR even encourages us to use the popular dating app ‘Tinder,’ during his introduction speech.

However, while the theme of the day in the outside world was romance, the theme in DCU during ‘Get Social’ was undeniably the theme of exposure under-exposure, over exposure and everything in between. It turns out that social media stretches far beyond my Instagram feed (How much does an instagrammer weigh? An insta-gram)



c4oifi-wqaux_3jThe conference kicked off with Matthew Weil, who serves as the head of product in Voicesage. Weir emphasized our exposure online including websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Weibo. As millennials, Weil highlighted that we are never far away from a solution to our consumer problems.

While Weir used an anecdote about his disgruntled Coeliac wife being able to vent her frustrations about a product on Twitter, I chose to conduct my own simple experiment. I simply tweeted a brand I enjoy (@Propercorn on Twitter) using my Twitter handle (@BusinessBible) asking a simple question.


I knew that my future respect for the brand in question could be measured by how quickly and satisfactorily they dealt with my query. PR disasters can shape our attitude towards a company, as is clear in this article. Thankfully Propercorn replied to my tweet with shocking speed (less than 30 minutes!), and I have a newfound respect for their PR team. Please take part in the poll which I have created below, and let me know if your opinion about a brand is affected by their social media presence

No Publicity is Bad Publicity’ : Debunking the Common Myth: 

‘If you make customers unhappy in the real world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends’ Jeff Bezos

Bad PR definitely effects a brand’s image. For example, Guinness faced backlash during its Arthur’s Day campaign in which Guinness drinkers all over the world were encouraged to raise their glass to founder Arthur Guinness at 17.59. The media backlash was strong, with Guinness facing backlash from politicians, health officials, parent groups and celebrities who called Arthur’s Day a cynical marketing campaign which encouraged and promoted the drinking culture of a country with a large alcoholism problem  

However Guinness chose to be reactive and created their  ‘4 A’s’ marketing system : the Adorer (targeting those who love Guinness), the Adopter (targeting those who are open to trying Guinness), the Accepter (those who will drink Guinness if no other alternative is available) and finally, the Rejector (those who hate Guinness full stop)

”You are what you share” – Charles W. Leadbeater

gym_o_1039794As an avid gym-goer, I am fond of scrolling through Instagram seeking ‘Fitspiration’ on the newest gym gear, the coolest protein snacks, and the most innovative exercises to try out in the gym. How I began following the majority of people on my Instagram feed, I have no idea. But as Anne-Marie Boyhan spoke about the Bank of Ireland collaboration campaign with influencers across the country, I found out that Bank of Ireland works with Sonny Hunt, one of my favorite personal trainers in the industry. He is an ambassador for Bank of Ireland and speaks on behalf of young business students who wish to set up their own business upon graduation. Opinion Leaders  are becoming more and more influential across social media and, in my opinion, Bank of Ireland’s use of social media ‘influencers’ is an innovative way to access the younger market.


‘An Opinion Leader is a well-known individual or organisation who has the ability to influence public opinion on the subject matter for which they are known’

As a clever marketing technique, Bank of Ireland knew to target their chosen demographic through social media influencers rather than through more traditional channels.


I love the picture above because it highlights how traditional marketing and social media marketing can be used in conjunction with each other. Here, Bank of Ireland social influencer Sonny Hunt stands next to his campaign poster at a bus stop (note the way that millennials can actually connect to his Snapchat account directly from the poster)

Mixing the old with the new: 

‘Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you’ – Margaret Thatcher

Before Aisling Tobin, brand manager of Pernod Ricard under the Jameson umbrella, I was already familiar with much of the social media marketing done by Jameson in the past. In my opinion, the idea of ‘Sine Metu’ (Latin for ‘without fear’) is innovative and extremely clever and weaves a piece of folklore into the Jameson brand. Watch the video below to learn a bit more about the concept:


jamesonTobin also spoke about Jameson’s ongoing use of Irish Artists. Each year, an Irish artist is selected to go on the cover of a Jameson whiskey bottle for the upcoming year. This form of marketing is mutually beneficial as it serves to both highlight up-and-coming Irish artists but also to make the public perceive Jameson as a company which cares are more than its profit line. This year new Jameson limited edition whiskey bottle has been designed by Steve McCarthy and will be realized on St. Patrick’s Day. In my opinion, Jameson has made excellent use of cause-related marketing with this campaign. You can read more about cause-related marketing in this excellent academic journal

‘Cause related marketing is a promotional strategy designed to donate a percentage of sales revenue to a charity or other public cause. Money spent on cause-related marketing is treated as an expense and is expected to make a return’ – Business Dictionary

Next up was the Digital Transformation Consultant Hugh Curran. Curran’s job is to ensure that a company gets the most positive exposure that they possibly can, generating publicity for the business.


Much of what Curran spoke about was statistics based, which I found fascinating. Did you know that 65% of Irish businesses have a social media presence?  Curran also unconsciously supported Bank of Ireland’s use of digital influencers by highlighting their importance to the exposure levels of the business.


2017-02-21-14-10-29Write a comment down below if you have ever taken a picture of your meal in a restaurant and posted it on Snapchat or Instagram? I certainly have (see my most recent #foodporn picture below). If you have done this, then you are a micro-influencer. While we may not be rich or famous (yet), we are still marketing the business in our own small way. Likewise, when we enter competitions on Facebook, we are spreading awareness of the business amongst our friend circle. Curran emphasized how important it is to invest time and money in the social media marketing of the business. Content should be planned and should cultivate the overall ethos and style of the brand.


Like Curran did with the audience in the Helix, I decided to conduct an experiment on some friends and family, performing ‘the sandwich test’ on them. ‘The sandwich test’ is very simple. I showed everyone two pictures of sandwiches which have been posted on social media by two popular cafes in Dublin City Centre, asking them which one they would prefer to eat. One looked unappetising, with limp discolored lettuce and cheap bread and the other looked beautiful with crispy toasted bread, oozing cheese and the bright colors of mixed veggies. Two businesses, both selling the same product for the same price within walking distance of each other. One took the time and effort to curate a nice image of their product, with a relevant caption in line with the aim of the business. The other posted a poor image of their product which was unappealing to the general public and ultimately hurt the business’s reputation.

‘It takes 20 year to build a good reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently’ – Warren Buffett


Most of us believe that we have only been exposed to marketing since the dawn of technology. However, this is simply not the case, with evidence of advertising being traced back to the 1340’s


While our advertisements may have become slightly more sophisticated, the principles remain ever-changing. According to Paul Berney, MD of mCordis, companies should be aware that marketing is no longer unique or individual. Most businesses market their product, regardless of size. We are connected individuals before we are even born. Check out this shocking study which highlights how early children can recognize big brand names from a very young age.


Effective marketing should be sensory – it should look beautiful, jump off the page, and the viewer should be engaged by it. It should create a micro- moment for the viewer.

‘Micro moments occur when people turn to a device to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something Think with Google


Do what will get your boss their bonus:

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaovaaaajdbhzdc5ndmylwjjyzetndeymy1imgq0ltgxogqxnwq2n2nhnwEric Weaver, VP of Communication & Marketing Solutions at Xerox, served as the final barrier between the occupants of the Helix and an evening of romance. However, we couldn’t begrudge a speaker who was so incredibly enlightening.

I realized that many excellent business ideas arise in the antithesis of the traditional comfort zone. In our everyday lives, we despise disruption. It inconveniences us, changes our routine and irritates us. However, in the world of marketing and entrepreneurship, disruption is King.

Innovation, and deviating from the status quo are what makes money. Innovation does not stop or slow down; it works on a Hyperloop. Weaver observed that Uber became has become so successful because it was totally unexpected and therefore it disrupted the mainstream transportation market. However, Uber has to continue to innovate to maintain its success with the release of Uber Eats, Uber Rush, and Uber Valuation.

‘Most successful entrepreneurs are not waiting for success, they are not waiting for progress, they are forward-leaning’ – CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick

My favorite quote of the entire conference came from Weaver in the words ‘Do what will get your boss their bonus.’ If the boss gets their bonus, so will we. Intrapeneurship is also vital within the business. Did you know that the post-it was actually invented by an employee at the company 3M?

Like #GetStarted2016 , #GetSocial2017 was a hugely beneficial experience. After #GetStarted, I was forced to challenge my preconceptions about starting a business, and whether it was a viable option for me in the future. In contrast, #GetSocial challenged the way in which I view the world around me. I am now honestly considering a digital detox! From now on, I vow to challenge myself when I flick through social media, instead of mindlessly scrolling. Paul Hayes of Beachhut PR who chaired the event stated that the average person scrolls around 9 feet per day on their smart devices. Since February 14th,  #GetSocial has made me consider think more closely about where I scroll, and it has made a huge difference in the way I view the marketing around me. So I challenge you to think before you scroll, and pay more attention to the ceaseless marketing ploys which surround you.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @BusinessBible16 and remember to watch out for my next post #GetDigital2017, coming in April 2017.


Sources Used:

  1. Council, F.A. (2016) ‘The biggest PR crises of 2016 so far (and what brands can learn from them)’, Forbes Magazine,2016
  2. O’Connell, J. (2017) How to beat fake news and faulty statistics. Available at: [Accessed: 25th February 2017].
  3. Leetaru, K. (2017) Lies, damned lies and statistics: How bad statistics are feeding fake news. Available at: [Accessed: 20th February 2017].
  4. Foundations of Marketing (John Fahy and David Jobber) pp. 300-301
  5. Wade, A. Introduction to Marketing MG101_E, Week 3, pp. 53, Available from [Accessed February 24th 2017].
  6. Chaudhry S.A, Irshad, W, Opinion Leadership and its Role in Buyer Decision Making, Academy of Contemporary Research Journal, Feb 2013, pp.16, Available from [Accessed February 24th 2017].
  7. Linne, R., October 2015. The Retailer Body Clock, [Accessed February 25th 2017].
  8. Valkenburg, P.M, Buijzen M., Journal of Applied Develpmental Physology, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 456-468, Identifying determinants of young children’s brand awareness: Television, parents and peers. Available from: [Accessed February 25th 2017].
  9. Schawbel, D., Forbes Magazine, September 2013, Why Companies Want you to become an Intrapenur, Available from: [Accessed February 24th 2017].
  10. Fry, A., The Post-It: An Intrapeneurial success. Available from: [Accessed February 25th 2017].
  11. Reference Me, Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].


YouTube Videos:

  1. SmartMonkeyTV, (2013), Ross Haddow, Guinness Africa on how it uses social media and the future of social media in Africa. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  2. Bank of Ireland, (2016), #BOIMyFirst business. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  3. Jameson Irish Whiskey, (2015), Sine Metu means.Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  4. CforceU, (2008), Supersize me – American children being interrogated. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017]
  5. CBS This Morning, (2016), Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on innovation and success. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].




  1. Frey, N. (2012) Get social. Available at: [Accessed: 28 February 2017].
  2. Stampler, L. (2103) Americans will spend $815 million on these ridiculous gifts for pets. Available at: (Accessed: 28 February 2017).
  3. net, Anchorman social media marketing, Available at: [Accessed 28 February 2017]
  4. Academy, D.R. (2011) DCU Ryan Academy on Twitter. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  5. Gym, ‘Funny Gym Memes’, Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  6. B, D. (2016), ‘There’s @SonnyHunt1 for the @BoI “my First” campaign. Check out our interactive Snapchat bus sides all over Ireland’, Twitter, 5 December. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  7. Freeman, E. (2015) Jameson limited edition bottle. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  8. Mclean, K. (2012) Buy our product (we’re on a billboard). Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  9. Blogger, T. (2017) Oldest advertisement. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  10. Weaver, E. ,Eric Weaver Linked In. Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].
  11. 3M, (2013) Available at: [Accessed: 2 March 2017].



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