We've put together a few examples that show you some Irish companies that are getting it *right* online. In most of the examples we've chosen, we've highlighted one channel as a good example, this doesn't represent all of their online marketing.
Getting it right on Facebook
Barry's Tea decided to target a youth audience and turned to social media to do so. The Barry's Tea Facebook page has over 2,000 fans and the people behind it are showing how a brand can succeed in a social network by regularly interacting with people, keeping their page fresh with exciting content AND promoting their product while they do so. The success of their facebook page has also helped the brand go global, as these recent messages on their wall show recruited fans from The Phillipines and Bulgaria.
They are also integrating multimedia content onto their Facebook page, including behind the scenes footage of their latest Tea V ad and flickr stream.
Getting it right with bloggers
The Board Gais Big Switch campaign ( to target domestic electricity customers) involved a concentrated online marketing effort, including a blogger outreach campaign. To engage with bloggers, Board Gais held a pre-launch event for bloggers only. Damien Mulley, an influential Irish blogger had an open invite on his site, which bloggers were asked to sign up to. They were told about the new initiative before the traditional media and were asked not to blog about it until they had gone public (a request that's only fair and regularly practiced with traditional PR campaigns).
This blogger only event from Board Gais shows that they understood the blogosphere, most importantly by respecting bloggers. By telling them about the launch before the traditional media, they demonstrated their understanding of not only the power that bloggers have, but their contribution online as key influencers and interpreters of the news agenda.
Getting it right on Twitter
Ice Cream Ireland are fairly new to Twitter, but are already showing how you do it right. http://twitter.com/Icecreamireland
Sean Murphy, the cofounder of Ice Cream Ireland is personally running the Twitter account and has a good mix between talking about his business and his personal life, which helps to give their brand a personality and encourages people to approach and engage with them.
They're sharing recipes, responding to people who take the time to approach them with an '@' reply and even posting free offers :
Ice Cream Ireland are an excellent example of how a small business can participate in micro-blogging, by adding value to the space and listening to what people have to say.
Getting it right in a recession
Faced with a limited budget, Flowers Made Easy turned to social media to target and engage with a large number of people online. They have been using social media since the launch of their business, experimenting successfully across a number of different channels including Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Bebo and their own blog. Their flickr channel is proving hugely successful, generating over 250,000 views.
I caught up with Eamonn to discuss how social media is allowing them to target customers online. He explained that it works like "a window into our business which they can look into at any time". When I quizzed him on the benefits to the business they were seeing from social media, he said that at times it was hard to quantify, but that they had seen bookings coming through direct from various social networks.
Clearly they're doing something right. They're currently enjoying a boom in sales, despite the recession. As people become more confident in their use of the web and are more trustworthy of sites, Flowers Made Easy are perfectly positioned online to take advantage of this.
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