Sports tweeters spill the beans…

July 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

I won’t bore you with the details of my beloved Wexford’s exit from the All Ireland Football Championship last weekend to the hands of Limerick, but needless to say it was controversial!

A debatable point and some poor referring decisions led to uproar in GAA circles, and, interestingly, led to the Wexford footballers taking their frustrations out via the medium of Twitter. Some incredibly harsh words were spoken, warranted or unwarranted depending on your viewpoint, and many of the tweets from amateur stars like Ben Brosnan and Adrian Flynn were used in the national media over the past few days too.

Sports stars are no strangers to Twitter. In America, it’s strange if an NFL player is not using the

Chad Ochocinco Twitter

Chad "83"

site, and footballers like Chad Ochocinco (Chad 83 to his mother presumably?), and Michael Vick have created a brand for themselves from using social media.

Oh this side of the Atlantic, everyone from footballers (in all leagues!), to tennis players, to rugby stars, have been getting in on the act, and the trend shows no signs of abating.

That naturally intelligent group, the Premiership footballer, has been known to get in trouble with their mouth on the pitch, but this is now being taken to a whole new level. In the last year alone, then Spurs striker Darren Bent was wrapped on the knuckles for discussing a transfer, while Carlton Cole made slightly racist comments during an England v. Ghana game, and former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel was fined for posting a picture of a high profile referee in a Man. Utd jersey last year. There have been numerous other cases of footballers making idiots of themselves on the site, and prolific Tweeters like Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand (must love social media at that club!) have all shown their true colours on quite a few occasions!

Irish sports stars have been less controversial, with our rugby boys a shining example of Twitter banter, but not going OTT. The Ulster boys and Rory McIlroy are constantly in cahoots and slagging someone, while the likes of Jamie Heaslip, Brian O Driscoll, Rob Kearney and Cian Healy (Church to his twollowers) are all prolific tweeters, but all crucially exercise cop on when discussing other teams, players and tactics.

So is it a good thing that these sports stars seem to be taking to the airwaves with their views? Is it nice that fans can contact players directly, or do things go a bit OTT, particularly when footballers are involved (we’re looking at you Paul Gallagher!).

Former Irish manager Mick McCarthy came out last week and slammed the service, bemoaning the fact that some of his players have chosen to tweet, and revealing that he is fearful of “disgruntled numpties” who use Twitter and has warned his players he will fine them for revealing club secrets or being critical on the micro-blogging site.

McCarthy was angered at a transfer which went awry partly because of Twitter usage

Whatever the issue with professional sports stars using the service, (which can, in some cases, be akin to a public sector worker giving away govt. secrets), the GAA, who have been damming of the service themselves privately, surely can’t have an issue with amateur sports stars using the site in their own capacity? One things for sure, unless all sports ban their stars from the Twittersphere, we’re guaranteed entertainment from them for the next while anyway!

What are your thoughts on sportspeople using Twitter, and indeed, on any employee using the service in a work capacity? Would it be an idea for the GAA to conduct a study on the use by it’s players, or perhaps offer some advice on media relationships and careful Twitter usage?


Still Running Illegal Facebook Competitions?

June 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

The darkside of Digital Marketing is always relatively close to the surface. “Black Hat” SEO techniques, email marketing which contravenes Data Protection regulations, running adwords on a competitors brand name (although this can be seen perhaps as just healthy competition!), and fake blogging or forum accounts are all regular practices, and we’ve all seen *ahem* examples of many of these.

Facebook Competitions and Promotions are one such area which is full of dark matter, (although in the main not malicious activity) and a huge amount of Irish pages are not adhering to the strict Competition rules, (either intentionally, or unintentionally), and may be in for a shock because of it.

Facebook states that they will not allow you to

Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as making a post on a profile or Page, status comment or photo upload

Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by becoming a fan of your Page

Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.

Essentially, you must run a comp. via an application (Involver or Wildfireare good non fully custom options) on the Facebook platform, usually hosted in a tab on your page, and of course, this has to be via a business page (don’t get me started on businesses who still have profile pages!). You can’t require users to do something native to Facebook (post a status update for eg) as a condition of entry, but you can

Request for Permissiom

use a third-party application to do this. You also can’t require users to become a fan of your Page, or notify promotion winners via Facebook with messages or profile posts, but you can get their email via an app. This app may also allow you to post to the users wall, to promote the viral spread of the competition.

This normally comes as quite a shock to those who realise it for the first time, and even more of a shock is that Facebook may “ remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your Page, application or account if (they) determine in our sole discretion that you violate any of our policies.”. Not a nice thing to hear if you’ve built up a good community of users for your brand, and there have already been instances of pages being shut down over such promotions in Ireland.

The fact that Facebook is relatively faceless when it comes to customer service, and seemingly, does not actively seek out pages which go against these rules seems to be tempting a lot of brands who should know better, to go against what is accepted industry best practice and run these promotions, irregardless of the consequences.

I tweeted during the week that I had noticed a large Irish fast food provider running a competition this week for GAA tickets, which invited users to tag themselves in a photo on the brands wall, while another Dublin based radio station (radio stations seem to be particularly bad for this one!), recently ran a promotion offering the chance to win tickets to Oxegen, (Ireland’s biggest Summer music festival), for any user who changed their profile photo to the station’s logo, and liked their page.

Whether by ignorance or disregard, these two cases are examples of larger businesses, who perhaps have internal marketing functions, and should really not be leading with such lazy campaigns.

Personally, I would have some sympathy with the SME,who wants to interact via Facebook intelligently, and is aware of the rules, but simply doesn’t have the in-house capabilities or money to employ an external agency to prepare a branded competition app for them. In fact I’ve been in that situation myself!
However, it’s unclear whether Facebook, should they ever actively attempt to stop this, would feel the same way.

The safest thing to do if you can’t afford to or can’t figure out a competition app? Do it on Twitter! They’ll let you away with anything over there!

Have you seen, or been part of an illegal Facebook competition ring?! Do let us know below!

6 Top Tips for Savvy Online Job Hunters

June 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Job hunting eh? A vast proportion of the Irish population have become far too acquainted with it in recent times, and the struggle to find a career that you really love  is difficult enough, without having to wade through a myriad of substandard job sites, listings for “unpaid interns” to make tea and photocopy, or the listings from dubious “marketing” companies, and for “charity sales” jobs (chugging to you and me). (By the way, I’m reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It” at the moment, which, whatever your opinion on him, would be a very good read for someone looking for their next career move),

Alan Coleman

In saying that, the digital sphere is booming. I’ve seen’s Alan Coleman (pictured) twice recently, and both times, he’s been uttering the mantra “There’s no recession online”, which is very true. Sometimes we Irish don’t give ourselves credit for the Digital Hub we’ve created, and are creating on the precipice of Europe, and there are, without doubt, many jobs out there, in the online, digital, social and cloud sector. However, as we all know, you won’t find most of these jobs on or Monster. Start-ups and online companies don’t have the money to be placing ads on these sites, and also don’t have the need either. A simple Tweet, a LinkedIn update or a mention on their website that they are hiring, and any business worth it’s salt should attract interested talent.

So, that’s all well and good you may say, but what are some of the best ways to find these undoubted opportunities? To put your name out there, and let the world know that you’re a skilled Digital Native looking for work? And to hurdle one of the biggest problems which the new web (I hate that term, penny for anyone who can give me a better one!) throws up, too much freaking content? Well, here are six tips, and feel free to add more in the comments section please!

1: Twitter Hashtags
I think every Joe Soap is coming around to the realisation that Twitter is not simply a medium for sports people to tell us what they’re having for breakfast. But how can you get the most from Twitter while job hunting? You may have seen a recent hashtag #jobfairy or #jobsfairy floating around Irish Tweet circles in the past week or two. Begun by journalist Una Mullally, who if I seem to remember was inspired by the Channel 4 doc. of similar name, the tag has grown and grown, and has been used by numerous Tweetcentric companies to push the fact that they are hiring, including Simply Zesty, JoBurger, and Add both of these to your saved searches, and check them a few times a day for some nuggets. Other searches which may be of help include the obvious ones: #Dublin #Jobs #SocialMediaJobs etc.

2: Twitter Search
An oft ovelooked gem of Twitter, which I use quite a bit in  to interact with those who are asking for lunch options, is A far more advanced search than the on site Twitter search, (it allows you to narrow your search to within a certain distance of your city for example), it too is a goldmine when it comes to unadvertised positions.  Hit Advanced Search, and a brief search for the hashtag #jobs, within 25 miles of Dublin, gives over 20 mentions in the last hour.

3:Google Search
“Well duh Shane!”, is what you’re thinking, but the amount of users who don’t utilise Google to its full potential is still staggering. Don’t just type “jobs Dublin” and hit search, (although do that aswell), use the advanced tools to narrow what you’re looking for. For example, search “We’re hiring” (using the ” parameters), narrow to pages from Ireland, and Latest, and there are loads of opportunities there, from sites and companies who have just recently uttered these immortal words on their own site.

Another “well duh” moment, and anyone worth their salt will be using LinkedIn in a professional capacity, but a couple of pointers which may be overlooked.
Join Groups, and interact intelligently. A recent post by a savvy Marketing Professional in the “All About Business Ireland” group, asking for tips on jobseeking got 34 responses, numerous job offers, and ultimately a lot of goodwill and networking for the original poster.
An intelligent comment from you on a relevant topic, which is spotted by a prospective employer, could be the difference between you and another candidate come interview time.
Asking and receiving recommendations from former colleagues, classmates, clients etc.  is also invaluable social capital, plus keeping an eye on the Linkedin Jobs tab is worthwhile.
Oh, and don’t, for God sake send in an application to somewhere and then add them as a contact straight away. They will no doubt find you if they want, and this just makes them think, “Well, if I don’t employ this person, I’ll have an unwanted, and unwarranted connection with them”

5: Facebook Search
Yes, yes, I know it’s painful and I can’t understand why it’s so bad, but it can throw up some gems now and again. Searches such as “we’re hiring” “social media job” etc can throw up good opportunities. However, the main thing I wanted to illustrate with this point goes off topic a bit, and is related to “personal branding”. In a recent class with a well-respected Irish Social Media Guru (TM), (no names shall be mentioned!) he told the group that one of his pastimes was using Facebook Search to see how dumb people were online! He went on to search for terms like “dui class“, a class which convicted drunk drivers take in America, and found a bunch of posts from potential employees, detailing how they were “pissed that they had to take DUI class”, or how they had called in sick to attend one. The horror stories of Facebook users getting the sack after forgetting they are friends with their boss and posting some obscene comment are all too frequent, and are gentle reminders that a quick Google search of your name can knock you out of the running for a position in 0.007 seconds! See here if you don’t believe me!

6: Ain’t nothin’ wrong with being different!
There are plenty of tools out there that allow you to show a possible employer how really clued in you are. In many quarters it’s now expected that you have an online brand (that a creative person should have their portfolio online, and a marketer can have their own blog etc.), so looking at further ways that you can stand out from the crowd is a good use of time. So, for example, why not use Facebook Adverts, and target companies which you’d love to work for with your C.V. and what you’d add to the team?

Scan this baby!

Send in a printed C.V. with Q.R. codes pointing to previous work? Or, do as this person did, and be creative with your application?
Obviously these need to be used within reason, and in context, but there have never been so many tools, and possible advantages, out there for the savvy job seeker, so get using them!

For a bit of balance, and to give an example of how to recruit using social media, here’s a recent Mashable post on that very subject.

I’m sure there are persons more qualified than me to be talking on this subject, so if you’ve got anything to add to this piece, please do so below!

That difficult first post…

June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Shane O Leary

Obilgatory P.R. pose...

Being a relative newbie to the blogging world (although see The Lunchbox if you want some more of me!), I thought that, for my first venture into the WordPress blogosphere, I’d explain a little bit about who I am, what you can expect from SDM, how you can connect with me and what my likes and passions are!

As a wise man once told me, tongue firmly in cheek, “Personal Branding is all we have come Judgement Day” so here goes nothing eh!

Who are you and why should I listen?
Well, my name is Shane O Leary, and I’m currently Communications Manager with, Ireland’s biggest lunchtime site, and I’m a digital and social addict.

Anything community, online marketing or social web related, I’m interested in,  and have an opinion on. As for why should you listen? Well, sign up for my Feedburner, give me five posts, and if you’re not satisfied, dump me like an illegitimate kitten. From jobhunting using tricks of the new web, to how location based sites and services can work for Irish business, to my undying love for Q.R. codes, I’ll cover lots of different digital related topics in this blog, and many from a frame of how it would work in the restaurant industry.

What is the aim of SDM?
Well, as I say, I’ve an opinion on everything digital marketing related. My aim is to provide myself with a place to vent these opinions, a place to compile and converse about brilliant or abysmal campaigns or the latest developments in this amazingly fast moving sphere, and overall to generally inspire myself.

Sounds selfish doesn’t it?!

Well, don’t fret and bounce away yet. Along the way, I can guarantee that I will be providing some interesting pointers derived from my own experience, some good case studies of brands which I have worked with, and hopefully some good talking points, which will make you want to hit that share button.

What have you done before?
With, I’ve overseen the build of a large community of lunch lovers, using a strong Facebook page, intelligent online P.R., the conversation starting medium of Twitter, and budgetary constrained email marketing tools!

We’ve been nominated for two Social Media Awards this year, and have seen a dramatic increase in the returns from these tools, both in terms of “sales”, and consumer eyeballs, which I think the restaurant and food service industry is slowly cottoning on to.

You can connect with me on LinkedIn (why not join our “Online Marketing for Food Retail Ireland” group too?), follow me on my personal Twitter, or mail me directly at shaneoleary1 {at}

Your bookmarked sites?
I think you can tell a lot about a person from their bookmarked sites, so where on the web do I like to spend my time?
Brilliant marketing related resources:

Simply Zesty
Usually daily updated, insightful  blog from this Dublin based, international focused agency.
Digital Buzz Blog
Digital Trends from around the world
Group blogging site, which includes submissions from owner of the great Social Media Ireland Facbook page, Niall Devitt.
InsideFacebook  and AllFacebook
Do what they say on the tin
SEOMOZ and Hubspot

Hilarious, random, irreverent and sarcastic Irish news site
A sister of Daft and Boards, the news site which I use almost hourly for updates.
Harpin on Rugby
As a Leinster fanatic, JL Pagano’s regularly updated Irish rugby blog keeps me in the oval ball loop.
I Can Has Cook
Journliast, radio host and blogger Aoife Mc’s “I can has” is a brilliant Irish foodie blog, of which there are many. Check it out.
Ya’ll know this site by now. The very best of Irish music blogging.

So, the difficult first post is over and done with, and now for the long encore!
G’wan, sign up via Feedburner or RSS and give me a chance to provide you with some interesting content for your perusal…


June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

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