Archive for the ‘business’ Category

How to advertise on Facebook – A perspective from Ireland

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

So you want to run ads on Facebook for your business, whatever that business is. Thanks to social ads from Facebook you can target 167,000 people in Ireland that currently use the service in the same way that Google’s ad system allowed you to target ads but even better than Google you can almost be sniper-like on how you target the ads. You can target by age, gender, work status, relationship status, college education and interests, something Google can’t quite do yet. (though when the next iterations of Open Social happen, they will)

In this walkthrough, let’s present were the typical snobby TCD student who can make an almost professional career of sneering at UCD students. So you’ve decided you want to advertise to UCD folks. All you need is a credit card and to spend a minimum of five dollars on your ad campaign.

1. You need to decide what your ad is going to be. For this example the Trinners student is going to advertise jobs in McDonald’s to those in UCD.

2. So first go to

Facebook Advertising Guide

3. Click on the big green button!

Facebook Advertising Guide 1a

4. Choose what website address you want to be clicked. Here it’s the job page on

Facebook Advertising Guide 2

5. From here choose your audience. We picked 18-25 year olds that attend UCD.

Facebook Advertising Guide 3

6. It said there were circa 1380 people from UCD on Facebook:

Facebook Advertising Guide 4

7. Then write your ad and you can also include an image. The McDonald’s logo was chosen.

Facebook Advertising Guide 5

8. You can also see a preview of what the ad will look like:

Facebook Advertising Guide 6

9a. After this you can choose how much is to be spent and what times the ad will be shown. You can also pay per click or by views:

Facebook Advertising Guide 7

Update: Left out this bit:

9b. If you choose pay per views you have the option of also display the ad in the News Feed of people, something which will probably get you a lot more clicks and views since people actively scan and read their News Feed.
Facebook Advertising Guide 7 A

10. Finally, review the campaign and pay up and off you go.

Facebook Advertising Guide 8

Happy annoying people or er doing business.

Remember though that just because you can advertise and target specific people does not mean that you will get a lot of click throughs. You have to work hard on writing good copy and using good images to get the attention of a Facebook public that doesn’t seem to pay too much attention to ads. While I do think general advertising is becoming disintermediated, in the end if the web is truely democratic/equal and everyone knows SEO, everyone blogs and tells the story of the product and gets the cluetrain, it will again come down to branding and marketing professionals to help make your product the most liked product out there. Not everyone out there can work on making global microbrands so I forsee ad agencies and marketing companies training and educating people on how to do it right and of course helping those too busy to do it themselves.

Are you local? Google Local comes to Ireland. Register your business for free

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Richard’s on the ball, again.

google local ireland

Nokia and Carphone Warehouse launch free Nokia Concierge service if …

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

You buy one of the following contract phones from Carphone Warehouse: Nokia N95, N95 8GB, E90, E61i, 8600 Luna, 8800 or 6120.

Link to more details. Small print is here.


This holiday season, why not live the movie star life-style with the Exclusive New Nokia Concierge Card. Need a table at a top restaurant, VIP tickets to the must-attend concerts or perhaps you need to organise a party for the loved on in your life or you lack the free time for mundane tasks, such as taking the cat to the vet or grocery shopping? With Nokia Concierge Service, you have easy access behind the velvet rope, whether it’s a full-service travel planner, personal shopper, city entertainment guide, home maintenance guru, all-purpose coordinator or research expert. The Nokia Concierge Service will deliver on anything and everything you will ever need. The perfect gift for your loved one this Christmas!

Pay Per Post and fake reviews illegal in Ireland/EU?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Not only has Google punished all those people judasing their opinion on the web for some silver, but now the EU is saying that companies who pay people to write fake reviews of products will get fined and be liable for criminal prosecution. Well according to the Register anyway.

and the upshot is that companies (including sole traders) will no longer be able to pay individual bloggers or professional agencies to post false or misleading blogs or reviews online. Nor will they be able to do it themselves.

A little step in the right direction for the malevolent marketers and their deceptive disciples who would rather make a quick buck then have a moral backbone or an ounce of creativity. In actual fact this is law in many EU countries already, this is what the EU wants:

Certain commercial practices across Europe are banned outright under the Directive. To ensure that traders, marketing professionals and customers are clear about what is prohibited, a Black List of unfair practices has been drawn up. Which types of commercial practices does it cover? The commercial practices on the Black List are unfair in all circumstances and no case-by-case assessment against other provisions of the Directive is required. The list may only be modified at EU level, by revision of the Directive with the involvement of the European Parliament and the Council (representatives from Member States).

And the one for this blog article:

Professional trader disguised as consumer “Falsely claiming or creating the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer.”

Is paying someone to blog about your product covered under this?

Is it Law in Ireland? Under the Consumer Protection Act 2007, in section 55 it outright bans:

(x) making a representation or creating an impression that the trader—
(i) is not acting for purposes related to the trader’s trade, business or profession, when the trader is so acting,
(ii) is acting as a consumer, when the trader is not;

And the fines:

56.—A trader who contravenes section 55(1) or (3) commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment or on summary conviction, as the case may be, to the fines and penalties provided in Chapter 4 of Part 5.

But would the below section mean that once someone delcares Pay Per Post, they’re ok?

(q) using editorial content in the media to promote a product (if a trader has paid for that promotion) if it is not made clear that the promotion is a paid promotion, whether in the content itself or in any oral, written, visual or descriptive representation in the promotion;

I’m not sure myself but I’m not a legal scholar so I’ll leave it up to one to clarify it when they read this. However part x is quite clear and useful. You can now make a complaint to the national consumer agency if a marketing or PR company leaves fake comments as “consumers” and have them done for breaking the law. Not that the NCA will give a damn or make an effort to do anything about this. I should think can make massive use of this given how so many marketing companies and all sorts of companies come on to the site, register as new users and talk up new products pretending not to be linked to them. I remember a certain Satellite Internet company used to do that on the IrelandOffline forum on boards, come on talking up their product and denying they were from the company.

Update: Daithí was 9 months ahead of me!

Congrats business journalists and mucho congrats Adrian Weckler – UCD Smurfit School Business Journalist Awards

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Adrian won the Business Technology journalist award from the UCD Smurfit School, congrats man! Also, well done to John Kennedy from Silicon Republic for being shortlisted.

In the yoof grouping, Mark Paul from the Sunday Times won the Young Journalist of the Year with Ian Kehoe from the Business Post and Laura Noonan from the Indo getting shortlisted.

Also well done to Ally Donnelly from the Evening Echo for winning Regional Business Journalist.

Other winners:

Business News
Winner: Kathleen Barrington, Sunday Business Post
Shortlisted: Nick Webb, Sunday Independent and Aine Coffey, Sunday Times

Business Comment
Winner: Brian Carey, Sunday Times
Shortlisted: Ciaran Hancock, Irish Times and Arthur Beesley, Irish Times

Business Feature
Winner: Arthur Beesely, Irish Times
Shortlisted: Aine Coffey, Sunday Times and Mark Paul, Sunday Times

Business Broadcast
Winner: John Murray, RTE Radio One, The Business
Shortlisted: Emma Mc Namara, RTE and Diarmaid Fleming, BBC Dublin

Specialist Business Reporting (marketing, personal finance and recruitment)
Winner: Niall Brady, Sunday Times
Shortlisted: Bill Tyson, Sunday Tribune and Laura Slattery, Irish Times

Business Blogging Training Course in Wicklow

Monday, November 5th, 2007

I’m giving a training course on Friday in association with Wicklow County Enterprise Board. The training course is for businesses who want to start a blog or have one and want to improve their blogging skills. There are still a few places left for the course. Full details here.

This is a rough overview of what I’ll be doing but will probably change on the day to suit the needs of those attending:

Module 1
Aim: Introduction to Blogging
1. What is blogging? Why is it good for business?
2. Search Engines and blogs: Why blogs are a natural fit.
3. What are blogs to model yours on? What are the good Irish blogs?
4. Community Building: Blogs have human qualities.
5. Is it worth the time and effort? Why spend more time on another tool?

Module 2
Aim: Setting up a Blog and going live by the end of the day
1. Getting started: Choosing a blogging platform
2. Blog installed, now what? What makes a good blog post?
3. Copywriting for blogs: Titles, wording, formatting, linking

The Science bit: URLs, links, trackbacks, spam, what are these things?
4. Getting noticed: Links, comments, mail shots.
5. Interacting with your new audience: How followers can build your company for free.
6. Nosy neighbours: Who’s talking about me and my blog?
7. Live, from this room: Going live.

Cubic Telecom wins at it@cork Awards

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Congrats to Pat and everyone else at Cubic. They had good competition too from Nitrosell, YouGetItBack and XCelesol. Cubic one in the Emerging Company category.

Some recent marketing bits that I liked

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

If you’re not familiar with the Hype Machine it’s this excellent site that searches all the mp3/music blogs out there and will create playlists for you on content you want, and using their player, you can play all these mp3s scattered across loads of websites. For their new design and functionality upgrade, they said they’d launch it to the public, only if there were 10,000 people logged on to this page at the same time. (Page now redirects to main page)The buzz was already building with many influential bloggers having private tested the new design and so 100s of bloggers started encouraging everyone to log on to that page, spreading the word far and wide about Hypemachine. Great idea. And cheap.

For those that don’t know Uncov, it’s this bitchy, nasty, fabulously catty website that takes shots at the Tech world. Think Techcrunch with more arrogance and a billion times more cynicism. Hard to get advertisers on a site that takes no bullshit from anyone right? Well Opera did a very clever thing with Uncov, they ran a competition on it which encouraged the readers of the supernitpicking site to find bugs in Opera, the winner getting access to the Opera launch party. It’s a nice way of leveraging your product with what others would consider a hostile market.

BT2 are doing some kind of dealy with Phantom and maybe other stations too. They’re hosting songs from new Irish bands, you submit your stuff to them and they’ll stick them up on their website. Shame their website is utterly unusable. Cute idea with jigsaws but it’s almost impossible to find the sections to the site without having to move your bloody mouse over the whole page in order to find the hidden links to the various parts of the site. But hey, designs that irritate are good, right? It’s nice to associate your hipster brand with some of the really good emerging music talent in Ireland. You get love from your existing clientele and some love from the bands and their devoted followers too. A good way of reaching the people you want to market to.

Any clever bits of marketing you saw recently? And Not the cadbury’s Gorilla.

Remember that wine thing from ages back? First reviews now in for the Alaia 2004

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

This was the offer. Well, both reviews for the first wine, the Spanish Alaia 2004 are now in. This is the one from Deborah on the Alaia and then there’s the Alaia review from Michele.

Alaia 2004

I’ll nudge Mark to start sending out more wines for review now.

and more events – Wireless Conference November 13th

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Ireland’s third Wireless Conference – IMI Conference Centre, Dublin, 13th November 2007.

Conference Theme 2007:
‘Mobile Broadband, Mobile Content – The next wave’


Guy Johnston, CEO – European Telecommunications Management

Speakers include:

John Strand, CEO, (Strand Consult)
Jan Hoffman, Mobile Manager, (TV2 Denmark)
Eamon Hession, CEO, (Puca)
Emer Conlon, IT Project Manager – (RTE)
Fran Rooney, Chairman, (ICE Broadband)
Mark White, CEO, (Nowcasting)
Richard Rodger, CTO, (FeedHenry)
Colm Piercy, CEO, (Digiweb)
Colm Healy, CEO, (Xiam)

Conference programme available –

Registration: Contact Niamh Collins or +353 (0)1 7008506

Date: Tuesday 13th November 2007
Venue: IMI Conference Centre, Clonard, Sandyford, Dublin 16.
Cost: 300euro pp