Hi Everybody,

Welcome to Get Social 2017, the 2nd of our DICE mini-conferences. It was quite different from our first conference “Get Started” but it was still an enjoyable experience. It was all about social media and how it can be used effectively in a business. The event saw many social media experts take to the stage to share their knowledge on social media marketing. The great variety of wisdom shared by the speakers made the event very engaging and allowed me to gain something new from each speaker.

Paul Hayes – Managing Director of BeachHut PR

The conference began with our opening speaker and the MC for the day, Paul Hayes, who is the CEO and founder of BeachHut. He talked about what you need to do to get your company out there. He briefly spoke about his business anng5fd-hpd what they do. Their aim is to deliver the best branding, marketing and communications to clients with the ambition to compete in a global marketplace. They work with many different tech companies for example Intercom.

Paul portrayed many key points throughout his talk. Firstly, he said to resist the temptation to talk about yourself and instead talk about your impact on the world. But to talk early, openly and often. So word of mouth is great way to spread the word. Talk to your customers. Paul exclaimed that you should never talk about where you tech is now but where it is going. “Every day, new technology is developed while old technologies are retired or improved.” (Prometric.com, 2017).


Content is a big thing in advertisements. Paul stated that the aim of the game is having “great content, finding the right people and then resonating with them”.

“Earned media beats bought media”

He used the example of the U.S presidential election 0412trumpclintonmissouri
to convey this point. Hillary Clinton spent hundred of million on advertisements for her campaign and Donald Trump spent nothing. Content is everything! He also spoke about how failure is where people learn most. A lot of people who are successful are successful from their own experiences, challenges and failures.

It was a great presentation and a nice introduction to the afternoon!

Matthew Weil – Voiceage

The next speaker was Matthew Weil who is head of product for the company Voiceage. Voiceage are a company that remove barriers of engagement between a business and a customer. The speed of technology today makes it difficult for a business to have a one-to-one relationship with their customer, so Voiceage try to solve this.


Matthew spoke to us about three social medias Facebook, Twitter and Sina Weibo.


“Facebook has changed the world”.

The power of Facebook and Twitter is phenomenal. Sina Weibo is sort of combination of both Facebook and twitter except it’s more business related as you buy stuff on it. It’s a Chinese website used by about 30% of their internet users.

Matthew also talked about “Chatbots” which is excellent for marketing and payments and “Internet of Things” (IoT) which is a very powerful device. For example, if someone was buying a car, they are dependent on one person to tell them the truth about that car. But with an IoT device, you can ask the car questions like ‘has it ever been in an accident’ and get an sina-weibo-logo-vectoractual answer. Interacting with a car. Amazing!

To conclude, Matthew said for a business to succeed it can’t have just
one mode of communication, it must use them all:

  • Voice
  • Social Media
  • SMS
  • Bots
  • Email
  • IoT

Aisling Tobin – Jameson brand manager, Pernod Ricard

I thought that the presentation that Aisling Tobin gave was the most interesting of the day. She is the senior brand manager for Jameson and she gave us a very informative speech about how Jameson engage with consumers on social platforms. She talked about a new campaign that they are launching called Sine Metu. It is going to be a very important pillar within their digital strategy. Their reason for launching it is about the Jameson
brand growing so quickly on the back of an Irish whiskey boom at the moment.

Globally, Jameson reached 6 million case equivalent sales targets, which is massiv
e. They have 37,000 new consumers and they need to relate to them somehow and Aisling believes that Sine Metu will achieve this somehow.


She gave us a description of their target market called LADS. It is an abbreviation for laid back appreciators and down to earth socials. Jameson realise they need to connect with them on an emotional level. They must keep up with the everchanging media and so their digital objective is to “exist in social to provide our LADS with sharable, engaging and relevant storytelling.”

They need to “Listen, Learn and Reward”

One of the big problems Jameson face when marketing is that they are under a strict jj_and_s-logo-b3a00e5807-seeklogo-comalcohol advertising code. They must follow copy clear remit. Aisling explained that anything they create, any advertisements or promotions needs to go through copy clear for approval before it is launched.

She talked about rules of engagement and getting the relationship right online with consumers. She broke it down into steps.

  1. Listen – Are they getting the right sound demographics talking about their brand?
  2. Quality content – the content they post must be good quality to deliver the engagement. A company could have lots of posts per day but that doesn’t mean that they have good engagement. Jameson learned that their consumers are more engaged with videos including subtitles. So when they host events, they can use Facebook live to stream these events, so people who aren’t there don’t miss out.
  3. Value exchange – They reward them for loyalty or engagement, for example by liking a post or retweeting. When they launched something new, their Facebook followers were the first to hear about it.
  4. Location – They use Data Profile Management System (DPM). So they segment out strategic target by interest. Aisling explained how location is key.
  5. Be Disruptive – Serve relevant content to the correct people. For example if they know that there is an interest in film, they’ll serve them content related to film. “Get involved, but be true to your brand”, she explained.
  6. KPI’S – Set objectives from the start and target the correct people. Keep track of progress. Further optimise spend and balance cost and brand equity.

“Be true to tone of voice – Never deviate”

I must say I really enjoyed Aisling’s talk and it left me with a lot to think about!

Hugh Curran, Digital Transformation Consultant

Next up was Hugh Curran, who is a digital strategy and transformation consultant. He has worked in communications for sixteen years. He began by taking a selfie for his social media platforms. Hugh has worked on social content strategies and built apps and websites for companies like CarlsbergLifestyle Sports, Renault and Guinness. He also does a bit of blogging on Huge Rants.hugh curran.jpg

Hugh’s presentation was mostly about content. He said 84% of people expect brands to produce content in some form, for example blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. But in that same group 60% of them say that content is poor, irrelevant and it’s not fit for the purpose. Today on social media, people scroll quickly through their news feed. Companies need to create good content to get the attention of these fast scrollers.

“The key here is to identify employees who have the ability to listen and who care about the chatter online, and those who can create content that is emotionally appropriate for the community.” (Armano, 2009).


Hugh gave a brief outline of the steps you could follow to produce good content. First of all, you need to plan your content. Figure out what needs to be said and when. Create content around events and activities. Make it original, don’t steal it from google because you want the content to be relevant to your brand. Companies should use video as it is a huge driver. 6 out of 10 are watching videos. The next step is to manage your content. You can use tweetdeck or buffer to schedule content and track it by using bitly. You should manage your community. Respond to customers queries, complaints and reviews. Retweet, like and comment. Find your influencers. Encourage customers to share their experience or you share it for them. For example if your selling a car to someone, capture a picture of how satisfied the customer is. The company needs to spend money if they w
ant to reach an audience. They need to be realistic, so if they can’t afford it, don’t try and do it as it will look cheap. An important point is for the company to be secure, by changing passwords, using two-step verification and remove admin rights if a member of staff leave. A company should review their performance to see what works and what doesn’t.
The last point that Hugh mentioned was “One size does not fit all”, meaning you can’t use the same content for every social media.

I read a fascinating blog post on Hugh’s website HERE, which provides us with a deeper understanding of contenthuge-rants

Overall I really enjoyed this presentation by Hugh, It was very informative and engaging.

Paul Berney – mCordis

Next up was Paul Berney, who is the managing director of mCordis. Paul talked to us about all the parts of social media coming together, they are connected! He said that we live in an age of distraction, where our mobile phones are our external brain. Everywhere we go, like Starbucks, Supermacs or even just to a friend’s house, the first thing we look for is the Wi-Fimcordis

Connected Individual -> Connected Brands -> Connected Marketers

He spoke about amazon being one of thebest digital brands that exists. Starbucks are another excellent brand where they have developed their app so you can now place yo
ur order and it will be sent to the nearest Starbucks store to you. They develop a personal experience with the customer where they shout out their name when their order is ready. They only play new music in their shops to keep the image of a new brand. The connected marketer creates physical, digital, emotional and sensorial products and services that solve consumer problems and that’s exactly what starbucks do.Starbucks-free-to-use.jpg

The connected marketer framework focuses on four key tasks:

  • To build understanding of the target audience or individual
  • To find out ways to enable that connected individual
  • Find out ways to remove barriers of engagement
  • Focus on ways to be of service to the individual

Paul concluded his presentation “the connected marketer creates, develops, and maintains a brand that understands and meets the needs of the connected individual.”

I found an interesting radio interview with  Paul HERE, it’s worth the listen!

Eric Weaver from Xerox

Our next speaker was Eric Weaver, who is the vice president of communication and marketing solution with Xerox. Eric is not a stranger to DCU as he has been a guest lecturer for the digital marketing programme here for the last six years. The main topic Eric covered with us was ‘Disruption’. Everybody talks about it like it’s a good thing but it’s not.Xerox-Logo-HD.jpg

Firstly, Eric gave us a bit of insight into his background. At 18, he worked in a factory and his role was to either disrupt a common process or to help the company deal with disruption. In 1994, he became very knowledgeable in using the internet. He built a website for Prodder and Gamble and wanted to them to use it for communication. They thought why do they need internet when they have a perfectly good voicemail and fax. He was almost ahead of time. Then in 1999, he worked for an ad agency and tried to convince them at a dealer associate meeting to sell cars on the internet. After a lot of debating, they agreed. But now everyone has dealership over the internet. It’s an ever-changing world with digital disruption.eric weaver.jpg

He used many examples to explain his points more clearly. Firstly, HMV. Everybody used to go there to buy music but now with the advanced technology, it’s all downloaded. As a result HMV closed in 2013.

“No-one likes disruption”

Next he took Air BnB. A company who have over 2million listings of accommodation. They have revenue of over €28 billion. But now ‘One Fine Stay’ is disrupting their company, as they have simplified the process having everything in the one package. This is something that Air BnB must now deal with. Finally, he talked about Uber, a company that deliver food or packages around a city, just minutes after its been ordered. They are doing extraordinarily well. In 2015 Uber’s valuation overtook companies like Nissan who have been in business over 100 years. It only took Uber 5 years!! And that’s digital disruption.
But now Uber could be disrupted by Amazon. They are using drones to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less. He showed us a quick video about how it works:

So through all these examples, Eric clearly developed his idea that digital disruption is happening all the time.


He concluded his speech with steps that companies can take to become more auditive and innovative:

  1. Audit your organisation
  2. Foster a culture where change isn’t a dirty word and where people’s ideas don’t get shut down. Encourage Fearlessness
  3. Create a path to an agile organisation

It was a really interesting speech, and a powerful finish to the conference!


In my opinion, Get Social was very beneficial to a wide range of audiences. I feel that, not only did I learn the importance of social media in businesses today, I learned some useful and interesting tips that I will definitely take on board when searching for jobs and in the workplace itself!

Be sure to join me in April, when I will be blogging all about the final DICE mini-conference GETDIGITAL!

See you soon!


Armano, D. (2009, November 2). Six social media trends for 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/ 2009/11/six_social_media_trends.html

Prometric.com. (2017). Information Technology. [online] Available at: https://www.prometric.com/en-us/about-prometric/information-technology/Pages/default.aspx [Accessed 2 Mar. 2017].

Pictures from this blog are a mixture of my own, google images and the slides provided by each speaker.


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