Snap and Share

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The shoe empire TOMS launched a social media campaign,  encouraging people to post a photo of their bare feet on Instagram and use the hashtag #WithoutShoes. In an attempt to generate awareness and give back to society TOMS donated a new pair of their shoes to a child in need for each individual photo posted on Instagram using the hashtag. This idea not only sparked awareness about children’s health and education issues but further increased awareness and created mass attention for the brand.

The campaign ran from May 5th to 21st in 2015. With over 296,243 photos posted and shared online globally in more than 33 different countries. By incorporating Instagram and inviting anyone to participate TOMS successfully globalised their campaign and created a new buzz that everyone was talking about.

My question is whether this campaign was a genuine act of corporate social responsibility (CSR) or is it really cause related marketing to increase buzz and good publicity for the brand? It goes without saying that the problems in these underdeveloped countries run much deeper than providing children with shoes. What TOMS is trying to portray is that they as a brand are helping others in need however if you dissect what is actually happening, yes they are helping a child for a year until they grow out of the shoes but wouldn’t it be much more beneficial to that community if TOMS had donated money elsewhere, such as in their education or health systems? In my opinion there are better ways in which TOMS could have actually impacted a child’s life. In running these campaigns they have made their brand relevant again, enhanced their online sentiment and increased traffic on their social media platforms.

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In addition to this particular campaign TOMS also have a one for one movement in which they promise that for every pair of TOMS shoes bought, another will be given to a child in need. TOMS retail at roughly $60 which equates to €54, if they give one pair away does that mean that each pair is €27? So are TOMS using any of their own profits to give back to these communities at all or is it literally a way for them to overcharge and create a positive brand image?

Personally from my research I suspect that this campaign was more cause-related marketing than CSR as TOMS also benefited from the mass publicity. Despite my pessimistic opinion, TOMS are formulating awareness and bringing societies attention to poverty. Even if someone puts on their TOMS every morning and visualises an underprivileged child wearing theirs, at least that’s a stepping stone. Although I think there are more prominent routes they could have taken, I do admire what they as a brand have achieved.

A Presidential Race or a Popularity contest

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Social media has without doubt been a huge game changer for the presidential election. In this blog post I will delve into how the candidates have utilised and embraced social media as part of their campaign, in addition I will examine the dark side of social media and how it has had a negative impact for Trump and Clinton.

Previously we have seen President Obama adapting to social media during his campaign with the ‘Ask me Anything’ on Reddit, which in turn became one of their most popular threads successfully connecting with the youth vote.

According to Statista, the statistics portal “In 2016, 78% of U.S. Americans had a social media profile”.  

The potential to connect and influence the youth demographic is crucial to a campaign and candidates are painfully trying to continuously stay active to reach their marketing focus. Trump and Clinton both have created Instagram pages, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages to further increase traffic and give updates to their voters. From my perspective it is a great way for people to see both sides and what both candidates are offering, I personally wouldn’t sit and watch the televised debate but I would read and re-tweet tweets that I agree with as I would like and share a post that I find informative. Continue reading

The Digital Wizard of Our Time – Erik Qualman

Erik Qualman is one of the most influential people in the digital world. Qualman is a motivational keynote speaker and travels the world giving talks in relation to digital leadership, building your digital reputation and disruptive innovation. Among other ventures Qualman has written several books and behind J.K Rowling, was voted the second most likeable author. These books are hugely successful and has changed the way in which many view the digital realm today.

 “Qualman’s depth of insight and breath of examples have prompted us to shift our thinking” (Starbucks, 2016)

Qualman’s reputation exceeds him and is highly valued in the world of digital media. Some of his partners include Disney, Nokia, Sony, Starbucks and Cartier.

“Qualman raised the bar to a new high that few will be able to match” (Sony, 2016)

So now for the big question: Why should you follow him?

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After having taken the time to research and investigate Qualman’s teachings I found myself in awe of his work. There is a clear reason why Forbes voted him one of the top 50 influencers. Continue reading

Type Your Way into Entrepreneurship

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In recent years Ireland has had an explosive amount of new emerging bloggers. Countless people have enhanced their careers from their blogs. Using Rozanna Purcell as an example, she initially began her career as a model and was formerly crowned Miss Universe Ireland in 2010 but in 2013 she decided to take a leap and start her own blog. What started out as an outlet for her to share her love of cooking, quickly emerged into her own very successful business, Natural Born Feeder. With over 70K followers on Twitter, 167K on Instagram over 40,972 views on her YouTube channel Rozanna’s business is constantly growing, leading to book deals, television appearances and events such as Electric Picnic. This is just one example of how a successful blog can strengthen your career.

 

Things to consider

  1. Context

Initially starting a blog it is best to stick to one area that you have an interest in, whether it be fitness, fashion, beauty or health. If you are writing about something you love then it won’t seem like work and you will find it much easier to write.

  1. Audience

Figuring out who your target audience is will be crucial to the success of the blog. If you are targeting fitness or health conscious readers then you need to make sure the content is relevant to them and time your posts accordingly to when they would most likely be searching what it is you are writing about is. Try to interact with your audience as much as possible, answer their questions and pay attention to what they are saying about you.

  1. Negativity

The dark side of blogging is internet trolls. Many bloggers deal with this on a regular basis but the trick is not to let it overshadow you. Their objective is to get a reaction out of you but by ignoring them, you are not giving them the attention or satisfaction and allowing them to win.

  1. Originality

The industry is now saturated with bloggers so to stand out from the crowd it is important to keep your material original and relevant. Be consistent with your posts so people don’t get bored and forget you. Always remember you are fighting for their attention. Your readers want to get a sense of who you are as a person.

  1. Blog layout and design

Your blog should be appealing and polished. How your blog looks is vital and will determine whether people will read it or not. Proof reading all of your posts before they are published is vital.

 

My favourite blogger is Suzanne Jackson who created the blog So Sue Me. She blogs about fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle tips. Her blogs are honest and authentic. I recently attended the RDS Professional Beauty show where I got to meet her. Starting out as a receptionist Suzanne realised that she loved blogging and it was something she wanted to do. Now 5 years later she is a thriving business woman who has taken the blogging business industry by storm. With 2 books, beauty blogger workshops and her own line of makeup and beauty products, Suzanne has firmly made her mark in the business world. Winning numerous awards such as Ireland’s best beauty blogger 2015 and with over 1.1 million readers a month, I definitely recommend following her if you don’t already.

Recently I interviewed Irish beauty blogger Samantha Mulvey who runs the blog Samantha Loves, to get some tips on starting a blog.

“If you want to do it, just do it. Nobody is stopping you and I am learning more now than ever that people are always going to judge you on whatever you do. I use blogger as my blogging platform and I really like it – it is very user friendly. Join groups on Facebook for Irish bloggers, this will help grow your network! Write what you want, don’t write about something just because everyone else is!”

You can read Samantha’s blog here