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Summary
Reviewer
Darragh Rea
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Web Development
Author Rating
5
Creative Strategy & Development

About Us

eConcepts is a creative digital strategy & development house nestled in the heart of Dublin

We take a holistic view of the web and, after our initial consultation, we will determine the key deliverables and a project plan to meet those deliverables.

imac-creative

Creativity, innovation, but also knowledge and development

What We Do

Attract

Attract

Strategy is not a dark magic, it’s a methodical approach to understanding a few questions: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How are you going to get there? That’s where we come in.

Engage

Engage

Building your solution is like building a home, once proper foundations are put in place, and the correct tools are in place it’s about carefully and professionally putting each brick in the correct place. Don’t take the chance, do it right.

Convert

Convert

Once you have reached your target audience it imperative to provide reasons for them to take your message on board. We call this “converting” your audience and requires creativity and understanding of client needs

Monitor

Monitor

We use all the metrics that are relevant and available to ensure that your message is relevant and is reaching the right audience at the right time

Our Services

Ideas that lead to digital solutions

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Digital Strategy

We do a concept development plan for all development projects we work on.

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Web Development

We develop our solutions to the highest industry standards leveraging the latest industry tools

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Digital Marketing

We work with clients to launch and help execute their digital marketing objectives 

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Analytics / Support

We provide ongoing support to range of national & international clients  

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Our Portfolio

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Why not bring our skills and experience to your project..

Our Team

The Curious Collection of Digital Dreamers

Mark O’Leary

Head of Development

Mark 0'Lery

Paddy Meagher

Office Manager

Paddy Meagher

Piotr Mateja

Head of Design

Piotr Mateja

Pat Kennedy

CEO Founder

Pat Kennedy
The most important thing

Your Feedback

We like making people smile
Latest from

Our Blog

The tool we would like to bring your attention to is Skitch. Skitch is a desktop tool created by Evernote which allows you to:

1) Quickly and easily take a screenshot of your computer screen (or a section of your screen)

2) Easily mark it up with notes, comments & instructions

3) Save, send or share the image with your friends or collegues

Skitch is great when

1) There is a problem on your computer but other cant see it

2) When you are testing a website on a variety of different browsers and want to show how they differ

3) When you wish to collect ideas from the website

We have prepared a short video which quickly summarises how to set up and use skitch.

” Skitch:  Get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faste”

https://evernote.com/skitch/

Pat Cooper Facebook App

Wining Hearts, Likes and Votes

There are so many benefits and endless ways of approaching your potential voters with Facebook. As Seth Godin said, ‘familiarity breeds trust.’ With over a billion active users, 2.4million of those in Ireland nothing quite breeds familiarity like Facebook. It is why no candidate should overlook the power of Facebook.
The percentage of the population who get the majority of their political campaign news from the Internet has increased three-fold over recent years. Therefore, it is no surprise that a tech savvy candidate will use Facebook for individual or party exposure, plus fundraising and interaction with constituents.
There is a logical reason for candidates to focus on Facebook for promotion. According to the Pew Research Centre in their American Life survey, Facebook users who engage with politicians are more than twice as likely to vote as non-Facebook users. Also, Facebook users are 78% more likely to influence their friends to vote. Facebook is also a powerful tool for journalists covering elections. It gives them a way to see how candidates or campaign staffers are sharing news and engaging with voters.
A notable example of leveraging social media for a political campaign is that of Barak Obama in 2008. It was the first time we saw a U.S. presidential candidate use the social sites to reach out to a growing online audience and spread his message in a way that traditional methods may not have allowed him do so. While not a replacement, Facebook is an excellent complement to a strong in-person campaign.

For Candidates using Facebook for their election campaign, the Facebook Politics & Government Team suggests candidates do the following:
• Give a face or an image to your post
• Post at least once a day
• Schedule posts between 9 and 10 p.m.
• Post in your own voice
• Use multimedia
• Engage your audience in lively discussions
• Use Facebook Ads for more promotion, new fans and increased engagement

Remember the goal of using Facebook is to attract attention to your campaign and generate dialogue around important issues.
Below is a basic flow of Facebook marketing for election campaign which leverages both Facebook Advertising and Facebook Application too.

Create a Fan Page not a profile
Facebook puts a limit on the number of friends in profile i.e. 5000. A political fan page would be a better option since pages have no limitation on fan numbers.

UntitledEngagement
Facebook is a perfect platform for connecting with people. As a candidate, post about what’s important to you, plans for the future, thoughts on wider perspectives, and encourage your Fans to ask questions, share their thoughts, and be a part of the discussion.

Facebook Ads
When creating your ad campaign, segment and target user groups by age, sex, demographics, geo-location, family status, interests etc.

Real time Analysis
Monitor the data Facebook provides and tweak and refine your campaigns to increase its success.


 

 

 

Carole-Smith-SynNeo3-590x240

eConcepts, Dublin based Facebook App Development Company and SynNeo, online marketing experts with specific skills in the travel agency sector have announced their partnership.   eConcepts build custom Facebook applications for a variety of industry sectors from bigger brands to local retailers, SynNeo delivers training and consultancy helping businesses understand social media and use it effectively to get results.

Pat Kennedy of eConcepts said “We have been working with Carole for the past couple of months on the partnership and we are very excited to be working together.”

Carole Smith of SynNeo has over 20 s years experience working in  travel  and is a well-known figure in the sector.“Travel Agents in Ireland have not embraced digital as a marketing tool as well as our counterparts in the UK, this partnership brings together a team which can provide the sector with strategic planning, design and system development.”

Over the next few days, the group will release its travel industry report which takes an in-depth look at the sector and how it is adapting to evolving digital trends.  That will be followed by the launch of a Facebook App solution designed specifically for travel agents.

What has happened?

Facebook have recently made a big change to there promotions policy and have updated their guidelines for how businesses can run contests on the site. Whereas previously contests and sweepstakes could only be run through an officially built application businesses can now use Facebooks own wall and the like and comment features to allow people to enter competitions. Previously this would have been in violation of Facebooks guidelines and put a business page at risk of being shut down.

The Consequences

Facebook has said that the update is designed to

“make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook.”

The idea is that small businesses can now directly use their page timelines to collect entries from people via them commenting and liking a page or messaging the page directly. They can also utilize these features as a voting mechanism. Now that they no longer run the risk of violating Facebook guidelines businesses can much more quickly implement and run contest for their fans to engage in.

 

Where is the place for Facebook apps?

While this is a nice change, creating more streamlined, quick contests it is unlikely to be the preferred option for the majority of businesses wanting to run a large campaign based competition. Without a designed application all management will have to be done manually which is difficult for long-run competitions. Also because the competitions are based on a timeline post they can be easily buried and forgotten about even by the businesses own future posts. Ideally these are designed for very simple, quick-fire contests and offer e.g. first 10 people to like a post win a free meal for two.

There is also the question of what Facebook look to gain from this. With the future change in Facebook timelines already rolling out businesses will be even harder pressed to stand out from the competition. Relying on a timeline post to promote a competition may not be the ideal choice and most businesses will likely have to resort to paying to promote their posts just to be in with a chance of appearing in front of their fans. With this in mind it is now even more imperative to stand out in the noisy Facebook crowd and a fully branded, engaging competition application may be the perfect solution for that.

So you have been given the awesome responsibility of writing a blog for your community page. You know what you have to write about, you’ve got all the details and yet it seems incredibly hard to make yourself sit down and actually do it. We have some tips that will hopefully make it a bit easier to get going:

 blogs

 

1)  Scribble down a rough bullet point list of everything that you need to include. For community blogs, this will usually include information about an event, dates and contact details. Try to source an interesting fact or two if possible, this will make your job a lot easier.

 

2)  Arrange your bullet list into an order of sorts. This will be the basis for your blog. You can think of this as a list of items or information that you are going to include in each paragraph. Typically, you would aim to have 3 – 6 (think 300 – 600 words roughly) short paragraphs in each blog. Short paragraphs are not only easier to read, they also do a lot to encourage people to start reading.

 

3)  Now think about your introduction. This only needs to be a couple of sentences and relevant to what is coming next. For example, if you are blogging about an upcoming annual fundraising event you might kick off by mentioning how much was raised last year, who was involved and how much fun was had. For a sporting event, think about rivalry with other teams or past achievements.

 

4)  Words are good but photos are better. If at all possible, include a relevant photo or two with each blog. They will make the whole page much more interesting and enticing to read.

 

5)  Take the plunge and just write! You know what you are going to say in each paragraph and it’s all organised so just write the whole thing out without giving it too much thought.

 

6)  Editing is crucial. No document should ever leave your computer without reading back through it and seeing how you could make it a little better. Ask yourself if you would enjoy reading this piece or if it would be helpful to you. Make any necessary changes.

 

7)  Proof-reading is also very important. Many fantastic pieces of writing are littered with simple spelling and grammar mistakes which ruin how they read. It is very hard to spot mistakes on the screen so if you can, print it out and read through. Even better, hand it to someone else to check for errors. It’s a lot easier when you didn’t write it.

 

The hardest part of any piece of writing is getting started. When you begin with organising your pieces of information into paragraphs, it doesn’t seem quite so challenging because you know what you are going to say and where and the rest should just fall into place.


No business, be they large or small, can ignore the draw of social media these days. A potentially vast open market to tap into for what would appear to be, at least at first, little cost but the time set aside for it. But many people mistake social media as a broadcasting tool as opposed to one for creating interaction with your customers. The following are 5 tips for making your social media activity more engaging for customers.

Define your target audience: The very first step for any business who wishes to enter the social media content storm is to describe who your main target customers are. The tighter and more accurate you can get this definition the greater the payoff from everything you do on social media whether that’s content creation or targeted advertising.

Think like your customers: What do they really want to see and hear? Nobody likes to be told what to do or think. Social media is vastly different to older forms of marketing where it was essential to tell the customer what you wanted them to think in order to get your brands message across. Now, with the ability to know your audience, your strategy should focus on building a relationship with your consumers as opposed to forcing a brand message or going for the hard sell. Social media creates opportunities for brand loyalty that were never possible before.

Vary your content: When it comes to social media it’s very easy for your content to be buried in the vast conveyor belt news feeds of Facebook, Twitter and Google+. So how do you stand out on this assembly line? First of all its important to note that people respond better to posts which include imagery. Posts with imagery have been proven to get double or more the amount of engagement as those without. Varied content also reduces the potential for your fans to get bored and unlike your page and increases the likelihood that those fans will share your content.

Be genuine: I can’t stress this enough. People want to engage on social media with personalities not automated robots or scripted responses. This can be as simple as naming a person when you reply to their tweet or comment and engaging with your audience both during and after you start a dialogue or discussion. There’s no point asking peoples opinions on a topic if you aren’t going to get involved in the discussion and let your fans and followers know that you are listening and genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Be ready for everything: If you can’t take negative criticism and tackle it in a constructive way then you probably aren’t ready for social media. Ignoring or deleting negative comments is not a valid tactic on social media. Unless someone posts derogatory, abusive or offensive comments their opinion is as valid as anyone else’s, whether it’s positive or not. It’s how you respond to these negative opinions that can really show that you’re aware of your customers needs and are giving time to hear them all out. When people see that you listen to everyone and will make the effort to satisfy those negative voices they’ll know that you’re a business which they can talk to resulting in them becoming even more engaged in the content you post.

Facebook made yet another big announcement on Thursday, this time revealing their long rumored work on a Facebook centered mobile experience but, while many believed their may have been a complete Facebook phone on the way, what Zuckerberg unveiled was far more interesting. Facebook home, the new way Facebook wants to exist on mobile devices and, as Zuckerberg himself said, the optimum way to use Facebook as a whole. This is very much in line with Facebook’s mobile first attitude that was so notable in their previous newsfeed update announcement both in design and usability. So lets break down the main features and changes incoming.


“Today, our phones are designed around apps, not people. And we want to flip that around.” Mark Zuckerberg

Firstly it’s important to note that this is neither a full operating system nor an app but something in between the two. When you download Facebook home it essentially becomes a new interactive skin that lies on top of your existing android interface. We can only assume this is Facebook’s attempt to curb the current trend of people moving towards other, more focused social apps, such as Whatsapp, Snapchat and Viber. By burying these in the back of the phone and putting Facebook’s own social tools front and centre they can retain people within their ecosystem. Perhaps this will also be the first step towards Facebook making a full operating system in the future; a way to test the waters and announce themselves as a new player.

First feature will also be the first one you see, Cover Feed. This will be the new home and lock screen of your phone and will display a constant stream of the most recent status updates and images from your friends. You can swipe to cycle through them and double tap to like. One of the major statistics being flaunted around is that 20% of the time people spend on their smartphones they spend on Facebook. As a result it’s easy to see why Facebook would make this move to place their services at the forefront of peoples mobile experience. Many people will enjoy the streamlining of their social access.

The next major feature is Chat Heads, a sort of consolidation of both a persons SMS and Facebook messenger into a single, neat system. Instead of having a dedicated message centre that you click into to write and reply to friends Chat Heads is a more live experience where peoples faces will appear in a bubble on the screen when they message you. Tapping on the bubble will open the conversation, with both SMS and Facebook chat integrated in one similar to iMessage, and allow people to reply instantly without having to exit the application they have open. This also works for group conversations and, if Home proves popular enough, could spell death for other services such as Whatsapp.

Lastly is the notifications system. This could be the most interesting feature of all. While currently it only takes full advantage on phones that will have Home preinstalled, such as the HTC First, it could be Facebook ultimate tool for leveraging information from every part of your mobile usage. If Facebook have their hooks in every part of your phone from all of your apps to your GPS location and movement habits this could have a massive impact on their targeted advertising system. The ability for businesses to target you as you walk past their shop opens all kinds of doors. This could also be a huge swipe at Google Now, assuming it’s potential is realised.

Facebook home may turn out to be a complete game changer. It largely relies upon the early adoption rate. If Facebook can grab people early on there will be no stopping the. I also look forward to seeing how this could impact upon Apple who undoubtedly won’t allow this feature on their closed ios system. Time will tell.

Facebook revealed an entirely redesigned news feed on Thursday morning and this revamp comes with a host of new features. Among the biggest changes; cleaner design and consistency across mobile and web, bigger images and photos, and multiple feeds for different interests. Some of these will have a larger impact than others but it is clear that this rebuild was user focused and intended to reinvigorate the tired old junk filled news feed.

Cleaner More Consistent Design Across All Platforms

   Interestingly the first thing I noticed upon seeing the new design was that the word “facebook” has been completely removed and replaced with the lower case “f” logo. This speaks volumes for the motives behind the overall design change. As the internet has progressed since the founding of facebook so has the way we like to consume content. Apple have always been the frontrunners behind clean intuitive design. Facebook are trying to move away from the cluttered experience of old into a sleeker, more focused user experience.

They have clearly learnt a lot from their mobile platform as the look and some of the features of their iPhone and Android apps have evidently been adapted to the desktop design. The left sidebar has been remade with large icons similar to those on the mobile apps (and with an uncanny resemblance to Google+). Posts now appear much larger as the feed has been widened giving more space to work with. This is especially useful for in stream adverts and promoted posts which will be able to use the greater real estate to create more interesting, engaging posts. Lastly multiple friends posting the same story all appear together now, their faces down the left hand side.

Refocus On Images and Photos

Facebook have decided, and in our opinion rightly so, to increase the visual elements of posts. We will now see photos and videos take up a far greater space in the feed taking the emphasis off of the text. The company stated that 50% of all news feed stories contain visual elements which begs the question why has it taken them so long to bring about this change?

With these increased image and video sizes it is now essential that businesses focus on the quality of the visual content they upload. Small thumbnail and badly cropped images will no longer be sufficient as every discrepancy will be blown up ten fold in the larger display.

Multiple Filters – Users See What They Want When They Want

I have saved this point for last, mostly because it appears to be the most radical and far reaching of all the changes. While the previous two were more focused on the appearance of Facebook, the addition of multiple filters will likely impact the very way in which people interact with the site.

They have removed top stories and most recent and the main filters now include close friends, friends in general, music, photos, games and people and brands you “follow”. However there are other additional feeds which can be accessed including, probably the most interesting one, location based. Local is seen as one of the major trends for this year as companies try to make their platforms more relevant to individuals and new start ups like Next Door show the massive interest in this area.

With this filtering option users can now focus in on exactly what they want to see. In other words when a user is looking at your posts they are actively choosing to see them. This opens up the opportunity for greater conversion and engagement and is certainly the opinion that Facebook are trying to push.

“Thanks to a new ‘Following’ feed on the right-hand side of the home page, people will be able to discover more content from the Pages they like and the people they follow.” [http://www.facebook-studio.com/news/item/a-new-look-for-news-feed]

   On the flip side is the argument that allowing users to filter means they will no longer look at these business posts and, unless there is some kind of incentive, will actively avoid the various other filters.

   Facebook’s design changes make it much easier for Facebook users to tune out content from businesses and brands. Because this is the case, you need to give your fans even more incentive to check out their Following Feed to view your content so they can engage with it via Likes, comments and shares thus enabling you to show up in their friends’ All Friends Feed. You can join the waiting list to try it out for yourself. Just head to https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed and click the button.

With the openness that the internet has brought to consumers, giving them more choice and access to more products and services than ever before, it is easy to forget that there is still an ever present demand for local, well known and trusted businesses. However these businesses are finding it hard to adapt to the ever growing monster that is social media and online marketing. And rightly so! After setting up a Facebook page it can be difficult to drive people to it, get them interacting with the content you are creating and convert them from potentials into paying customers.

At the end of the day when it comes to Facebook quality is better than quantity. 100 people who like your page, engage with your content and help spread your business message are infinitely better than having 10,000 fans who do nothing. And this idea is twice as important for smaller, local businesses who have a very specific customer base that they want to reach out to. This could be mothers aged 25-40 living within 15 miles of the town the business is located in. How many of those 10,000 fans fit this description? Likely very few. The best way to acquire relevant, quality likes for your page is through Facebook’s own advertising system.

When it comes to social advertising Facebook’s is one of the easiest to start out with. It offers a self serve system with no minimum spend required. You can budget as little or as much as you feel is necessary. This makes it an incredibly efficient, cost effective way of promoting your business online assuming you understand how to use it.

Facebook’s biggest strength lies in its massive installed user base. With over half of the Irish population active Facebook users it is a huge opportunity to expose your business to a mass market. The second factor that makes Facebook advertising so powerful is the ability to target very specific individuals. As people spend more time on Facebook it has learnt more about them. This includes not just basic information such as age and location but highly targetable factors such as whether they have children, the ages of those children, whether they like fashion even what football clubs they follow, movies they love and industry they would love to work in.

With all of this information Facebook has built an advertising system that allows you to define these categories and target those people with specific adverts. These ads are seen when people are logged into Facebook and include an image, short piece of text and a clickable link to take that person to the business Facebook page, app or even an external website. Just as an example we recently ran a 10 day campaign for a Dublin based restaurant chain. In this time the page likes grew from 2,100 to just under 3,000. Facebook is a tool that has proven to increase leads and get feet in the door for local business.

Facebook provides a wealth of information for people new to online advertising. This can be accessed at www.facebook.com/business. If you would like any more information on getting started with Facebook visit our contact page or send an email to info@econcepts.ie.

eConcepts has been building creative websites for several year and we thought we would share just how we go about doing a major redesign for Stradbally Hall; the stages we go through and the processes we use. We wanted to take advantage of a modern, digital marketing strategy without comprising the tradition and heritage entailed in Stradbally Hall. Therefore we strove to maintain the balance between the history of the property and how it is reflected today through popular events such as Electric Picnic. Our four step process was as follows.

Benchmark The Site – Before starting any website redesign it’s essential to plan out what to do. The first stage of this was to measure the initial benchmarks of the site. This incudes seeing how people use the site, analysing how much traffic Stradbally Hall gets and at what times, checking the number of form submissions and doing a thorough check of the level of SEO to see how easily the site is to find in search engines.
Determine The Goals – The second step of the planning phase was to establish the goals we wanted from the redesign. With most of the rebuilds we do we focus on the functionality first then mould the design around that, after all it’s not just about how your site looks but how it works. Creating a seemless user experience is essential for any modern, digitally conscious business. Just as important as functionality is to set up what our measureable goals will be. What do we want to say was achieved at the end? More visitors? More bookings? One of the most important goals of this redesign was to broadcast the messages of Stradbally Hall across the web. To assist in this we also built a Facebook application, hopefully tapping into their large audience that, if targeted correctly, can be of immense value to any business.
Design The Site Directed To Specific Groups – When we build our sites we always make sure that they are speaking to a specific audience. Speaking the language of that audience is paramount to creating the right content. This involved defining Stradbally Halls target audience and identifying their needs and then segmenting the website into categories aimed at these audiences. Some of the markets we identified were people interested in horse riding lessons and people wanting to organise a wedding reception. From looking at these we were then able to see what functions to implement such as a booking query form and events calender.
Refine The Design – After the initial design phase we went about refining the site. This involved several steps. The first was to perform search engine optimisation to improve how people find the site. Next we established a call for action by putting a sidebar link on all pages to enquire about bookings. We also included some key selling points of Stradbally Hall so that, no matter where you were on the site, these would always be visible. Lastly we ensured full integration of the site by including share buttons for all the major social media sites online.

To see the work first hand simply head over to www.stradballyhall.ie. If you have any queries feel free to visit our contact us page.

As hopefully all Irish businesses know data protection is a key consideration when holding of client information is an essential part of day to day proceedings. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a data controller or processor is therefore of the utmost importance.

Companies like Mastercard recently began putting pin authenticators on their credit cards showing the advances many companies are making in keeping their clients details as secure as possible. Of course this applies just as much to small businesses as it does to large multinationals. Most company’s, be they sole trader or small PLC, will have some form of database containing client details that requires protection from both external and internal (an element that many businesses fail to recognise until it is too late) malicious attacks.

Despite the apparent understanding large companies have shown towards data protection we still see large cases of data breach, some of which have been devastating on company reputation and loyalty. Eircoms hemorrhage of the personal details of nearly 7,000 customers at the start of the year really brought home the vulnerabilities that come with holding personal data in a digital form. The resultant bad exposure that Eircom received is something that they will be recovering from for some time yet.

So the question is how can you as a small business protect yourself from the potential harm of data breach. Well the first thing to do is to understand the law. Knowing your rights and responsibilities is the first step towards building a data security and privacy policy that will guide your business actions into the future. It will also help to formulate a strategy to deal with the possibility of a data breach occurring.

The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 cover the main aspects of the law which all businesses working with personal data must comply with.

“to regulate in accordance with its provisions the collection, processing, keeping use and disclosure of certain information relating to individuals that is processed automatically.” [13th July, 1988]

In addition to this there is EU regulations to comply with.

What exactly is personal data?

Personal data is any data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either directly from the data itself or indirectly in conjunction with other information. Examples of personal data include:

  • Your signature
  • Credit card number
  • Exam results
  • PPS number
  • Family photo
  • A patients X-Ray
  • A static IP address

In addition to this there is also special mention given to so-called sensitive personal data which includes:

  • Ethnic, religious or racial information
  • Political opinion
  • Trade union membership
  • Mental or physical health
  • Criminal record
  • Sexual orientation

Who’s who in data protection?

Data subjects: The living individual who the data relates to.

Data controllers: A person or body who controls the content and use of personal data.

Data processors: A 3rd party engaged by data controller to perform a function on the data excluding employees of the data controller who processes the data in the course of his/her employment e.g. outsourcing to a marketing company. Must be a contract in place before the data is processed. Contract must have data consideration in it.

What are the main rules to follow?

  1. Fairly obtained: clarity, transparency at acquisition and ongoing.
  2. Specified and lawful purpose: only use data for the purpose with which you got it.
  3. Safe & secure.
  4. Accurate & up to date.
  5. Adequate, relevant & not excessive
  6. Not kept longer than is necessary. With direct marketing data you must use it once a year. Always offer opt out option.
  7. Rights of access: data must be stored so it is easy to retrieve. €6.35 is the maximum you can charge for retrieving the data.

For more information and advice on Data Protection visit www.dataprotection.ie

Facebook Timeline for Pages has finally arrived, and we have until the 30th of March to get our pages ready for the changeover. If you’re not ready by then, your page will automatically be converted. If you are eager to adopt this new interface, you can publish yours straight away. So what’s new then?

 

Changes introduced with Facebook Timeline:

 

  • Cover Photo spreading across the top of the page will be one of the big additions for a business. A great opportunity to use a strong image to brand your business. Make sure to get your logo and company message into this cover photo. Calls to action are forbidden, as is requesting to click the “Like” button.

 

  • Page performance available to your users. If one of your users clicks the Like icon on your page they will get an idea of how your page is performing. A nice feature but I can guarantee your competitors will be looking in to see how you are doing. A bold move, Facebook.

 

  • As with the personal pages, Facebook Timeline will allow users view back to the start of your company history, not only since Facebook started, but since your company did. If your company was formed 80 years ago, you can start filling in the history of past times. A really good way to drive interaction from your fans and potential fans.

 

  • Facebook has finally realised that not everyone wants to communicate in public, so now users can contact you in private through Facebook Messages,  a very important update to Facebook Timeline and a great tool to drive more sales from a Hot Lead.

 

  • Updated Admin Panel: A place to control your Messages, Notifications and Insights. It all starts here. The Admin section will allow you to edit your content, with a new feature: the Activity Log. You can now check on the activity of each post, star, hide, and delete stories, and even change the date of a post.

 

  • Facebook Applications: Some great improvements here, we now have more space to play with. The width of the page has increased to 810 pixels, giving us us a better opportunity to display products, include a booking form, show your facilities and services, etc to drive more sales.

At eConcepts, we have been asked many times over if it is convenient to change a Facebook “friend” account to a “business page” and how to go about doing it.
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When a Facebook account is going to be used for business purposes (to promote your shop, company, start-up or professional services), you should always create a “Page” (a business account) as opposed to a “Profile” (personal account). And why is that?
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First of all, it is against Facebook Terms & Conditions to use your personal profile for commercial purposes; that means that if you are running a promotion, or competition for instance, you are risking having your account disabled and losing your personal and professional information.
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There are more reasons to have a business page, not only because “Facebook says so”, but because a friend account limits your possibilities in terms of marketing and promotion. For instance, a friend account is limited to 5,000 friends and when running a promotion of competition, you are risking having your account shut down.
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The new Facebook Insights allows you to track and monitor your posts, so you can then see which types of posts get the most feedback. And you can only run an advertising campaign on Facebook from a business account.
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Finally and more importantly, using a Facebook page allows you to insert applications on your page, which gives you endless possibilities of customising your page and interact with your fans/followers in a more personalised manner. Even a basic application like a contact or booking form gives you an extra channel of communications with your clients.
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Luckily enough, Facebook now provides a tool for converting your friend account to a business page. It is important to know that when making the change, all the posts, comments, pictures, events, etc will be gone and the account will be created from scratch, your friends will remain now as fans “Likes” of your account. You can download your photos and information before migrating.
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A final warning: keep in mind that once the converting process is started, it cannot be reverted, so make sure to all details right the first time. We have converted many Facebook friend accounts to business profiles since Facebook recently launched the service. Contact us if you would like assistance.

eTown Initiative: Portarlington & Abbeyleix Communities Come Together Online (Featured in Laois People Aug ’12)
Ireland is a very different place than it was five years ago and community groups, just like businesses before them, are now realising the importance of the web in meeting their goals. The web is ever evolving; the availability of rich online services allows groups to achieve their goals in a more efficient and through manner. This article outlines some of the solutions and ideas used by communities in Laois.

Communication is an important tool of any club or non profit group. Groups can now communicate with their audience using a wide range of resources such as email newsletters, test message alerts, and Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn. Deciding the best mix for the particular organisation is often an important decision in the planning strategy for community groups.


Administration & project planning are important tasks of any group, business or non profit organisation. The business community has adopted many online solutions as standard over the past three years and non profit organisations are slowly following. Online project management tools such as “Zoho Projects” or “Basecamp” allow groups to co-ordinate projects online, set milestone for a project, and manage tasks among group members ensuring the project team follows a common direction and achieve their targets.In addition to the core communication and project administration tools, there is a range additional online services which are being successfully employed across Ireland. Online events systems are important to publicise events in the community and attract tourists into an area. Other services, such as online directories, community forums, booking engines, online advertising, and video promotion are also increasing in importance and should be considered as part of the digital plan for a town.

Both Abbeyleix and now Portarlington are taking a more strategic approach to how their communities use the web. The Abbeyleix ABC forum developed a digital strategy when it was formed back in 2010. The town has an active community website and the Abbeyleix Facebook page is an essential tool for the dissemination of community information and feedback.

In September, the Port2020 Vision community development group in Portarlington, in association with Laois Partnership and assistance from Laois Co. Co., embarked on a major “eTown” initiative, which is one of the first of its kind in the country. The project aims to bring all facets of the town online: businesses, job seekers, non profit groups, community members. The project is being co-ordinated by local ecommerce specialists “eConcepts” (formerly called CustomIT). The wider range of objectives for the project includes:

? Promoting the area as a tourist destination
? Promoting local businesses through offers and events system
? Dissemination of community information and news
? Gaining feedback and ideas from the community
? Facilitating local debate and developing more active community programs.
? Promoting the activities of the Love Port Community group

The Love Port eTown project is being conducted over three phases. The first stage is scoping and community feedback. A series of online questionnaires have been promoted online to gain ideas and feedback from the community.

There has been some great feedback from the community and businesses with comments like “It would be great to have a list of clubs etc for kids in town very hard to find info at the moment” or “It would be great if shops/restaurants etc offered deals….” The surveys also gave the project managers a greater understanding of how communities currently use the internet and what types of services they would like on the website as illustrated in the graphs below.

The group is still taking submission so please visit the LovePort Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ourtown.bestofportarlington profile or visit www.portarlington.ie.

During October and November, the project will be launching a variety of online tools to use in the community including a new website, Facebook application and other social media tools such as Youtube Channel, Twitter and Pinterest account. Further updates on this project will be announced in upcoming issue of Laois People.

If your community group would like advice on the web and the eTown ideas contact Pat Kennedy by email p.kennedy@econcepts.ie

"Don't underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems."

Leroy Hood

Contact us

Let us co-create your digital dreams

eConcepts Development Hub, Liffey Trust, Docklands, Dublin, Ireland.
Call: 01 5240040
Email: info@eConcepts.ie

Send us a message and we will assess your needs and provide a step by step process to realising them.

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