Go Forth and Get Social!

On October 14th 2014 the DCU Digital Innovation Creativity and Enterprise students in DCU had our first mini-conference in the Helix theatre. The name of the conference was Get Social and it’s theme was social networking, media and marketing.We had a wide variety of speakers including the Business Innovation Platform Director at DCU, a founding member of Gajo, the Creative Director co-founder of Thinkhouse, the Marketing Director of RTE digital, the CEO and Founder of Wolfgang Digital, the Sales Director of LinkedIn and, last but not least, the Chief Social Officer at IPG Mediabrands.

Dr. Theo Lynn 

Our first speaker of the day was our very own Dr. Theo Lynn, the Business Innovation Platform Director in DCU. Dr. Lynn spoke about what DCU does in the context of social media research. I took the main point of Dr. Lynn’s speech to be the use of data processing in marketing.

Dr. Lynn spoke of how word processing is used to sift through online content to discover what it is that consumers want and what aspects of a product or service are most important to them. For example they can discover what colour consumers want the new iphone to be. Like I did when the idea was presented to me you probably find yourself wondering what the use of this technology might be. The use of this technology is to predict trends for products 6-12 months in advance of their production when product decisions are being made so the can maximise popularity and, therefore, sales.

Dr. Lynn also mentions sentiment analysis and it’s uses in his speech. After spending a couple of minutes trying to decipher what sentiment analysis is I gave up and googled it to find out that sentiment analysis is the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information in source materials. Awareness, sentiment, and intent to purchase are the three main parts of sentiment analysis.

Awareness refers to the people that know and are talking about their brand- these people are more than likely the target market for the brand.

Sentiment refers to the way people feel about the brand and this can be used to identify aspects that customers are unhappy with and fix them to the target market’s satisfaction.

Intent to purchase refers to how we identify real time intent to purchase a product.

In conclusion I found Dr. Lynn’s speech to be extremely informative and entertaining as it touched on many different aspects of social media.

 You can watch Dr. Lynn’s speech by clicking here.

Dr. Deirdre Hogan

Our second speaker was Dr. Deirdre Hogan, a Senior Research Fellow in DCU and one of the founding members of Gajo, a programme designed to help you discover your target market on social media and also to help improve your conversion rates.

The aim of Gajo is to filter to the white noise on social media to find people that are receptive to specific marketing messages. In general user generated content is full of slang, emoticons, typos and grammatical areas which make it difficult for word processing technology to sift through the white noise to find relevant information. Gajo has machines that understand the natural language and can work with the slang used. Gajo also has an automatic question answering technology to answer tedious and repetitive questions. The company also has the technology to detect expressions of purchase intent and match them up with relevant vendors. Gajo automatically finds all the people on social media expressing purchase intent filtering out all the irrelevant information and, in doing so, organises the data into demographic categories and discovers neat communities for brands.

You can watch Dr. Hogan’s speech by clicking here.

Jane McDaid             

Our third speaker was Jane McDaid the creative director and co-founder of Thinkhouse, a youth communications agency. Thinkhouse work to connect brands with the younger consumers of ages 18-35 and to create and deliver innovative campaigns that connect with them. Thinkhouse also work in real time so, instead of working from 9-5 they now work in shifts allowing them to keep on top of social media trends. Thinkhouse have worked with huge companies such as Heineken, Barry’s and ebay.


According to Ms. McDaid 1 billion people use Youtube per month, 92% of videos are shared and 52% of Irish viewers will take action after watching a video. From these statistics it’s clear to see the importance of content in advertising. In her speech Ms. McDaid refers to the seven sins of content which are as follows:

1. Comedy– If someone finds something funny they will automatically share it with their friends which could circulate a product faster than a normal advertising campaign.

2. EPIC– If something manages to capture the viewers attention due to the sheer extent of it it’s deemed as epic.

3. Emotive– A video or advertisement that can evoke strong emotions in a viewer can compel them to action.

4. WTF– A video that makes you pause, tilt your head and think “What the F***?!”

5. Zeitgeist– the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time i.e. something that will go viral and trend all over the world.

6. NSFW– Not Safe For Work – a video that’s too outrageous to be watched in work

7. Informative– An ad that provides the facts and educates the viewer in one way or another.

From the seven sins of content it can clearly be seen that an ad must be attention grabbing if the campaign is to succeed. If the seven sins are used correctly there is no limit to the possible success a brand could have.

You can watch Jane’s speech by clicking here.

Lucy Campbell 

Our fourth speaker of the day was Lucy Campbell, the marketing director of RTE digital. Ms. Campbell spoke about RTE’s journey from being a traditional broadcaster to optimising content across multiple platforms. RTE digital aims to meet audience needs, drive innovation, Support leadership in Ireland’s digital economy, support RTE’s commercial goals and to create a digital organisation culture. RTE is also the number one player for videos on demand, news app and media site.  I found Ms. Campbell’s speech extremely interesting as, in it, she outlined how RTE have managed to become thoroughly modern and to interact with their customers online so they get get feedback and improve their services continuously.

You can watch Lucy’s speech by clicking here.

 Alan Coleman

Our fifth speak was Alan Coleman, the founder and CEO of Wolfgang Digital. Wolfgang Digital offer a wide range of digital marketing services which all focus on helping to get a business found on the internet. I found Mr. Coleman’s speech to be the most interesting as he seemed to have the most normal lead up to starting his own business. After being rejected for a job in Google Mr.Coleman taught himself all about Google Adwords and became proficient at using it before continuing on to create his own business for advertising businesses online.

One of the most interesting parts of the speech was, in my opinion, the way in which Mr. Coleman advocated for soft sell advertising which is the way in which businesses promote their product without beating the consumers over the head with the brand. The example used in the speech was Abbey Travel- a travel agent that was not very well known by the online community. Coleman used the “Google effect” to promote the business which consisted of building up consumer trust in the stages before purchasing so that when the time came to choose an agency they would automatically choose Abbey Travel.

You can watch Alan’s speech by clicking here.

Nicolas Capiello

Our sixth speaker was Nicolas Capiello, the sales director of LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s aim is to connect the world’s professionals to make them
more productive and successful. LinkedIn offers an outlet in which professionals can come together and speak to others in the same field.

LinkedIn offers people an outlet in which they can connect with the contacts that they already have and, in many cases, expand that number exponentially and connect with other people in their field from all around the world. I believe that this is a great example of the incredible power of social media as it shows how people can turn hundreds of business contacts into thousands through the use of one website.

Eric Weaver 

Our final speaker of the day was Eric Weaver, the chief social officer of IPG Mediabrands in America. IPG Mediabrands manage global media-related assets. Which means that they manage and invest $37 billion in global media on the behalf of their clients.

Eric’s main point was the death of organic social media. These days social media websites are inundated with ads along the side of the profiles and, on facebook, regularly popping up in the newsfeeds. Due to the sheer volume of content many ads aren’t seen on newsfeeds unless companies pay for them to appear more often than usual which is problematic as, without any proof that this advertising technique is generating revenue it’s difficult to convince businesses to fund it. This problem led to the development of earned media value which shows the benefit a business would receive for funding social media advertising in contrast to the higher cost of using other forms of advertising to achieve the same result. An example of a business using earned media value is T-mobile‘s CEO John Legere who used Twitter to earn $9.7 million in six months.

You can watch Eric’s speech by clicking here.