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Sunday Business Post Business Blogging


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In the fourth part of this new series on using social media, we examine how blogging can help your business.

In the fourth part of this new series on using social media, we examine how blogging can help your business.

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  • 1. THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST n22 OCTOBER 9 2011OUT ON YOUR OWNHelp for export-minded firmsSmall businesses are availing offree support and advice from anexport network with a presence ´nationwide, writes Siobhan BrettV aluable business assist on the business side of support and as- things, said Jammet, primarily sistance for ex- in the area of business con- porting is being tacts. made available ‘‘We provide a variety of free free-of-charge practical services for smallto start-ups and SMEs by the companies seeking to export.Enterprise Europe Network Small companies by EU legis-(EEN) in Ireland and overseas. lation have up to 250 employ- The EEN is a European in- e e s. We h e l p c o m p a n i e sitiative run by Enterprise Ire- explore new market opportu-land in conjunction with five nities, conduct market researchchambers of commerce in Du- and connect local businessesblin, Cork, Galway, Sligo and with our networkof 600 officesWaterford. worldwide. ‘‘We set up meetings over-seas and connect Irish busi- Legislationnesses with local or regionaldevelopment agencies abroad. The EEN also assists SMEsWe can advise companies on in understanding and applyinginternational trade, legislation, European legislation and na-and EU funding ^ a lot of fund- tional member state legisla-ing is currently available for Ir- tion. ‘‘If you are a s mal lish companies, innovative and company and you encounter agreen companies in particular, legal difficulty in Slovakia, weat the research stage,’’ said can get a partner to check thatMarion Jammet, manager of out for you.the EEN in Dublin. ‘‘ We can’t give legal advice, ‘‘The free service is deliv- but we can assist them in theirered by Dublin Chamber of understanding of a relevant le-Commerce as well as the EI ^ gal area and highlight piecesthe leading partner in the pro- of legislation to comply with,’’ject and mainly responsible for said technology trans- Businesses tend to gravitatefer,’’ said Jammet, who has towards traditional markets Susan Hayes, managing director, Hayes Culleton, with Marion Jammet, manager of the EEN in Dublin TONY O’SHEAbeen working with the EEN in such as the UK and US, butDublin for more than two also to the Eastern Europeanyears. market, which Jammet feels is Europe, so that if somebody big thing ^ it can seem like a with aview to facilitating meet- ‘‘From there, the EEN spoke to t e r n at ion a l m e d ia. My growing steadily. needs something in Brussels, minefield of resources, from le- ings between them and Irish Malta and did the rest.’’ biography changed utterly, andRegular events ‘‘The main problem we have with small companies is that in Madrid, we can get in touch and see what we can do for gal structure, to registering as an exporter, not to mention the ‘I got great businesses to facilitate poten- tial business opportunities and During the visit, Hayes had meetings with representatives continues to. ‘‘I paid for my flight out, e30, The EEN hosts reg ularevents to encourage Ir ish they come to us saying: ‘we want to be global’. That’s fine, them,’’ she said. Cork Chamber’s Siobhan ¤ cultural and geographical chal- lenges.’’ help in partnerships. of the Malta Stock Exchange, with the University of Malta, and covered my own expenses out there, of course, beyondSMEs and business people toexport and explore foreign but you need to have some- thing done before that. Horan said local EEN events were well-attended by busi- Choosing breaking Hayes Culleton the Malta Banking Associa- tion, and was interviewed by which there was no cost,’’ she and procurement possi- ‘‘We tell them they need to nesses from Cork, Kerry and One business that has bene- theTimes of Malta. Hayes Culleton gained ac-bilities. do their own work, they need Limerick. markets down fited from the support offered ‘‘I just couldn’t believe I was cess to valuable information The network was set up by to know why they want to ex- ‘‘We usually have a case Choosing suitable export by the EEN is Hayes Culleton, being given an itinerary,’’ she on export markets and net-the European Commission in2008. Prior to that, two sepa- port, and know if they have fully exploited opportunities in study, a local company, team up with embassies and Enter- markets was sector-dependent, Horan said. barriers. If a financial training and educa- tional consultancy firm based said, ‘‘I also had my own dri- ver, and was greeted by the Ir- working support from the EEN, said Hayes, allowing therate networks existed; the EuroInfo Centre Network and the Ireland as well,’’ she said. prise Ireland,’’ she said. Horan was also full of praise ‘‘It comes down to the pro- duct or service you are selling. you want in Dublin. The company is now a cor- ish ambassador to Malta on my first evening.’’ business to re-orientate its trade towards export marketsInnovation Relay Centre Net-work. ‘‘The network was set Overseas for EEN’s business partnership database. ‘‘Here, businesses Of late, there has been a lot of interest in the Bric (Brazil, something, porate affiliate of Finance Malta. One meeting led to the next, which prompted another ^ in where it now generates 50 per cent of its revenues. connectionsup to assist small companiesin exporting and doing busi- T h e EEN adv is e s most seeking partnerships abroad c an upload a prof i le and Russia, India and Ch ina) economies, which are emer- you have to ‘‘Often SMEs think: ‘what’s the point’? But I think you have all, Hayes estimated that she attended between 10 and 15 ‘‘I got great help in breaking down barriers. If you wantness in Europe and worldwide SMEs looking to sell to Britain browse for a suitable match. ging, but say your business is to be prepared to ask for help ^ meetings during her time in something, you have to startand is made up of 600 partners and other European markets. There are 13,000 profiles on i n re newable e nerg y, you start by you can’t know it all,’’ said Malta. by knowing what you want. Iaround Europe. Jammet said these destinations the network,’’ said Horan. should look to France,’’ she Hayes Culleton’s managing di- H av i ng d e l iv e r e d p ro - wanted to work internationally, ‘‘We’re mainly in Europe,but we are extending to other were a bit more accessible,both in terms of language and legis- ‘‘The network is a great way of getting in touch and it facili- said. The Chinese market is of knowing rector Susan Hayes. Last year, a trade delegation grammes to the Malta Institute of Accountants and the Bank but I didn’t know how to get there at first,’’ she of the world as well,’’ saidJammet. The EEN has offices lation. ‘‘The good thing about the tates introductions of the roughly 30 local businesses particular interest to Cork businesses this year, because what you from Malta visited Ireland as part of the EEN, and Hayes of Valletta, Hayes said her business profile changed ‘dra- ‘‘I would have been making cold calls without the China,the US and it recentlyopened an office in South Kor- network is that our partner or- ganisations know the business. who signed up this year, two have already made partner- the city has forged numerous links with Shanghai, which it want’ went along to meet some dele- gates.There she met several in- matically’ upon retur ning home. With them, I had incredible structure.ea. We have connections with ships; one in France, one in has been twinned with since du st r y r e pr e s e nt at ive s, She has continued to do ‘‘A privately funded EEN The participating chambers chambers of commerce across Germany. Information is the 2005. including Dennis Vella, chair business in Malta ever since. equivalent in NewY charges ork The EEN plans to host an- of Malta Enterprise Board, ‘‘My credibility and my de- hundreds of dollars per meet- other international brokerage who suggested that she visit mand increased ^ I became an ing ^ that’s an idea of the mar- event next spring, and is al- Malta. international speaker. Hayes ket equivalent. To me, the ready linking in with represen- ‘‘I took the first small step in Culleton became an interna- assistance was invaluable,’’ she tatives from across Europe deciding to go,’’ said Hayes. tional company, covered in in- said. Commercial profile: Investor & Trader Summit sponsored by Last chance to book for Social media for start-ups the Investor Summit In the fourth part of our series on using your blog posts, listen to what they have to say and reply to them. 4. Monitor competitor activity: use O n Thursday, the Last year, Fell predicted ballroom of the that gold would h it new social media, industry expert Conor Lynch the blogosphere to monitor what your competitors are doing and what their Shelbourne Ho- heights. It did, reaching over tel in Dublin city $1,90 0 an ounc e, having explains how business blogging works customers think of them. centre will be thronged with started the year at around investors and traders won- dering what the next smart $1,400. What’s his view now? Is there some kind of para- Promoting your blog move for their money and as- digm shift in the western ca- 1. Allow sharing your posts. To do B sets should be. pitalist world that will have logging should be an essen- tems (CMS), they have now been this use the ‘Share’ button at the bot- Whether you’re a beginner reverberating consequences tial part of your social adopted by web designers as a plat- tom of your blog page to link your in the markets or a seasoned for decades to come? media strategy. With al- form for building entire websites. post to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twit- trader or investor,you will get Steve McCarthy has led most 173 million blogs ter.This will make your blog visible to worldwide, the size and scale of the more people. lots of ideas and insights about stocks, currencies, the way with shifting Irish property at the Allsops bar- blogging phenomenon means it is Getting started 2. Add your blog’s RSS feed to your commodities, trading ‘dos gain auctions. Is this a good now a crucial tool for consumer com- Ideally your blog should sit on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter ac- and don’ts’, investor psychol- thing or a bad thing? People munications. Blogs can enable you to website, for example, counts, and add URL links back to create and sustain a relationship with However when starting your social media sites on your blog. ogy, strategies and much more besides. still have to live, work, shop and play somewhere so is it, your customers. your blog it may be an idea to experi- Conor Lynch 3. Add relevant tags (keywords) to Ask your questions of ment with a separate blog first con- your blog posts to make it easier for The day starts at 9.30am Summit Chairman David now, all about yield and cash taining URL links to your website. Google to find your content. with rolling workshops up until 3pm. Y can call in at ou McWilliams generation on property as- sets? What is a blog? More and more websites are being What do you want your readers to see 4. Include a link to your latest blog any time and plug into the up from this weekend’s think Other speakers such as Pe- A blog (short for web log) was ori- built using easy-to-update blogging you as an expert in? You can add in post on your email signature. ones that are of interest to tank in Dublin Castle at- ter Brown, educator and ginally a personal online journal writ- platforms like WordPress, Blogger content from other sources like You- 5. Use your company newsletters you. tended by luminaries such as pithy commentator on the ten by opinionated writers/bloggers and Tumblr. If you are designing and Tube, Slideshare and Twitter so you and emails to link to your blog posts. The Investor Summit itself Bill Clinton? markets,will give insight into which were frequently updated and building a new website, we advise in- have a nice mix of multimedia content 6. Read other blogs. Follow, partici- begins at 5pm with registra- & What’s happening in the the different habits of profes- open to anyone on the internet to corporating a blog from the outset. on your blog. pate and comment on other third- tion from 4.30pm. world’s stock markets? sional traders versus those of read. Alternatively, a blog can be added to party blogs and discussion boards, as A typical blog combines text, your existing website. these are great ways to get your name This is a must-attend event The key Wall St index has typical retail investors and images,video and links to other blogs, Blogging tips out there. if you’re exercised about what’s going on in the world. oscillated between 10,400 and nearly 13,000 so far this occasional traders. Joh n Mc G lade of websites and other online media re- What to blog Business blogging is growing fast All the big questions will be discussed, including: year. Last week alone, it traded in a massive range of MarketSpreads, Ireland’s biggest spread-trading plat- lated to its topic. Blogs are often ar- ranged in reverse chronological order about? and here are some tips: 1. Be authentic: blogs are built on Last week, won the Irish Internet Association (IIA) Net & Where is the euro really 700 ^ 800 points. form provider, will show you from the most recent blog ‘post’ (or Okay, so now you are ready to blog, the principal of authenticity and hon- Visionary Award for Best Use of So- headed? & Where’s it going next and how top traders have made ‘entry’) appearing at the top of the but what are you going to write about? esty, and should not be used to just cial Media. & What should you do if should you be buying or sell- money on the markets in web page. We advise you look at your target push marketing messages onto custo- you’ve got assets such as cash ing? 2011. Blogging creates new and updated market or audience and think about mers. Conor Lynch is a social media or stocks denominated in & How do you protect your content for your website which will what interests them. What interesting 2. Regularly update your blog: be strategist and founder of SocialMe- euros? pensions and investments? To book in for some or all improve your overall search engine angle can you come up with that can consistent and commit to a minimum, a Dublin-based firm that & What does summit chair- & How can you take a more of the day, contact marketing by providing Google with also include your products or ser- number of posts per month.The more advises businesses nationwide. So- man and outspoken author active role in your financial MarketSpreads on material to present in search engine vices? you update your blog, the more traffic topped the category for a n d e c o n o m i s t D av i d destiny? tel: 01-8630400, email results. This will drive more traffic to On we regularly you will get from search engines and Best Use of Social Media at the Irish McWilliams have to say & What will contrar ian your website or social spaces. give away free advice to readers in social media. Internet Association’s recent 2011 about that? commentator and columnist or visit As blogs are designed to have user- the form of blogs and eBooks to de- 3. Engage customers: encourage Net Visionary Awards. For more & What insights did he pick Charlie Fell have to say? friendly content management sys- monstrate our expertise. readers to join in the conversation on information, see