communications tool Archives - Syneka Marketing

Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Another week and another example of poor marketing governance

By Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News No Comments

Aldi provides us with the latest example of a social media failure, with its fill in the blank exercise posted onto Twitter.

Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Aldi – not thinking about the context of their social media content

While the resulting media coverage joked that ‘Aldi’s social media intern is about to get fired’, the joke should be the way social media is not seen as a communications tool and therefore part of the marketing mix.

Over the course of 2015 there was no shortage social media failures. In April we saw Woolworths‘ poorly planned attempt to associate itself with Anzac Day, followed by the Victorian Taxi Association not only misspelling Remembrance Day, but also failing to consider the ramifications of asking Twitter users their thoughts on the taxi industry.

These are all examples of where marketing governance has failed. The ability to publish externally viewable content has become disconnected from campaign planning and strategy, causing mistakes that can result in reputational damage.

Yet, these mistakes are not new. Had Woolworths, Aldi, the Victorian Taxi Association and many others, actually undertaken research, they would have seen the 2012 example of #McDStories, whereby McDonald’s asked Twitter users for their stories about the McDonald’s experience. The campaign lasted for just two hours until it was realised that asking about the McDonald’s experience via social media was not a good conversation topic.

Commentary through the McDStories campaign - back in 2012

Commentary through the McDStories campaign – back in 2012


Social media needs to be seen for what it is, a communications tool that is part of the marketing mix. Unfortunately, this is likely to re-occur until sound marketing governance is developed. Marketing needs the processes, procedures and policies to determine the optimal scope of authority in the marketing mix to prevent mistakes that never should have occurred in the first instance.

Blogging is a useful marketing tool

The benefits of blogging

By News No Comments

I previously discussed how to write a blog so we thought it would be timely to expand on this topic and discuss potential benefits.

According to the Oxford dictionary a blog can be defined as “a website or web page on which an individual records opinions, on a regular basis.”

There are two things to take from this definition:

  1. Blogging is a form of opinion based writing.
  2. Another important aspect is regularity. Usually a blog is updated monthly, fortnightly, weekly, daily or even in real time.

At Syneka Marketing we blog on a weekly basis, with the aim of sharing our insights and thoughts on marketing related topics.

While business blogging tends to be around a particular topic of expertise, you can develop a blog about anything.

One of the most popular blogs globally, is the Huffington Post, which receives over 110 million views per month. The Huffington Post is well regarded for its news content and demonstrates how blogging can become a serious pursuit.

Content marketing is the general concept of developing a narrative and promoting expertise through content, including blogging and multimedia.  This approach can be an effective communications tool for businesses and not-for-profit organisations. For example, a blog enables you to establish your field of expertise by providing informed content that relates to your industry, business or organisation.

As a marketing agency we highly value blogging and content. Through our blog we are able to share content and discuss the role of strategic marketing. Blogging provides us with a voice, and assists us in creating a narrative. It is that voice that motivates us to keep writing content every week.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

Marketing is an Investment – Make sure it delivers results

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities One Comment

For many businesses and organisations, marketing is more often than not, regarded as an expense, rather than being viewed as an investment. Marketing should be measurable so you can track your return on investment. It is critical not to haphazardly spend on marketing, but to be guided through a plan that identifies opportunities and mitigates risks.

A marketing plan is the guide that identifies how you can achieve outcomes, such as increased sales, growth in market share and ways to improve the design and distribution of your product or service. A marketing plan will also provide you with metrics so you know how to measure your success and outcomes.

Unfortunately, far too many businesses and organisations ignore the need for a marketing plan. Instead these organisations implement individual marketing and communications tools, such as advertising, websites and social media without considering how best to reach and motivate target audiences. Outcomes are always going to be diminished when there is no cohesive strategy. Furthermore, this approach fails to take into account potential constraints, such as the need to collect relevant market intelligence, or sales training, to better service customers and to demonstrate responsiveness.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

Most businesses and organisations are not in the business of marketing, yet marketing is fundamental in developing capacity to achieve ongoing growth. A plan, like any other investment, lets you develop a full picture of what is required and how to allocate resources accordingly.

Existing marketing plans need to be reviewed to ensure they are relevant. A marketing audit involves a healthcheck on marketing activities, enabling an assessment against the identified strategies. A marketing audit does not replace the need for a plan, but can identify when strategies may need to be revised, or if actions are not generating the required results.

Before you embark on marketing expenditure, consider the need for a marketing plan to deliver a positive return from marketing, saving you time and money.

Social Media Workshop with Leadership Great South Coast

By Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News, Presentations, Resources No Comments

Leadership Great South Coast is an annual leadership program provided to 25 emerging leaders from within the business, community and government sectors.  I was invited to workshop the social media component of the program.

Alex presenting at the Great South Leadership Conference

Alex presenting at the Great South Leadership Conference

Social media is used increasingly within both a personal and professional capacity. It is important for emerging leaders to have an understanding of social media and its use as an interactive communication medium.

The workshop was held in Port Fairy. I discussed several social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and others.  Like any communication tool, each social media platform has its own strengths and demographics. LinkedIn, for example, is extremely useful in reaching professional networks, while Pinterest can work well for retail, fashion through the visual representation of content.

Social media is a communication platform that is used in a personal and professional capacity. It is possible to hide content but online privacy is not always guaranteed. It is always better to not share questionable content, rather than to risk it being found by employers or others. Inappropriate content  may adversely affect your reputation or that of your business or organisation.

The Port Fairy Community Services Centre

The Port Fairy Community Services Centre

Similarly, there is a need to manage a social media presence on an ongoing basis.  Social media needs to be kept up-to-date with new content, otherwise its effectiveness is hampered.  The Australian Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has recently ruled that an organisation is responsible for all content on its Facebook page, including items posted by other users.  The ruling was supported by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and requires organisations and businesses to actively manage and curate the content on their pages.

The lighthouse at Port Fairy on Griffiths Island

The lighthouse at Port Fairy on Griffiths Island

It is also important to have effective policies that can stimulate and manage discussion on social media. Organisations need to deal effectively with negative comments, taking the time to understand and transform negativity, while promptly removing offensive remarks.  Social media policies should be readily accessible to ensure that all contributors are clear on acceptable usage.

Port Fairy is an extremely picturesque town and it was fantastic to be able to share my social media experiences with aspiring leaders.

I was the first elected Councillor in Australia to utilise blogging along with social media as a communications tool. It is inspiring to be able to share this knowledge with emerging leaders.


Rotary Club of Ringwood

Presentation to the Rotary Club of Dingley Village

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources 3 Comments

This evening I was invited to the Rotary Club of Dingley Village to discuss marketing strategies and communication tools to assist in the promotion of the Club and its activities.

The Rotary Club of Dingley Village is one of 49 clubs within District 9810, covering Melbourne’s eastern and southeastern suburbs.  Rotary is increasingly looking at new ways to reach prospective members and to promote club activities.

The presentation discussed the need for a consistent marketing strategy, so Club’s can identify key messages that can be used to promote activities and involvement within Rotary. One of the key strengths of individual Rotary Clubs is their local knowledge in being able to work within their communities to identify projects.  Clubs need to build on this strength, while communicating key messages that are specific to their target markets.

Rotary Clubs need to embrace a variety of communications tools to assist in promoting these messages.  The Internet, incorporating websites and social media provides additional opportunities to reach and engage the identified target markets.

Consistency is critical to delivering positive marketing results.  There is a need to deliver cohesive branding and messages across all communication tools.  Website content and social media tools can be integrated to assist in providing consistency and to save time in replicating messages.

Syneka Marketing has worked with Clubs throughout District 9810 to develop effective online marketing strategies, including a consistent website template and social media presence.

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Introducing Kevin Cahalane – Membership Strategies with Social Media

By Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities 5 Comments
Kevin Cahalane

Kevin Cahalane

Kevin is a membership recruitment specialist who will be sharing his expertise with Syneka Marketing and our clients. Kevin has worked with some of Australia’s top Associations, Clubs and other non-profit Organisations including CPA Australia, Financial Planning Association of Australia, Kindergarten Parents Victoria, Deakin University and Zoo’s Victoria.

Kevin will be sharing his insights through blog posts at Syneka Snippets.

Kevin’s first Syneka Snippets Blog Post is a recent interview with Alex on using social media effectively in not-for-profit organisations:

Kevin Cahalane
You are heavily involved in developing social media for not-for-profit organisations … what are some of the key requirements for a nfp to develop a social media strategy?

Alex Makin

A not-for-profit organisation, like any organisation, needs to know what they are seeking to achieve from social media. Social media is a communications tool to achieve your marketing objectives. Your messages and brand need to be consistent across all forms of marketing.

Kevin Cahalane
Put up a Facebook page … and you’re on your way, right?

Alex Makin

While it may sound this simple, there is to more to social media than simply putting up a Facebook Page or creating a Twitter account.

Firstly, social media, like a website, is only effective if it regularly updated. The best way to achieve this is to integrate social media with your website. Updated website content should be posted automatically to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email subscribers and other social media tools.

This approach ensures that you have consistent communication across your online marketing tools. Your goal should be to ensure that someone who connects with your organisation is able to receive the same content, regardless of whether they visit your website, Like your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter.

Also, do not neglect email subscribers, email is still a very effective form of sharing content and should be utilised along with social media to ensure that you engage with your community.

Kevin Cahalane
What are some of the issues and pitfalls they face?

Alex Makin

You need to make sure that your social media presence is continually updated and maintained. An empty Facebook page or a lack of Tweets will deter people from connecting with your organisation.

Your website should be continually updated, add regular articles, such as content from your newsletters and media releases to demonstrate that you are an active organisation. The branding and identity of your organisation needs to be consistent across all forms of marketing including social media and your website.

Social media and the Internet is essentially a marketing and community engagement and exercise. If you do not engage your online community then you will not be effective in harnessing social media.

This does not need to be time consuming. If you integrate social media with your website then you only need to write content once and it will be replicated automatically through Facebook, Twitter and other tools.

Consider the information you currently develop, such as brochures, newsletters and factsheets and use this information for your website and social media.

Kevin Cahalane
If an organisation does not currently have a social media strategy, what are their first 2 – 3 steps?

Alex Makin

  1. Make sure your brand and messages are consistent across all your marketing materials. You should be able to easily add and maintain your own website. If you cannot do this, then it is time to consider a redesign with a content management system. This will enable you to maintain and add content to your website, as easily as typing a document on a letterhead.
  2. Create a Facebook page, Twitter profile and other social media tools. Make sure you know who is authorised to speak on behalf of your organisation.
  3. Integrate social media with your website and engage your online community. Make sure you regularly add content and promote your social media presence in your newsletter, website and other forms of marketing.
Kevin Cahalane
What do you find are some of the biggest obstacles to successful social media implementation?

Alex Makin

Organisations need to remember that social media is a marketing activity and its use needs to be effectively planned and developed.

An ad-hoc approach with irregular updates is not going to be effective.

Integration is the key to social media success so that you write content once and replicate it across your networks. This saves time and ensures ongoing engagement with your online community.

Kevin Cahalane
Any other advice for those starting out or those who have some social media (eg a Facebook page) plans in place, but are struggling?

Alex Makin

Remember that social media is widely utilised across all demographics. Facebook and Twitter are no longer just used by younger people. In fact, the fastest growing Facebook demographic are people over 55 years old.

Also, do not neglect LinkedIn as it can be a very useful tool to strengthen and build connections between your organisation and other like minded organisations.

If you are struggling then it is time to consider what goals you have for social media and develop a strategy to work towards these outcomes. Social media should complement your marketing activities.