This weeks guest blog feature is from John Ryan of go2mobile.com on SMS Mobile Marketing.  Go2mobile are based here at Roselawn House and their knowledge on the subject is second to none.  We hope you enjoy the blog and find it as useful as we did.  Thanks John.

First of all, let me express a sincere “Thank you” to Michelle at Roselawn House for this guest blog opportunity. We here at www.go2mobile.com are a corporate text messaging service provider based in Limerick within the Roselawn House Office Suites.

We are often asked how SMS could improve a business’s sales through mobile marketing. There is not one single answer to this, as SMS mobile marketing can be applied in many variations and under many guises. For example, a hair-salon might use SMS mobile marketing to remind clients of appointments and broadcast vouchers to loyal customers (often called m-Vouchers or m-Coupons) while a boutique may use SMS to invite customers to an evening fashion event related to their latest spring collection. At the end of this post, we have highlighted some mobile marketing links that cover all these aspects.

However, reSMS Mobile Marketinggardless of objective or business sector, an effectively constructed SMS marketing broadcast can be summarised by the following points:
1) Personalise: Always try to personalize the message in some manner, either by automatically inserting a person’s Firstname or by a tailored value token such as the number of loyalty points the customer may have gained.

2) Precise: Always make the SMS relevant; tailor your SMS to the intended targeted distribution group.
3) Prompt: Always include a call to action, a prompt for a user to engage with the message. For example a SMS coupon that the recipient can present instore to claim a discount.

As an example of its scope and diversity; mobile marketing can also be used by non-consumer based businesses. For example, property management firms such as Roselawn House could use mobile marketing services to inform tenants of general news (coffee charity mornings, courier parcels at reception, rent invoice posted, parking changes, scheduled maintenance and so forth). While this does not immediately seem like mobile marketing, it is just that as it is achieves the same objectives as a consumer based campaign, namely:
1) Generating a constant interactive dialogue between each other (business -> consumer /landlord->tenant), sometimes referred to as loyalty or retention.
2) Enforces brand awareness of your product/business name/service by using it as the identifier of the SMS.
3) If notifications are relevant, informative and beneficial it can cause a “sticky” type effect with costumers/tenants.

Due to these myriad of variations, the first query we ask a potential client, and it might seem obvious, regards what their goals/objectives of the mobile marketing campaign/service are. In otherwords, what do they wish to achieve from it. There are 5 broad distinct categories that generally apply to SMS Mobile Marketing type services:
1) Wishing to build a mobile marketing list for future campaigns.
2) Customer retention/loyalty (sending out offers, or m-couSMS Mobile Marketingpons).
3) Enforcing brand awareness (can use the product/business/service name as the mobile sender identifier instead of a generic mobile number; maximum of 11 characters).
4) Generating interest in a new promotion/service.
5) Advertising an event (send out m-Tickets for example).

There are many types of methods that can be used to send SMS for your business’s campaign, but the most frequently used are:
1) Online Group Messaging services (usually after uploading your mobile marketing list).
2) Sending SMS from your regular email accounts (allows you to use your own contacts).
3) Using software such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system; auctioneers frequently use this type of service to automatically send out marketing alerts when specific criteria are matched for a house that is placed on sale.

When creating your campaign, you must ensure that the mobile numbers were opted in, meaning that the recipient actively requested to have further messages sent to him/her. At the end of this post there are links which explain how to do create such mobile lists. It is also imperative that your business always includes an opt-out facility within every broadcasted message.

SMS mobile marketing has proven extremely effective as many surveys show that messages are opened almost immediately. Not only this:

SMS Mobile Marketing1) SMS has been accepted and is used by a wide age range of people.
2) There is national and international extensive and robust network coverage ensuring the message can be delivered.
3) SMS messages are delivered and displayed regardless of the type of phone platforms (a text message can be read on an iPhone as well as a Nokia Lumia or Android based phone).


One final important point, which will be further highlighted by the links at the end of this post, is to control costs by monitoring the length of the SMS (170 characters is considered 2 messages for example) and ensure to use plain standard characters in your SMS so it can be displayed correctly on the majority of phones (sometimes symbols can be mistranslated depending on the phone platform).

As a general text message length guide:
• Up to 160 character length = 1 SMS
• Up to 290 character length = 2 SMS
• Up to 435 character length = 3 SMS
• Up to 580 character length = 4 SMS
• Up to 725 character length = 5 SMS


Some Useful Links:

Mobile Marketing Specific Posts:

Creating a Marketing List:

m-Coupons and m-Tickets Overview: http://go2mobilesolutions.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/m-coupons-and-m-tickets-explained/

Using Data Mining to create Effective SMS Marketing Lists: http://go2mobilesolutions.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/using-data-mining-to-create-effective-sms-marketing-lists/

Relevance of SMS:


Overview of Sending SMS via:

Online Group Services:


Email Accounts:


Examples of Mobile Marketing SMS within Hotels & B&Bs: http://go2mobilesolutions.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/brief-overview-of-sms-within-hotels-and-bbs/

Examples of Mobile Marketing SMS within Retailers: http://go2mobilesolutions.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/retail-sector-benefits-of-sms/



do's and don'ts of starting a businessIn today’s economic climate, we are witnessing many changes in the business world.  One particular trend we have noticed here at Roselawn House is a rising surge in the number of new start-up companies.  Many entrepreneurs are seeing and taking full advantage of the various opportunities out there at the moment and only last week, the government introduced some more incentives in the budget for anyone looking to set up on their own.  Here now, we bring you some of our do’s and don’ts for starting up your own Business.


  • Research demand and once you’ve done do's and don'ts for starting a businessthis, do it some more. We cannot emphasise the importance of knowing your target market. Business plans and marketing plans offer a great structure for analysing the potential market.  There are lots of professionals out there who can offer advice on this as well as many free enterprise agencies, so be sure to avail of any advice on offer.
  • Set yourself clear objectives and goals from the start.
  • Try to build a client base before you start the business. There are some fantastic networking events where you can meet potential customers.  Keep up to date with all local business meetings and events. Knowing what is going on in the business world will be vital so be sure to set aside time for this.
  • Image is everything and first time impressions last. Bear this in mind when your are deciding upon your location of your business. Take into consideration all your costs and look at options like serviced offices if you are starting out. Here at Roselawn House, our clients avail of free parking and wi-fi for example which could be something that could prove to be quite costly.  Choose a location that optimises convenience and costs.
  • Finance is such a huge area that we always recommend getting some form of assistance or advice on.  Research grants and see if there is anything out there that your business could benefit from, in today’s climate, every penny helps.
  • Finally, believe in yourself and your products/service, if you don’t, you can’t expect others to.

do's and don'ts for starting a business

  •     Don’t try to do everything yourself, especially when it comes to areas that you are unfamiliar with.  There are various support agencies and trainers out there who have worked in key areas for years and will be able to offer advice and specialised assistance. Take full advantage of local enterprise support facilities, more often than not, some of the advice they can offer is free.
  • Don’t ignore your competitors.  A competitor analysis will help set the ground work for this but ensure that you maintain and analyse your competitors throughout your business life.
  • Don’t forget to refer back to your business/marketing plan.  You’ve set strategies and goals in place so utilise these and ensure you are staying on track.
  • Don’t underestimate future costs. It is better to overestimate potential costs that you may incur than to be faced with unexpected costs.
  • Don’t ignore trends. If you do, you can bet your competitors wont. Trends in marketing for example are forever changing. You need to find out the best means to communicate with your audience and develop these means throughout time.

So there you have it, some of our top do’s and don’ts for anyone who is thinking of starting their own business.  Remember, there are many institutions and enterprise boards who are there to help as well as lots of individuals who may have been in the same position at some point in time. The information or advice they can offer can be priceless so be sure to listen and implement where needed. Finally, plan, plan and then plan some more.  We cannot emphasise enough the importance of planning so remember “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Until next time…

Google+Google+, for anyone that didn’t know is essentially a social networking chanel owned and operated by Google.  Aside from its social networking features on a personal level, it has been making a huge impact in the business world with many companies embracing it as part of their marketing strategies.  So, what is the difference between Google’s platform and other social networking sites? Quite simply, it comes down to its features and ability to impact your online search rankings.  Without going into too much detail about SEO, Google ranks where your website appears in its search engine. In short, using Google products will fundamentally bring you closer to the top of Google searches. Before we go into how you can set up your own business page on Google+, here are some key benefits and features that will certainly sway your decision to join the Google+ revolution.


Benefits of Google+

  • Google+ has circles that enables you to categorise and organise people into certain groups. You can add new groups as well as adding to some of the default groups from Google such as “Friends” and “Acquaintances.”
  • You can share messages or links with everyone or with certain people within designated circles.
  • Your circles are private and people cannot see the names of the group they are in. 
  • You can use The ‘Hang Out’ app which is a fantastic way to video chat. You can have several users in the hang out at the same and you can edit and view documents at the same.
  • Hover text features.   

Google+How to create your Google+ Business Page

So where to start. To begin with, you will need to create a company page. In order to create a Google+ business page, you must first have a personal profile.  From here, go to ‘pages’ located on the left hand side of your profile.  Next up, you will need to categorise your company.  Once this is done, you will need to fill out all your companies’ information. Try and include as much important information as possible here such as your address or phone number. Doing this will optimise features like Google maps for example. Finally, be sure to brand your business page to coincide with your overall image. Use keywords. Include your logo in the profile picture and add a cover image.  Add videos about your company where possible.  You Tube is now the second highest used search facility and Google takes this into account with your content and rankings.  Images are extremely important. Visual marketing is increasing day by day with the likes of Instagram, Pinterest and Infographics leading the way in terms of visual social media tools. 

So there you have it! It’s as easy as that to set up.  If you haven’t set up a Google+ account then I would strongly suggest doing so.  Before we go, we want to leave you with some tips to ensure your page makes the most of Google+.

Google+ Tips

Google+ Tips:

  • Post regularly.
  • If you are blogging, be sure to use your own, new content. Google is very strict on the copying or reusing of another author’s material as your own.
  • Add links throughout your page.
  • Share specific content with specific people through the use of circles. This leads to a much more targeted form of marketing. 
  • Request authorship from Google.  This will enable features such as having your image being shown next to your posts. 
  • Tag people in your posts, especially if you are sharing their content.
  • Post and share content in relevant communities with people you feel will be interested in your topic.
  • Encourage your employees to support your page in the same way that they would on Linkedin

If you have any other comments or tips on Google+, we’d love to hear below from you. Until next time, we’ll see you on Google+

ImageThis week saw the launch of “Limerick Business Week,” a week of business events including workshops, seminars, networking events and one on one mentoring clinic’s. The event celebrates 20 years of the Limerick Enterprise Board supporting Business in Limerick, and we have to say, they put on a fantastic week. 

Commencing from the 30th of September, a range of organisations and venues amalgamated their talents to put together an interesting program for any small businesses or new start-up businesses in the Limerick area. This is an area that we ourselves have witnessed a sporadic growth in over the past year with an influx of passionate and determined entrepreneurs residing in Roselawn House. On behalf of our clients and to gain insight into some of the latest business trends, we checked out some of the events throughout the week and here are some of the highlights and tips we took away from the momentous week. 

Gavin Duffy of Dragons DenTo kick start the week, we attended a fantastic evening featuring guest speaker Gavin Duffy of the series “Dragon’s Den.”  For anyone that doesn’t know Gavin, he is renowned for his diverse portfolio of investments, and more recently, as a dragon on Dragons Den.  Gavin began by offering tips on networking, putting the skills in practice afterwards with a brief networking session.  He then went on to give an empowering speech which I have to say, was a breath of fresh positive air.  Gavin’s “can do”, and “will do” attitude certainly gave food for thought to many budding entrepreneurs which is something we don’t hear enough of in today’s economic climate.  An invigorating start to the week!

The next day, it was over to Dell in Limerick for an event hosted by the Limerick Chambers with a business breakfast themed around “Social Media Trends & Best Practices.” Here, guest speakers Stephen Jio and Krishna De spoke on the topic offering their insights, tips and advice on incorporating social media into your marketing strategies. Dell opened the event giving us an interesting background into the history of Dell in Limerick and their hopes and expectations for the future in Limerick

Image Stephen Jio, Global Online Marketing Manager & Social Media Expert for Dell, then took the stand discussing his role and the importance of social media at Dell.  Stephen exhibited the sheer volume of engagement internally and externally for Dell, emphasising the need for companies of all sizes to establish and maintain a strong social presence.  Image

Next up it was Krishna De.  Krishna De is an award winning communications strategist, commentator and mentor and we can see why. Her captivating talk on social media provided everyone with lots of inspiring ideas for thought provoking and engaging content.  Krishna laid huge emphasis on the impact of visual content, giving examples of social media channels such as pinterest and instagram.  We ourselves have noticed a huge growth in the popularity of visual content & infographics and will certainly be implementing some of these ideas. 

After the talks we received a fantastic tour of Dell where we were guided throughout their premises and innovation hubs. What really stood out for me was the data center as we have a data center here at Roselawn House.  Not being the best when it comes to techy talk, the information was very informative and certainly very much welcomed. 

Roselawn House at Dell Limerick Next up, it was all focus on women in business, where women from all around Limerick gathered for a networking event which took place in the neighbouring Castletroy Park Hotel.  The event, themed ‘Persistence pays… 9 No’s is still a maybe’ featured a networking session and a talk from guest speaker Anne O’Leary.  Anne gave an empowering speech which filled the room with a contagious sense of motivation and inspiration.  Anne is clearly an extremely passionate woman when it comes to business and just to be warned, she doesn’t take the word no lightly.

David Butt The final event we attended for the week was on “Digital Marketing for Micro Business.” Here, David Butt, an award winning Brand Manager and Digital Marketing specialist gave a talk on the various different aspects of digital marketing and its importance in business today. David has an extensive wealth of knowledge when it comes to digital and social media and explained how they can be integrated into marketing campaigns or strategies. This was an extremely informative session and we are really looking forward to putting lots of his ideas into place.  

All in all, it was a fantastic week of events which highlighted the depth of our business expertise and resources within Limerick.  We acquired some great new advice and met some amazing people along the way.  Be sure to check out some of our favourite images from the week throughout our social media pages and watchout over the coming weeks as we put all this new found knowledge to the test!

Until next time,

Michelle Noonan.


iOS 7

iOS 7

So, you’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new iOS 7 software from Apple and finally, it’s here. After much deliberation, we have put together a list of some of our favourite features and how to access them.

First up, is the new speedy method for accessing the phone’s search capabilities. There’s not much to explain here, simply swipe down through the middle of the screen and there you’ll find the search tab. There’s also a nifty swipe option for bringing up some important menu options. (previously located in the settings menu) By swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a number of menu options available to you including airport mode, brightness, wi-fi features, volume, a calculator and a new feature, a torch!  Two things to note here.  First up, it took a few attempts to get the hang of swiping upwards, however, I found that the nearer to the home button you go, the more accurate it is.  Secondly, this menu of features WILL be available with the screen lock on so you might want to change your settings if need be.

Staying on the topic of swiping, a new feature that I like is the ability to close your browsing pages through swiping – merely swipe the tabs away to the left.  A similar process is now available for closing apps.  If you’re like me you’ll find the previous process of closing your applications a monotonous and time consuming one.  To close your apps, double tap the home button and then swipe the app’s screenshot upwards until it disappears off the screen.

One feature many people may be glad to see is in terms of usage.  User’s can now see how much data various apps are using.  To access this information, go to Settings, Cellular and from here, scroll down to the bottom of the screen where you can see which apps have used which data. Additionally, you can block any app from using any data. (helpful for anyone with a smaller data plan)

iOS 7 has a peculiar, but I suppose practical feature – A built-in bubble level. I may have found this strange at first, but I’ve already utilised this today, so who knows! (You can access this feature through the compass app.)

Siri has a few new features to offer.  One that stands out is that you can now post to facebook via the voice recognition software – a simple yet handy feature all the same. Siri also offers some new booking and reservation features which you’ll find through trial and error.

Next up, SMS. A new feature for messaging is time stamping. As the name suggests you can now see the times as to when a message has been sent as opposed to before where you would simply see the initial time only.

If you are into your quirky ringtones and new wallpapers then you may like some of the new ones that iOS 7 has to offer.  One thing to watch out for is that your alarm tone may default to the iPhone’s tones throughout the upgrade.  Remember to change your alarm if need be as we saw lot’s of tweets this morning about people sleeping in as a result. (any excuse)

And finally, the camera.  The iOS 7 has some new easy to access camera features including square and panoramic options. There is also an instagram like feature that you can use whilst taking pictures and videos. Other than that, it’s much the same.

Overall, we are liking the new software.  The functionality of the iOS 7 is more pleasing than it is aesthetically but all in all, it gets a thumbs up from us.

That’s just some of the features we have come across so far but we’d love to hear if you have found any other ones.

Comment’s as always below, until next time!

imagesOne of the many questions I get asked here at Roselawn House when it comes to Social media is simply “how do I get people to engage.”  Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong methodology when it comes to guaranteeing interaction, however, there are ways you can encourage and facilitate it. Let me introduce you to what I have aptly named the TOUCH, PAUSE & ENGAGE methodology. (Which, for some reason that I can’t put my finger on, clients seem to remember)

So, first up, Touch. In order to “stand out from the crowd” you need to be able to touch people with your posts and content on varying levels. For example, you may want to touch people on an emotional level. There are many companies who do this exceptionally.  Have a look at any of today’s most successful companies and you will find they have perfected and adopted this concept tactically. By forming an emotional bond with customers that differentiates you from other businesses, you will be able to create and maintain a loyal following on a prolonged basis. Coca Cola are a company that spring to mind with their moving Christmas advertisements. The advert’s touch people at an emotional level that levers some form of emotive response in some shape or form.  With the help of Social media, this is now easier to do than it ever was before.

Next up, Pause. Instead of over-loading followers with information, sometimes customers quite simply want to be heard.  Stand back, “pause” and listen to what your followers are saying. The information you hear can be invaluable to any business as your customer is your company. There are so many tools that can facilitate the listening process.  A survey for example can give essential insight or feedback that is invaluable to any company.  Our favourite survey tool at the moment is SurveyMonkey.  SurveyMonkey is essentially an online survey tool which has some incredible features such as free surveys, polls, questionnaires, customer feedback and market research abilities. Once you know what your customer wants, it will make the next step much easier.

This leads us onto the final stage, Engage! Once you’ve spoken to your followers and listened to them with intent, you should have a good knowledge of what they want to hear. This is when its time to engage and interact.  When it comes to engaging with your online followers, you need to remember that they are more than likely at an “information overload” point already, so try not to bog them down with immaterial or irrelevant information. Engage on a “one to one” level. Offer real time response and don’t the focus be simply business related.

Building communities, interacting on social media sites and engaging in forums are all examples of how you can interact and engage.  Ask questions, be proactive in engaging and of course, listen. Follow these tips and it should give you a good starting point in the engaging process. Let us know what works for you, we’d love to hear.

Michelle Noonan Roselawn House


So, facebook has yet again thrown spanners in the works as they revolutionise the way we use the popular social networking site. Since the 30th of March 2012, Facebook made the all new timeline platform mandatory when it released and implemented the new format across the board.  Positive and negative response’s have been expressed since the launch of timeline which has begged the question, what does the all new look signify for businesses on facebook, and what new capabilities can be utilised if any.

First off, we look at the positives and how the all new format can benefit companies. For starters, the branding appears to be much more apparent with timeline, with new concepts such as cover images where companies can showcase their main attributes and upload much larger branded images.  Businesses will need to take advantage of this new feature by showcasing their company visually to give themselves as much exposure as possible.  Overall, this appears to be the main advantage of the all new look facebook pages, whereby larger images and videos are much more user friendly offering users more control over the image and feel of content, a definite plus for any company or business.

Secondly, if your company has an app that is relevant to your Facebook Business page, any activity that users engage in on your business page will be mirrored on the users Facebook timelineAlso on the plus side you can now create an editorial calendar. This makes for much more calculated posts that can be scheduled and timed to suit your specific audience you are aiming to target. As well as this, the new Timeline for Facebook Pages will also show users which of their friends on Facebook also like the same brand when they visit a specific page. These features will benefit companies immensely in terms of marketing sharing capabilities.

In terms of usability, everything can now be accessed and maintained from the top of the page.  The new social media tool “pinning” which you may or may not have heard about has also been facilitated in the new facebook layout. “Pinning” a post now restores a story or article at the top of the timeline page.

Analysing timeline from a more negative aspect, firstly, there is no default landing tab anymore. The landing tabs were previously very popular with companies in terms of self promotions and competitions. You can however still create the custom tabs, but as you will find, you cannot use it as a landing page as it was previously utilised.

And so to summarise, all in all, as much as we may procrastinate about change, the new timeline outlook for businesses, should be viewed positively and exploited to its maximum ability for the utmost exposure in a company’s social media marketing strategies.  Overall, we give Facebook’s Timeline for business a promising thumbs up.


Pinterest, a novel word for many in the Social Media world, but certainly a word that looks like its going to be around for some time. And so, what exactly is Pinterest and how does it affect our social media marketing strategies? Here now, we give you a quick background and some useful tips on how to utilise this new visual content sharing concept.

First of, what is Pinterest? Pinterest is a new social phenomenon in the world of social media which allows users to share and organise content on the web.  Pinterest also facilitates users in allowing them to browse “pinboards” which have been created by other people.  More importantly, it enables users to browse and share YOUR content which will, optimistically speaking, drive incoming traffic to your site. The simple concept behind Pinterest is to turn leads into conversions by creating an environment which embraces and captures the interest of your target audience.

Secondly, Pinterest focuses more on a visual basis as opposed to content which we are more commonly accustomed to, with the likes of facebook and twitter. Therefore, it is important that you add images and videos that you feel will be of interest to your specific target market.

Thirdly, keep your content new and exciting and as with other various social networking sites, don’t overload users with content.  Focus on people’s lifestyles rather than your product and service.

Finally, are there any downsides to Pinterest? The main shortcoming of this social networking tool has to be the fact that you cannot connect Pinterest directly to your business page. However, you can register via Facebook and other social networking sites and you can share posts which certainly make this site one to watch.  For anyone looking for more information on Pinterest and to see how can you implement it to your website or blog page, we recommend visiting www.pinterest.com/about/goodies/ where you can obtain the “Pin It” button for your blog or website, and lots of information on how it works.

Good luck pinning!


Before we take a look at this week’s business news, we must pay homage to a very inspirational business man, Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs, Apple founder and former CEO sadly passed away today, at the tender age of 56. A true entrepreneur that will never be forgotten. RIP Steve Jobs.

There’s been lots of positive new job creations this week, particularly in the Dublin and Belfast regions.  Etihad Airways who already employ 90 Irish workers have today announced that they are looking to expand their Irish workforce by at least 100 people.  The company will be holding interviews for the positions next month.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced that more than 90 jobs are to be created in the marine research and the seafood processing sector.  Kenny gave details of the investment which will generate 64 jobs, as well as 28 research posts.  Mr Kenny stated “This has been achieved through the mapping of the 90% of Irish national territory that lies under the Atlantic, the creation of a quarter of a billion euro-worth of marine research infrastructure, and the fostering of strong linkages between industry and research centres, all of which will support employment opportunities in key areas of potential growth in the marine sector.”

Over to Belfast now and more than 80 jobs are to be created over the next three years at Kainos, an IT solutions company in Belfast. The jobs will be spread out with positions in sales, software engineering and project management. The move has been welcomed by Invest Northern Ireland, and will be a huge benefit to the area.


It has been a good week for Ireland with several announcements of new jobs.  Swedish company Ericsson have today announced the creation of over 100 new positions for their research facility on Athlone.  The positions will be for software engineers and more information is said to follow over the coming weeks.

Forty jobs were also announced for Roscommon through WPA mobile, a company that specialises in mobile software medical devices. Elsewhere, 22 new jobs have been created in the animation sector which is to be based in Dublin.

Also announced throughout the week was the creation of fifty new high-end jobs in Dublin by Asset management firm BNY Mellon.  The new jobs will include specialist teams such as sales, finance, technology and operations.

BNY Mellon operates in 36 countries and serves more than 100 markets.  Here in Ireland, BNY Mellon already employ approximately 1800 people throughout their Dublin, Cork, Wexford and Navan bases and looks set to be yet another positive step towards re-growing our Irish economy.