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Managing Multiple Google+ Pages For One Brand

In the last couple of weeks with the announcement of the departure of Vic Gundotra from Google there was a lot of talk online that his legacy at the company, Google+ was on life support and waiting to be killed off. This speculation was all well and good except for one thing, at the same time that half the internet was planning a funeral for Google+, business owners were noticing that their Google places accounts had been automatically merged into Google+ pages and things were looking very messy.

Some businesses had their main brand page on Google+ where they were posting content regularly. They also had a Google Places For Business account where they managed all the location details for their bricks and mortar locations around the country. Many large businesses with multiple locations like supermarkets, fast-food chains, or retail stores now had hundreds of Google+ pages to manage. These local listings which are very important to brands in terms of driving local traffic and sales to a website were now looking like empty unbranded Google+ pages.

Google+ pages cannot be merged and Google+ also doesn’t support a parent child relationship between pages. So deciding what to do with multiple Google+ pages can be tricky. Firstly we suggest you add a logo and a cover photo to all of the new pages and ensure that the correct information for your locations is being displayed. This information can be edited easily by logging in to Google Places for Business

Options for managing multiple Google+ pages for the one brand: 

  1. Keep the old Google+ brand page and the new Google+ pages for your locations active by posting all content to both. If your business has a national and local presence this makes sense, but it is a lot of work if you have 30 shops located around the country.

  2. Delete the original Google+ Page that you were running for your brand, reposting all the old content to the new local Google+ page. This option is also not very practical if you have 30 locations nationwide that now need individual Google+ pages managed.

  3. Our recommended solution is to keep the original brand Google+ page and all the new local pages. Post all new content to the original brand page as normal and place a once off post on the new Google+ pages for each location directing users to the main brand Google+ page. 

If you find all this a bit too daunting B*Different offer both social media training and account management services, get in touch with us today.

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Appy Monday – Tinder

“The application is clearly addictive.” – The New York Times “Everyone I know is suddenly talking about it.” – New York Magazine

Tinder is the must have app for all singletons in 2014, it is a social discovery app that allows users to view other Tinder users nearby and decide if they like them based on basic information such as a photos, interests and mutual friends. The information used within the app is pulled from Facebook which is needed to log into the application. Tinder users also get to add a brief intro to make their profile more appealing.

“‘Tinder’ is a verb. It has become so popular that the name of the application is an action.” – The Huffington Post

Setup of the app is easy, users log in with Facebook, select what sex they are interested in, add an age range and radius to search. Users are then presented with their matches which they can “like” or “pass”. If you both mutually like each others profiles you are then allowed to private chat in the app. If you pass on someone, you’ll never see their profile again, and they can’t see yours.

As I’m in a relationship my use of the app was limited to watching a friend scroll through the women of Dublin, swiping right for a like and swiping left for a pass and cursing profoundly when he made a mistake or doubted his judgement on the last left swipe knowing his mystery women was now off his Tinder radar forever. 

Tinder is available on Android and iPhone get it whilst it’s hot! 

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Marketing To Generation Snapchat

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a popular photo messaging app that allows users to take photos or record videos known as snaps, and then add text and doodle drawings to them, before sending to a friend or controlled list of recipients. After taking the snap users set a time limit of between 1 and 10 seconds for how long recipients can view their Snaps. Snapchat Stories are a great option for brands, allowing them to add snaps together creating a story. Snap Stories live for 24 hours before disappearing. After this time the snaps are hidden from the recipient’s phone and also erased from Snapchat servers. Snapchat has an estimated 30 million users who send on average of 350 million snaps a day and is very popular with users between 13-25.

Should my brand be using Snapchat?

  • Is your target market aged between 13 and 25?

  • Are you looking for a fun way to interact with your audience?

  • Have you built a strong community on more main stream social media?

If you answered Yes to the above then Snapchat is the next step in your brands social media strategy.

What are brands doing on Snapchat?

Encouraging repeat customers 16 Handles, A New York City based frozen yoghurt shop ran a new years Snapchat promotion. It worked in three stages. First, existing customers would send a selfie of themselves eating some fro-yo in a 16 Handles shop to the company’s Snapchat account. The 16 Handles marketing team then automatically sent the customer a Snapchat message containing a coupon. The customer then waited until they were next in store and at the till ready to pay and opened the snap. The snaps from 16 handles contained money off coupons ranging from a percentage off the full price to a free purchase. Within days of launching their Snapchat campaign, the popular frozen yoghurt shop had sent more than 1,400 Snapchat messages and built up an active following to which they could send future promotional material. 

Creating Teasers, In the UK market MTV used Snapchat to promote its hit reality show Geordie Shore before launching the sixth series in the summer of 2013. Fans were encouraged to add the show’s official Snapchat account by seductive messaging, in exchange for exclusive content including videos and photographs of the cast, The demographics of Snapchat users and the viewers of Geordie Shore are a perfect match allowing MTV to tease viewers with spoilers direct to their smartphones.

Creating a buzz, Tennent’s Vital is Northern Ireland’s most popular music festival held annually in Belfast. The 2014 concerts were confirmed in March announcing The Killers as headliners through social media including Snapchat. To see Snapchat for business live in action add them on Snapchat, username: tennentsvital

5 smart tips for success with Snapchat for business:

  1. Choose a simple brand name.

  2. Keep it casual.

  3. Know and engage your audience.

  4. Don’t spam.

  5. Most importantly have fun!

For any help with creating the perfect social media strategy for your business contact B*Different today for a free 1 hour consultation

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Appy Monday – Eight apps for a stress free Summer holiday

 

BarcelonaPhoto by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Just a little word of warning, Always make sure to check out the cost of data roaming from your network provider before using your smartphone outside of Ireland. See Vodafone, O2, Three, Meteor or Tesco Mobile for more details. All Apps featured are available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. Appy holidays everyone!

Ryanair

The Ryanair app allows users to make bookings on all of the budget airlines routes, check flight timetables, review current bookings, and add optional services such as priority boarding and checked-in bags to existing bookings. The reason I will be using the Ryanair App over a price comparison app such as Skyscanner or Expedia is I know that Ryanair will have the cheapest prices on my chosen route. I will use the App to keep an eye on prices and book through their new easy to use website.

Accuweather

Crowded House said it best with “Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you” this App will allow you to do just that. Accuweather is an easy to use weather app. Open the app see clear visual weather predictions for your destination broke down by hour and off you go about your day.  It is also pretty useful for posting pesky screen shots to social media so everyone knows you’re lapping up 27 degrees heat when they are sitting at home enjoying an Irish rain shower.

Booking.com

Booking.com is one of the handiest apps I have installed on my phone. It allows users to book hotels all over the world in just a few steps with no deposit and the added bonus of free cancellation on most reservations up to 48 hours before arrival. Another great feature on the booking.com app is your reservation can be added to Passbook on IOS devices. I use booking.com at least once a month for weekend breaks in Ireland so it is definitely my go to accommodation app for any trips abroad I have coming up this year.  

Hailo

I am obsessed with Hailo, I have long thought it was possibly the best app to have on your phone when visiting Dublin and I was delighted when they rolled it out all over Ireland earlier this year. It is my go to app for a convenient quick taxi ride. I love the efficiency of it, I love the cash free nature of the transaction and most of all I love that I will be able to use it in Barcelona and know that I will be in safe hands on any taxi journeys I take.

Google Maps

Never get lost on holiday again! I once went astray in Glasgow and ended up 11 miles away from my destination after missing my bus stop, there was no such thing as the Google Maps App back then when I was rocking around with my Nokia brick in my pocket.  Google Maps has been my saviour on more times than I care to admit from finding toll free routes when cash is a bit tight to helping me navigate my way around public transport in San Francisco. For me this is a must have app whether you are holidaying at home or away this year.

TripAdvisor

A hotel managers worst nightmare and a savvy travellers go to app. TripAdvisor is a community based review forum covering everything from hotels to excursions with real honest reviews from people who have been there done that and bought the t-shirt. I usually wouldn’t base my restaurant choice on what users have to say but for accommodation and day tours this is always my last port of call before booking. I always go back and leave a truthful review in the hope that I am helping others to make an informed decision on their travels.

Whatsapp Messenger

Always handy at home or away to keep in touch and let the mammy know that you are safe, not sunburned and drinking plenty of water. Whatsapp messenger is an alternative to texting that works over data or wifi. It is free for the first year with an annual 99 cent subscription free thereafter.

Snapchat

How else could you get your super snaps showing off just what an amazing time you are having directly onto your friends phone and be happy in the knowledge that they have looked at them! Snapchat is a must have holiday app for some silly fun! Check out our Appy Monday on Snapchat here.

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Twitter’s Redesigned Profile Page

Twitter Header

 

Twitter today rolled out their new redesigned profile page to all users of the social media platform. To activate the new look, simply sign into Twitter on a desktop and click the “Take a Look” button in the banner at the top of your screen.

Some changes you will notice with the redesign, which Twitter have been rolling out to selected users for over a month include a larger header area – great for displaying a branded message. The recommend file size for the new header is 1500px × 500px. The profile photo has also gotten bigger, great for adding your larger sharper logo; the recommended size for this is 400px x 400px.

Some other cool new features include: 

Pinned Tweets:

Pinned Tweet

Pinned Tweet From @poloconghaile 

You can choose to pin a tweet to the top of your profile so everyone will see that tweet first on your feed. To do this you click on the three dots and select “Pin to your profile page”

Best Tweets:  

 Best Tweet From @TwitterDublin

Tweets that get the most engagement will appear larger on your homepage, so your best content is easy to find. The image above shows the difference between the two sizes.

 Filtered Tweets:

The new filtered tweets option lets you select what to view when checking out the timelines of others. Choose from these options: Tweets, Tweets and replies, Or photos/videos.

There seems to be a lot of debate going around about the new layout but we would predict it is here to stay for the foreseeable future so what do you think? Leave a comment below with your opinions.

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Video – Matt Cutts on How To Avoid Buying A Domain Name Previously Ruined By Spammers

In the latest webmasters video from Google, Head of web spam Matt Cutts offers some advice on how to avoid purchasing a domain name that may has been destroyed by a spammer in the past.

Wally in Reno asks:

How can we check to see if a domain (bought from a registrar) was previously in trouble with Google? I recently bought, and unbeknownst to me the domain isn’t being indexed and I’ve had to do a reconsideration request. How could I have prevented?

Cutts starts off with a few rules of thumb when it comes to checking a domains past activity. Firstly do a search for the domain, and do it in a couple of different ways. Do a ‘site:’ search, so, ‘site: domain.com’ for the domain you are wanting to buy. If there are no results at all from the domain you want to buy and you can see that there is content on that domain it is a pretty bad sign. However if the domain is parked with no content Google do try to omit parked sites from the search to give better results.

If B*Different were having this problem, we would go to Google.ie and enter site:bdifferent.ie if no results came up we would be in big trouble luckily for us this is not an issue for our site.

Cutts next suggestion is performing a simple search on the domain name – excluding .com or its extension. Here you are on the lookout for the domains previous reputation. Are people online talking about the domain in a bad way, is this domain associated with spam tactics such as sending unsolicited emails or leaving dodgy comment spam on other sites.

Another rule of thumb from Cutts is to check out Archive.org to look at previous versions of the site. Here you will see if in the past it contained spammy, auto-generated content if it did it would be a good idea to stay away from that domain name and choose another one. “The previous owner might have dug the domain into a hole, and you just have to do a lot of work even to get back to level ground.”

Cutts goes on to suggest that if you are purchasing a site from a current owner, ask to see the analytics and webmaster tools so you can see traffic patterns and if there are any warnings or messages.

Cutts continues ask yourself are you trying to buy the domain just because you like the domain name or are you buying it because of all the previous content or the links that were coming to it, or something like that. If you’re counting on those links carrying over, you might be disappointed because the links might not carry over.Especially if the previous owner was spamming, you might consider just going a disavow of all the links that you can find on that domain, and try to get a completely fresh start whenever you are ready to move forward with it.”

Cutts sums up the video by saying “Overall, if you do a site-colon search, or you search for the domain name, or you look for it in internet archive, that’s a really fast, quick way to get an idea of whether it was owned by someone that used it for ill, or whether they were doing some good stuff with it,” 

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Game of Thrones: Driving visitors to Northern Ireland

Earlier this month Tourism Ireland joined forces with HBO’s hit TV show Game of Thrones to market Northern Ireland’s rugged landscapes, crumbling castles and magical mountains as the real life Westeros to the rest of the World. HBO is lending its name and logo to the new campaign, which was rolled out by Tourism Ireland through ads on Facebook and Twitter in the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland and Scandinavia. Tourism Ireland has also created a dedicated land page on their website showing off the locations where the popular medieval fantasy series was set. The huge marketing effort can also be seen offline in the Game of Thrones signage that is being placed at key locations from the show around Northern Ireland. This is a marketing tactic that worked well for New Zealand in the wake of the Lord of the Rings movie series. 

Where to visit:

The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim

IMG_7485 smaller

The Dark Hedges by Jim Barton, on Flickr 

Planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century, the trees were originally intended as a landscape feature to wow visitors as they approached the entrance to the family home, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the trees have become a must see destination in Northern Ireland for Game of Thrones Fans. These trees are currently protected by a Tree Preservation Order issued by the Northern Ireland Planning Service. 

Downhill Beach, Coleraine, Co. Derry

Downhill beach, Co. Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Downhill beach, Co. Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland by James Burke, on Flickr

Already one of Northern Ireland’s most visited beaches Downhill Beach is overlooked by the easily recognised Mussenden Temple. Fans of the Game of Thrones series will easily recognise the view as a doppelganger for Dragonstone Castle.

Cushendun Caves, Cushendun, Co. Antrim

Cushendun Caves

Cushendun Caves by Jonathan Tweed, on Flickr

The Caves at Cushendun are a natural attraction formed by over 400 million years of extreme Irish weather conditions. Fans of the show will be happy to know they can be accessed on foot from near the coastal village of Cushendun in Co. Antrim.

Marble Arch Caves, Florencecour, Co. Fermanagh

Marble Arch

Marble Arch Caves by Lachlan O’Dea on Flickr

One of Europe’s finest show caves, The Marble Arch Caves are located at Florencecourt, County Fermanagh. They give visitors the opportunity to explore the natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls and winding passages. Game of Thrones fans will notice that the caves were used to film scenes such as the hideout for the Brotherhood Without Banners.

The Causeway Coast, Co. Antrim

The Giants Causeway

The Giants Causeway by Patrick G., on Flickr

The Causeway Coast has multiple locations featured in the hit show. GOT Fans wanting to visit the Iron Islands will have to look no further than the view from the Ballycastle approach to The Causeway Coast. Ballintoy Harbour is also a dead ringer for Lordsport, the port town on the island of Pyke, which is the seat of House Botley.

What are others doing?

Budget Car Rental Ireland created a map showcasing the locations of the popular series as a self-drive option. The full version of the map is available here for anyone wanting to spend time exploring Co. Antrim, Derry and Down.

Budget Car Rental - Game of Thrones

The Stones & Thrones tour company offer a unique day tour of discovery, giving the opportunity to explore the scenic splendour of the seven kingdoms and see where so many of the pivotal Game Of Thrones scenes were shot! The tour will last 1.5 hours and will set you back £35.00 per adult.  

The courtyard of Clearsky Adventure Centre at Castle Ward Demesne Northern Ireland  is one of the actual filming locations of the show. They have masterfully recreated a replica of the ‘Winterfell Archery Range’ in the courtyard in the very same spot that the filming took place, and offer an authentic archery lesson in complete costume from £25.

Game of Throne day tours are also available from Dublin starting April 21st departing from CHQ Building, Custom House Quay check out Game of Thrones Tours for more details. 

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How to stop people congratulating you after every LinkedIn update

It’s one of the most annoying things in the world is that when you update your Linkedin profile your connections start congratulating you. Ok, so if you have changed jobs, that’s cool because maybe you want to be congratulated. But if you have just edited your profile OR perhaps your current role has a new title, your entire network is notified. Super annoying! Not only that, but perhaps you are “job hunting” and you are spring-cleaning your profile, your network will see your notifications and also what companies you have recently followed. So, let’s put a stop to all of this. 

1) Log in to Linkedin 

2) Scroll to “Privacy and Settings”

 

3) Click “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” 

 

 

 

4) Un-click the box and click save

 

That’s it, you’re done. Happy job hunting/spring cleaning…

 

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Appy Tuesday – Gift List Planner

Last weekend saw the start of my Christmas shopping trips. This year, I have to say I am quite disorganised! Normally I start doing out my list of who I have to buy for in October, thinking I am half way there because I have my ‘list’ done. Last Friday night I realised before I headed off on a shopping trip with my friends Saturday morning, that I had no list or idea of what to buy for anyone, the stress that induced was a little overwhelming. The last year I found myself in a similar predicament, I ended up over-shopping and going way over budget. So Friday evening I thought, there has to be easier way to organise this than a random bit of paper, so I opened up the play store and typed in ‘Christmas Shopping’. A free app (remember I am on a budget!) came up called ‘Gift List Planner’.
The app lets you add your list of who you have to buy for, the ‘category’ of that person be it your immediate or extended family, friend, neighbour, teacher and ’empty’ categories that you can fill in yourself and also your budget for that person & if you have an idea for a present for them. Once I had added all my people that I had to buy for, you can hit the summary icon, which gives you your total estimated budget for your Christmas shopping. A very interesting and frightening feature all at the same time!

Setting up each person was a bit tedious, but I had them all done within 10 minutes and felt a lot more relaxed heading off shopping on Saturday with my list on my phone. You can also update each person once you buy an item, input how much is cost, it will give you a balance on your estimated budget for them. Handy if you are buying a couple of different bits for a person!

In the car on the way home on Saturday I updated my list on the app (I wasn’t the one driving!) and I found it a little bit satisfying to see that I had managed to get 6 people on my list sorted for Christmas! You can also tick off if the present is wrapped or not! If you check the summary again here, it will show you what you have actually spent against your overall budget, how many people you still have to buy for, *IF* you have gone over budget on estimated budgets gifts and who’s present was the most expensive.

There are options within the app to purchase ‘Advanced Features’, which lets you filter out your list to see who you still have to buy for, e.g. your immediate family category. I didn’t upgrade to this as I was quite happy with the features of the free app, it did the job for me with regards, organising my list and trying to stick to a budget!

The beauty I think of this app, is if you are money conscious, this helps you to track and stick to your budget. Or even if you never had a budget, this app certainly makes you more aware of what you spend, especially seeing your estimated total and actual total right there written in front of you! Also I found it quite handy if you think of something to get someone, you can quickly whip out your phone, write it under their name in the app, so that you don’t forget that ‘amazing Christmas present’ that your Dad would love!

Hope this brings some of you stressed souls some peace when it comes to Christmas shopping!

Happy shopping!

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Appy Monday – HMV Music

HMV launched their new digital music store app last week.

The app lets you browse, discover, pre-order and purchase mp3’s in their new online store. 

The app, which is available for free on iOS and android, combines image search and sound search technology with high quality mp3 downloads. What this means for the user, is that say you are browsing in-store, and would like to hear what a certain album/song sounds like, all you have to do is take a picture of the chosen album and the app will bring up the album details and will let you listen to a 30 second clip. Or you have the option of ‘sound search’, (highlight of the app for me!) which is basically Shazam built into the app, for those who are not familiar with Shazam, the sound search lets your phone listen to music (be it radio/tv/in-store) and will pull up the song/album details and give you the option of purchasing the song or full album. 

The app will even match up some ‘similar’ music/band options for you to discover & browse from your search.

Once you buy online, the mp3’s are integrated into the users own iTunes or Windows Media Library on their Mac or PC. HMV have priced their music to match that of iTunes.

According to a statement from the company, the HMV app is the first non-iTunes-based service on Apple’s iOS platform to allow the purchase of digital music downloads through a native app.

We are liking the new digital direction HMV are embracing since the company was taken over by Hilco Capital earlier this year and are looking forward to new progressions from HMV.

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Appy Monday – Skyscanner

I have been using this app for quite a while, but it’s only since the weekend just gone that I have realised what a gem it truly is.

After meeting up with friends over a coffee, we decided that we should look into booking a city break away in the new year. Normally, one person it left with the task, and a gazillion emails on flight options later we either give up or someone ends up with less hair! Not this time, while we were all there, I took out the phone and opened the Skyscanner app, selected dates that suited us all, inputted the information and in less than a minute, we had our options right in front of us. 

Skyscanner is the handiest go-to app for checking flights. Not only is it free for iPhone & android, there are no service charges for booking through Skyscanner either. ‘SkyScanner saves you time and money by finding the cheapest flights, fast. It’s free, flexible and simple to use’. – Basically, it does exactly what it says on the tin!

It is so easy to use, just input where you are looking to fly to and where from, it even lets you have a wide search, so instead of selecting Dublin, you can select Ireland, and it will pull up flights from all suitable airports in Ireland flying to your destination.

You can also filter your results by price, airline and take-off and landing times. Skyscanner has the option of chart view, which lets you see prices for flights across a particular week or month.

For those feeling a bit more adventurous, you can select the ‘anywhere’ destination, choose your travel dates, and it will show you what countries are available and the cheapest price for flights to that country. How much time does that save you jumping back and forth on Ryanair’s app looking for the cheapest city break for a particular weekend?? A lot, plus your nerves will stay intact 😉 For that reason alone, this app gets my vote!

Skyscanner will give you your journey breakdown, showing which airline carrier, flight departing/arrival times, flight duration and of course the price per person, in a simple eye scanning layout. 

Once you have chosen your flight, Skyscanner gives you the option of sharing flight information (through email, social media, text etc., handy if you are researching that group city break!) or booking the flights. Once you hit ‘book’, Skyscanner will redirect you to the airline carrier to continue with your purchase.

So have you any plans yet for the October bank holiday?! Skyscanner may give you a few options 😉

 

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Appy Monday – Phlok

Phlok – Connecting Local People with Local Business.

Phlok is all about connecting local people with local business. It’s a unique Irish social media platform that rewards you for shopping local, it’s also a free app available in the app store and Google Play.

Every merchant and business that you see on Phlok, gives you the availability to collect Phlok points. These points are a virtual currency and worth real money (1,000 points = €1). Just from signing up, you receive 2,000 points! Phlok points are unique, in that you can collect and spend them in any participating Phlok store by simply clicking on your points total at the top of the screen and follow the simple instructions.

You can collect Phlok points by checking into locations, following Phlok businesses and making purchases in Phlok stores. It is quite addictive building up your Phlok points and you can also collect points by inviting your friends to join! With the app, you can check out where your friends have checked in and see how you compare with their phlok points, it has most certainly has brought out that competitive streak in me!

Phlok is very much a social media platform with a focus on shopping local. When you sign up with Phlok you set up your profile and it gives you the option of signing in through email or facebook. Once logged in, the app uses your GPS to locate business using Phlok close to you. Your mobile will even automatically alert you when you are near an offer! It also has a map option, so that you can search locations and business to see what other offers are in place. You can see a live feed of people who have checked-in and received points in doing so. There is also the option to send group or private messages to people in your ‘Phlok’.

Each business also has a profile, with information such as address, phone number, website and what their latest offer is etc. and they can also update their status with relevant information to their customers that will appear in your news-feed/activity page.

Phlok has numerous different local businesses signed up to bring you a wide variety of different categories that will benefit all users of Phlok. There are local businesses from bars to motoring to butchers to clothes shops all signed up, wanting to pass on the reward for encouraging you to shop local. Phlok can only grow stronger and in the coming months you will see it rolling out into more counties across Ireland and abroad. Recently is has landed in the UK and only last week gained press coverage in Ilkley.

Another great app to come from the Emerald Isle, definite one to download and watch this Phlok grow! 

 

Check out Phlok’s blog here.

 

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