On Thursday 3rd November, Brave Little Tank attended Get Social Kent to hear about the latest news, techniques and features of the biggest and best Social Media channels.
Jo and Maddie arrived bright and early at Longfield Academy, part of LAT Enterprises, with enough time to grab a coffee, before heading into the Conference opening. The day started with introductions from organisers – Zoe Cairns, ZC Social Media and Linda Marsh, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, at this their third annual event.
The Keynote Speakers
Franky delivered a thorough and insightful talk about how NATO uses Social Media. He emphasised that whilst information is shared with the NATO Press Release and Web departments, the difference is in how the content is used and distributed across Social Media. He stressed that content must be tailored and adapted to suit each specific audience for maximum effect.
This is a process which is constantly in development, with the team regularly measuring the reaction to their posts and ensuring they use the types of content which provide the best engagement.
Franky also highlighted that it can be beneficial to have more than one profile, NATO themselves have multiple Twitter handles including a main NATO account, a Press account, an account for the Deputy Secretary General himself, and a News account to name just a few. This ensures the appropriate content is shared, in the best format, for each target audience.
Zoe continued the morning with an informative discussion about Influencer Marketing. She spoke about identifying your niche target audience and discovering who they are already listening to – these are your potential ‘Influencers’!
However, it is extremely important to carefully monitor influencers (preferably for two or three months) before you begin a relationship with them, to thoroughly ensure they are the right fit for your brand.
There are different kinds of influencers, which will produce different types of results for your business – Zoe uses Jay Baer’s influencer types.
Zoe took time to emphasise the importance of developing long-term relationships with influencers – Influencer Marketing is not just about using people to further your audience reach with one off re-tweets, it is about cultivating ongoing business relationships which benefit everyone involved.
In her second talk of the day, Zoe brought us up to speed with the trendiest new feature in Social, Live Broadcasting – Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope Live. The main benefit of live is that it gives people a look behind the scenes; a real-life, unedited view of you and your business. Being able to see the face behind a brand promotes customer confidence and encourages a human connection.
Greg explained to us the Evolution of Communication – The progression from text to imagery to video and now 360 video, LIVE and soon VR. Photos and videos allow us to communicate more expressively, more personally and more creatively.
With video now being such a huge factor for social media, it’s time to seriously consider adding moving image content to your business assets – you could demonstrate products, create tutorials or promote offers, to more immersively engage your audience.
Greg also spoke about how all businesses must now have a mobile strategy, and gave the example of how for many checking their mobile phone is the last thing they do at night, and the first thing they do in the morning, so if you don’t have a mobile strategy your business is missing out!
Luke broke down the basics of Digital Marketing, in one of our favourite talks of the day – he got the audience involved with polls about top search results, and even threw a stress ball out into the crowd to get us talking about the information that companies forget to include on their websites.
Businesses are often worried about having too much content on their websites. They don’t want to overload customers or clutter their pages, but customers need to be able to find the information they want! Luke’s advice – don’t just focus on answering ‘purchase questions’ consider the peripherals as well and create content that informs your audience.
He also took the time to highlight that there is “more to Digital Marketing than Social Media, it’s just enough to break the ice!” Don’t rely on your Social Media at the expense of all else, SOCIAL, SEO, PPC and UX all have an important role to play.
How to use Facebook for your Business
Greg Russell, Facebook
In the first workshop of the afternoon, Greg spoke to us about the various elements of Facebook for business use – Business Pages, Groups, Messenger and Live, and the ways to monitor and promote them – Insights, Boosts, Pages Manager, Ads Manager.
He explained the targeting ability of Facebook Ads, which can also be used across FB’s other platforms such as Instagram and Audience Network. By uploading CRM data you are able to create specific, custom audiences for adverts, as well as lookalike audiences to reach new followers and customers.
Greg also explained the benefits of using FB’s image based features – Carousel, Canvas and Video. These can be used to create more immersive and engaging ads and content. As echoed in other talks throughout the day, it is absolutely key to measure the results and success of any ad campaigns so you understand what works for your business and your audience. The new Facebook Pixel enhances this aspect enabling businesses to link ads/campaigns to their website to track their results.
The Power of Automation in Social Media
Luke Knight, Sendible
Luke spoke about the benefits of using automation in Social Media to help increase efficiency and save valuable time. There are many software platforms available, but the key features usually include – publishing to multiple social networks, scheduling in advance and integrating Social Analytics and Tracking. You are able to more easily monitor what is being said about your brand, as well as measure the engagement and reaction to the content that you share. Many automation platforms help to optimise your visibility, suggesting the best time to post and increasing shareability.
Luke explained how Social Media management software can help businesses to create target audience lists and identify which social networks they are using. It is also possible to create individual lists for certain content – for example: Twitter lists, enabling specifically targeted messages. Setting up notifications from competitors, means you can monitor their activity and promotions, and create bespoke discounts and offers for users who are engaging with them.
In terms of Social Media content, Luke reinforced the message we had heard throughout the day – the importance of the visual message! He suggested cutting and reusing live video, for example from Snapchat, as well as capturing stills, and overlaying text on images. Using Pinterest to save images will also enhance your long-term SEO.
Some other examples of great Social Media content:
Live and Unboxed
The TechTalk Radio Show presented the last event of the day, a Live Unboxing with a specialist panel! The three Unboxers were Luke Quilter – Sleeping Giant Media, Gareth Cairns – ZC Social Media and Susannah Schofield – Dice Matrix. The panel were given a range of new tech and innovative products live on stage and had to vote whether the product ‘Rocked’ or should go ‘Back in the Box’.
In a fun, interactive element, the audience also got to have their say using voting paddles!
Products unboxed included a WiFi kettle, a pager watch for the Hospitality industry, a WiFi coffee maker, a digital insulin tracker and the ever popular drone – we even got a demo (eventually!) and Maddie certainly made sure our votes were heard! The Tech Talk Show recorded the whole event Live via Periscope, where you can see the best reactions from the panel.
Meeting Exhibitors and Networking
The day combined a variety of speakers and a choice of workshops, with several opportunities for networking and regular breaks. We were pleased to see some familiar faces, as well as meeting some new contacts, and felt the schedule of the day worked really well.
Digital is what we do every day and we love it, so it’s great to get out of the office and meet like-minded professionals and companies who recognise the value of digital in their business. Online marketing is constantly evolving and we are always learning and keeping up to date with the latest new technologies and features.
If you’d like to know how we can help improve the Digital Strategy for your business, we’d love to hear from you!