How Social Media Week in Bristol blew my tiny mind.

Today I went out of the office for the first time in weeks, people.

I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but I’ve been way too absorbed in the Lean Content bubble. It’s a good thing that Social Media Week cruised into town from 10th-14th June to remind all of us marketers that we still have so much to learn.

Social media lessons from the badasses behind Grillstock

Grillstock founders Jon Finch and Ben Merrington are now the proud owners of Quay Street Diner (formerly Roll for the Soul).

Their panel discussion threw up some pretty important points about social media management in 2019. Having built a really successful business in 2012/13, Jon and Ben highlighted how their strategy has evolved, and what principles should remain eternal when it comes to social content.

  1. Focus your content around the key stuff you do.
  2. Show all parts of the business, warts and all
  3. Be consistently visible
  4. Include customer reviews as part of your strategy

The Quay St Diner guys built an organic business empire using social media. A festival grew into a market stall, that grew into a restaurant. Through their journey they emphasised being real about what you do, sharing from the heart and using your authentic voice. They’ve had issues outsourcing to social media agencies in the past, because no-one does social better than the business owner themselves. True stuff, I reckon.

Adventures in blogging

Bex Band is an explorer, blogger and founder of Love Her Wild – a women’s adventure community. She spoke enthusiastically about the journey she’s been on as an adventurer across Israel and Jordan, and as a business owner across social media.

For Bex, the most important part of her growth as an influencer came from blogging. Her website gets 14,000 unique views a month thanks to her strategic, consistent and highly honest blogs. She came up with three key tips for a great blog presence:

  1. Have a clear concept and unique selling point – this is so important to everything else you do. Think about your expertise – if you were doing a TED talk, what would it be on? Resist the temptation to be a generalist and embrace the niche.
  2. Focus your content carefully on SEO. Think about search terms and optimise your blogs. Have a backlink strategy.
  3. Have blog categories. She uses three: advice content, personal stories and opinion pieces. All three serve separate purposes, from SEO to audience connection.

What I took away from Bex’s presentation was her commitment to branding. She’s highly aware of brand consistency, her audience and her niche. Definitely something to learn from. Thanks, Bex!

Have we all been underestimating Instagram?

The next talk was given by the fantastic Oh So Social – a marketing company based in Cornwall but with global reach. And by the end of this talk, my opinion about Instagram had firmly changed.

For the past few months I’ve avoided Instagram. ‘It’s not relevant for me’ I kept telling myself. Well, Katherine George from Oh So Social proved me wrong.

Her talk detailed the exponential growth of this social platform, likely to overtake its main rival by the end of the year. Added to this, Instagram users are more likely to purchase, follow a business or click-through to a website from a post here over any other social channel. Impressive.

Millennials moving away from other social platforms are flocking to Instagram and they’re ready to buy. Given that Instagram is already testing in-app purchasing in America, it’s not too late for businesses to jump aboard. Benefits of creating an Instagram account are:

  1. Easy access to analytics
  2. Custom buttons that link directly to your website
  3. Adverts can be created in moments

Katherine emphasised the need for natural, honest content. Businesses shouldn’t be afraid to do ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff, use natural lighting and make the most of Instagram stories to let their audience in.

For more advice, she recommended we check out Instagram’s business user resources. I certainly will be.

Every content strategy tells a story

Last, but by no means least, came Box 2 Media founder Christopher Goodfellow. He offered a content strategy template so beautifully simple, it nearly made me tear up.

  1. Think about your purpose or business mission. The impact of your content should go beyond your product or service.
  2. Make a timeline of the change you create for customers. Map this journey. How customers make this evolution is set by a series of challenges they overcome. Each challenge is a content point.
  3. Customer conversations are a goldmine. Identify repeat challenges that your customers talk about and use this to prioritise what your content focuses around.
  4. When you spend time and money on content, repurpose and share across as many platforms and channels as you can. Get maximum value from every blog.

Nicely put, Christopher!

Every day is a school day, Lean pals. Don’t forget our lovely books are available as always to download, if you’d like support with content, social or marketing strategy. Get your copy here.