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Talks and Events

3 Benefits of Attending a Social Media Workshop

By | Articles, Business Lessons, Home Page, Social Media Platforms, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Training, Talks and Events | No Comments

The world of social media is changing rapidly, with new updates and networks being released at the blink of an eye, how are you supposed to keep up? That’s where experts like us come in. We run regular social media workshops designed to keep you on top of the latest changes and updates within the industry.

Avocado Social Workshop Table

Here’s three reasons why it’s a good idea to attend regular social media workshops:

  1. The most up to date social media statistics
    Social media is constantly changing with new updates happening all the time. Chances are an expert will keep on top of the latest news and will be able to advise you on the most up to date changes on each platform. You can read up on the changes yourself, by reading sites likes Mashable, Econsultancy, The Drum and Social Media Examiner – but it’s time consuming to do this and a social media expert will be doing this anyway!
  2. Top brand case studies and examples
    One of the best ways to get new ideas and inspiration is to see what other brands in other industries are doing. This is especially useful if you know that your industry is perhaps lacking in social media effectiveness! In our social media workshops we showcase some of the best case studies and plenty of examples of how startups, SMEs and global brands are adopting social media.
  3. Networking and collaboration
    Everyone in attendance will be there for the same thing – to learn. Don’t just sit and leave once it’s over. Create valuable in-person relationships by talking with your peers about your strengths and weaknesses. You never know who you could meet from your next client, collaborator or even a new employer. Be sure to bring your business cards, just in case.

Our Founder Alison Battisby often says the best part of a social media course is the chance to share:

Talking to other people and finding out what they have tried, what works best for them, and what to avoid is a great way of learning.

After all social media is so new – you can’t possibly have tried everything so I find it best to talk to people about their experiences.

Any other questions? Do your best to stay in touch with the experts. Take note of their Twitter handle, website and other details so you can continue to learn once the course is over.

Tools you’ll need:

Pen and pad

Laptop or iPhone (charged!)

Your attention!

We have limited spaces left on our next training workshop on May 11th in London. Book your space or find our more information here. Keep track of our latest social media training course on our Events Page.

Our Digital Mission to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn HQs

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It’s not often you get the chance to visit the European Headquarters of 3 of the world’s largest social media networks. So when we were invited to join Enterprise Nation’s Go Global Digital Mission to Ireland we jumped at the chance!

On a very early Thursday morning last week, we joined 40 food and drink businesses on a mission over to Dublin to learn more about exporting to Ireland and using social media to raise awareness of their unique and delicious products.

We wanted to find out what the latest small business advice being offered to startups and growing businesses from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn was. Joining businesses including Creative Nature, Oppo Ice Cream, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and Bluebird Tea, we headed over the water to sunny Dublin.
PicMonkey-Collage

First stop was Facebook, where we were taken on a fantastic tour of their partner centre, the top floor of their Dublin office. The area is dedicated to showing off some of the great work Facebook are involved in, including the Internet.org initiative which aims to get the whole world online. Facebook have even built a drone which flies over Africa beaming out WIFI to hit devices they have provided.

The initiative which really stood out was the work they are doing to enhance blind people’s lives. A Siri-type programme has been developed for blind users, which describes out loud what is being seen in pictures in their newsfeeds. For example “A group of females smiling with balloons”. We saw a video of the system in use which was very moving, as these users had not experienced anyone describing the pictures their friends are posting before, and meant they could suddenly be involved in conversations. Good one Facebook!

Head of SMB EMEA at Facebook, Olivia Leonard then gave a huge informative talk about where Facebook see the main changes and trends are on their platforms, including Instagram and Whatsapp.

Something reiterated again and again was the important move from desktop to mobile for the company, as they find 80% of UK traffic now hits their sites from mobile devices. Every new feature or app is now developed first for mobile, then desktop. They receive 400 million logins a day on mobile.

Other dominant trends include video, which is going from strength to strength as they are receiving more than 4 billion video views a day on Facebook. With the purchase of virtual reality company Oculus Rift, Facebook are working on ways to enhance our lives with artificial intelligence.

We saw some great example of 10-3o second long videos, including this McDonalds’ World Cup campaign. Another great example of how video content has really lifted a campaign was the St John’s Ambulance #TheChokeables campaign, which has saved 38 lives to date. Leonard encouraged the small businesses in the room to have a go with video, just by recording on their smartphones, to really enhance a story and grab a user’s attention in the newsfeed.

Obviously visual content is now king on Facebook, and the memorable advice was that you have less than 3 seconds to make an impression so ensure your content is eye-catching and engaging!

Another of the key takeaways from Facebook’s talk was the ability to tell a good story through your Facebook Page. “Don’t just use Facebook like a billboard,” said Leonard.

Content ideas for the small businesses included:

  • Stories about characters within your business
  • The processes of creating your product
  • Information about your founder or where the idea came from
  • How you take it to market.

This content is all completely authentic and will instantly set you apart from your competitors. The tips are also designed to avoid the conversation on your Facebook Page jarring, which is very important for keeping your loyal and potential customers interested. It was also an honour to sign the famous Facebook Wall, which features in every Facebook office around the world.

 

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We also heard about how offering a personal experience is absolutely key, through the language and images you use. We’ll be touching on this in our upcoming FREE webinar, How to Boost Your Business with Facebook Advertising, on 24th March at 1pm. Sign up here

After our jam-packed experience at Facebook, we were zoomed off to Twitter where we learnt about more specific ways that Ireland use Twitter. We saw some great statistics too about how 76% of Twitter users follow brands and companies, and 1 in 5 follow a brand when making a purchase.

We saw some examples from the likes of ASOS about how to use Twitter’s image collages to showcase products and build brand reputation, as well as learning about the variety of ad placements you can now purchase within the newsfeeds.

Over at LinkedIn, we learnt about how “the cold call is dead” thanks to the wealth of information you can now research about your potential customers and business relationships before making contact. There are 2 billion member updates happening on the platform and 200,000 new Pulse article added every week – so members are using the platform more actively than just an online CV.  Making sure your personal profile is an accurate and credible representation of your business self is key, as we learnt in our recently free webinar on How To Create a Killer Profile.

It was fantastic to hear about the latest trends and statistics from each platform, and to hear how they are advising small business. We were honoured to visit each, but the highlight for us for defintely Facebook who offered fantastic tips as well as impressing us with their brilliant new innovations.

You can see some more pictures from our trip on our Facebook Page here, and take a look at the #GoGlobal hashtag for more content and learnings. A very special thank you to Enterprise Nation for a great experience!

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Social Media Advertising

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY, WHITECHAPEL, LONDON, E1 7PT, 25th JANUARY

As social media evolves, many of the platforms now offer interesting and effective ways to get in front of your exact target audience. In this workshop, we’ll be taking a look at how Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Advertising allow you to purchase adverts that sit within the newsfeeds of audiences that you select. We’ll be covering how you go about setting up adverts, what they look like, and looking at some great (and not so great) examples of how UK brands are using the platforms.

£55.00

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More than a hashtag: 5 top social media tips for success

By | Articles, Avocado Social, Social Media, Talks and Events | No Comments

Social media is so much more than a hashtag! Avocado Social Founder Alison Battisby shares her 5 top tips for social media success. If you want to hear Alison’s top advice in person then scroll to the bottom of the page to hear about her upcoming September events. 

Often when brainstorming a social media campaign, the first question asked is ‘What should our hashtag be?’. It’s not wrong to ask the question, but it’s certainly naive to base an entire campaign around a single hashtag. Social media is so much more than that, and a clever hashtag isn’t going to make (or break) a campaign anymore.

A recent interview in Marketing with popcorn brand Propercorn’s design chief perfectly summarised my thoughts when talking about their recent display campaign over London. Becky Akers said: “When we were designing our creative, people told us we needed a hashtag. But we said, actually, if you ask someone to hashtag, they’re probably not going to.”

And it’s worked as #propercorn has been used almost 11,000 times on Instagram, plus they’ve received a constant stream of tweets about their popcorn designs on the London Underground and taking over London buses.

Propercorn

Social media involves giving people a reason to talk about your brand.  If you can come up with great ways to do that, then people will often naturally add a hashtag or look to tag you in a post. With that in mind, I’ve put together my top 5 tips for creating that social media success:

1. Use slick branding 

There’s nothing worse than a badly cropped profile picture, or an out of date Facebook Cover. Take some time to really work on the visual experience that your social media pages create. Use free tools like Canva to make sure you are creating beautiful images that fit within the platform dimensions so no logos or words are badly cropped out.

2. Really get to know your audience 

Take time to listen to your audience. Understand when they are online, how they access social media, what magazines they read, what TV shows they watch, which celebrities they like, what they like or don’t like about your product, etc. etc! This information is so useful for planning your content and choosing the right campaigns.

3. Don’t just talk about yourself

Would you like someone at a dinner party if all they could do was talk about themselves? No! It’s the same in social media; ask questions, provide current or helpful information and have fun! This is what will make you stand out, rather than asking people to buy your products all the time.

4. Win at customer service

The top UK brands are now aiming to reply to customer service enquiries within 1 hour. It might seem unachievable but if you have the apps on your phone you can deal with any feedback on the go. Have a clear plan in place for how you will respond to different complaints, so you’re prepared if you ever get one. Also think about what you might offer your customers as a ‘sorry’. The more personal the better, and I’m a huge fan of handwritten notes like the one Leon sent me. It’s good practice to reward your loyal customers too, whether you are sending goodies to your top tweeters or running regular competitions. Offering rewards is a great way to build customer relationships, and spread brand awareness too.

5. Learn what works

At the end of every month, you should take some time to reviews your channels and understand what worked well. Was it photos or video? Morning or evening posts? Do more people click through to buy on your website from Facebook or Twitter? This is all very useful information for the next month of activity and means you can spend your time focussing on activities that you know will be received well.

Want more tips? Well you’re in luck! I’m hosting a PR & Social Media Workshop for Startups on 10th September at Central Working in London. Rebecca Burn-Callander, Enterprise Editor for The Daily Telegraph who will be sharing her wisdom about pitching to journalists. Book tickets now via Eventbrite and if you’re quick you will get the earlybird rate!

Looking for some more advanced guidance, such as content planning, Facebook advertising and the latest trends in social media customer service? Then book your place at the Avocado Social Advanced Social Media Workshop on 3rd September in London for a full day of learning and sharing.

See you in September!

Your biggest social media weapon?

By | Articles, Social Media, Social Media and Workforce, Talks and Events | No Comments

By Alison Battisby, Founder of Avocado Social.

Today I spoke at Digital Shoreditch, an event celebrating creative, technical and entrepreneurial talent of London and beyond. I chose to speak about utilising your workforce to gain a larger reach and more credibility in social media. This is a trend which many companies are exploring and are seeing success with.

We’ve all seen the stories of it going wrong, where individuals don’t quite understand the public nature of their updates and put something incredibly inappropriate, which then goes on to damage the reputation of the company that employs them. For example the PR executive who tweeted before a trip to South Africa in late 2013. She was dismissed from New York-based internet empire InterActive Corp after the tweet went viral.

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However the reach of your employees is huge. Think of all your staff who use Twitter, or who have a LinkedIn profile. Getting them involved could really help to reach brand new audiences, and give your own activity a much needed boost.

Your staff are your best advocates, as they can genuinely speak about the business in a genuine and honest way. It’s a much more personal level than a billboard campaign or newspaper advert, which people are more likely to take notice of and trust. They can highlight great work you are doing, publicise any initiatives you are running and also what it feels like to work at your company. For example, Ashley works for St John’s Ambulance and recently tweeted about how rewarding it is working for the charity.StJohns-1024x608

The way that most of the social media newsfeeds now work means that the better posts do in terms of engagement (likes, comments, shares & clicks), the more visibility they will get. LinkedIn now arranges posts in the newsfeed depending on how popular they have been, rather in the order of when they were published. This is a point I will come back to shortly.

So how should you get your staff engaged with your social media? I’ve put together 5 ideas: 

dell

1. Create a clear and simple policy:

Do you have a social media policy or guidelines for your staff? By formalising this, you can be clear to your employees what is allowed and what should be avoided, how you expect them to act across social media and how to protect themselves. You can also suggest how they can get involved with the company activity to help you meet your goals. Take a look at Social Media Governance to see hundreds of top policies from Tesco, BBC and Adidas. Once your policy is ready, don’t hide it away in the intranet or in a folder somewhere. Remind your staff about the key points, as Dell has done. Put it by the kettle, in the loos or by the printer!

 

2. Encourage your employees to share (and make it easy for them!)

Your staff can be assisting your company posts to reach more people, by simply liking or sharing some of your updates. Often this isn’t happening because your staff aren’t sure what they are allowed to do or what’s appropriate. I’m not asking you to get all your staff posting all over their Facebook Pages, but a simple like on LinkedIn can help your company updates reach much wider, and often highly relevant, audiences.

 

3. Give your employees social media training:

Social media training can be extremely useful not just for expanding knowledge, but for giving your staff new ideas and inspiration in how they could be helping your company to reach new audiences and engaging your current customers. Often your staff will not understand why or how you are using social media, so showing them exactly how they can help and why they should help will hopefully encourage them all to get involved.

4. Make social media part of everyone’s role:

Okay perhaps not everyone, but it’s important to make it clear who in the company should be using social media, and make it official.  Macmillan Cancer overhauled their social media by training over 1,000 staff in the power of social media, and how it can be used in the organisation.

By adding it to everyone’s job descriptions, from nurses to fundraisers, it is taken more seriously in the organisation, and they are now able to reach over 1 million people easily thanks to their staff offering advice, campaigning and supporting via social media.

5.  Empower your workforce!

Let your staff have a say in what’s posted in social media by holding regular brainstorms and invite different people from within the business to share their ideas and content. I have clients who have run internal competitions to encourage sales teams to send the best photographs from their global meetings, or that encourage their staff to tell the social media team what charity activities they have been doing in their spare time – all of this kind of content enhances the company brand and culture online.

Below is a copy of the slide deck which I presented, with some more examples. Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss training or strategy for your business.