Leeds Business Week Day Four: Thursday 26 September
I’ve had an amazing week so far, and still two geat days of events to look forward to. Here’s my round-up for Thursday:
My Thursday at Leeds Business Week 2013 began with ‘Sharing the future of the social web’ by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) at The Rosebowl. The speakers were Helen Gill @helenmarygill Director at Engage Comms, Stuart Bruce @stuartbruce, Dom Burch @domburch Head of Social at Asda and head of social at asda, and Chris Norton @chris_Norton Lecturer at Leeds Met. This was the best event of the week so far – it was a breath of fresh air to hear people who really seemed to share my values on the topic.
They talked about social media and freedom of speech; how it has been around for ten years now and we’re still debating who should own social media. In an organisation, should it be Marketing, PR, IT, HR or customer service? The general consensus was that perhaps PR should coordinate it, but that nobody should “own” it and that everyone should contribute.
So much good advice in this seminar too:
One surprise for me was that The Daily Mail is one of the biggest social media platforms, with huge numbers of comments being left on articles every day.
Dom gave a golden nugget about his audience – at Asda, their main target audience is mothers, so 2.55pm on Facebook is best time to post, as they are all stood in the playground waiting for kids to finish school, checking Facebook on their phones. He also said that between 7-9 is a good time to post.
He also said if you put a post up and it doesn’t get likes in a minute, just delete it as chances of engagement are low after that. Obviously if you gt negative comments, then you should deal with those and not delete.
Helen’s advice was that the more niche and local your posts, the more chance of engaging through social media.
Stuart highlighted the value of good ‘lifestyle’ content with the case study of Nissan, which is currently putting money into content… but not about cars, into researching earthquakes and other interesting topics that people who buy the cars want to find out about. Newspapers are dying a death as people’s main source of information, so websites and blog content is becoming more valuable.
Dom Birch highlighted that it is often the ordinary that people want to know about, as his own site mediocreideas.com shows.
Also talked about promoted posts on Twitter. Last week he spent £200 and got great results from it – suggested SMEs should look into promoted posts on Twitter. Apparently, the budget Asda has for social is a fraction of what they have for TV and newspaper advertising, but it’s steadily growing!
I asked the panel about blogs, and was delighted that they all agreed with me that good quality blog content is at the core of social media and SEO.
They also talked about old content. One third of visits through Google to The Guardian are going to content over three months old – it shows that good content lasts!
Dom suggested that if you don’t know how to start thinking about planning your social and digital content, you should think if 100 questions that your customers or stakeholders might ask and put the answers on your website.
If you’re pitching to business clients, you shouldn’t call a blog a ‘blog’, you should call it an online resource centre – it is likely to be better received. Also talked about blogger outreach and how important it was to engage with bloggers in the industry. Chris Norton was really passionate about the power of blogging.
Google+ was also discussed, including how YouTube have just announced today that comments through YouTube are going to be done through Google+ in future.
The people that dismiss Google+ simply don’t understand it. It is becoming extremely powerful – it’s not just another social network like Facebook, it’s trying to tie a lot of things together.
Dom reminded us lest we forget, that the biggest social media platform is still email, and that done well, email campaigns are still really powerful.
One thing I really took away from this session was about how all the social media channels have a lot to teach one other. For example blogging has a lot to teach email campaigns about how to be interesting and not just ‘salesy’
Stuart recommended you should use email to drive social. He Paypal, who recently sent an email out to their entire database asking them to like them on Facebook to enter a prize draw for an ipad – the email campaign drove tons of traffic to their social media sites.
I was also delighted to meet up with one of my clients at this CIPR event – great to see Masher AKA Mark Evans and GoJo AKA Jo Stuart from Banners and Mash.
And also great to see Paul Amourdedieu today. Love how Leeds Business Week brings so many people in the business world together. Another great day!
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow: The Yorkshire Mafia Leeds City Summit and launch of the O2 Business Flagship Store in Leeds Merrion Centre.